Smith Accustomed to Starting

ATHENS - The half-game suspension of safety Shawn Williams creates a shakeup in the Georgia secondary that should feature junior Branden Smith as a starter at cornerback.

Junior Sanders Commings is expected to shift from cornerback to safety to fill in for Williams, who will miss the first half of the Florida game for a flagrant hit in the win over Vanderbilt.

Starting isn't new for Smith. He's got 14 starts to his credit in his career.

"We're just going to play the same no matter what," Smith, who has 15 tackles and one interception on the season, said. "We'll play hard, aggressive and get after everybody."

Smith's versatility picked up momentum in the previous two games. He saw his first action on offense with two rushes against Tennessee. He added a 19-yard reception at Vanderbilt. It's unclear whether he'll still be available on offense with Williams sidelined.

"I really can't make that call," Smith said. "Everybody would love me to play offense, but basically I'm a defensive player."

Familiar territory for Tyson

Senior defensive end DeAngelo Tyson could spend time at nose tackle this weekend due to the half-game suspension of Kwame Geathers.

Geathers, suspended for throwing a punch in the Vanderbilt game, and junior John Jenkins have manned the middle of the defensive line this year. Tyson, a defensive end with 14 tackles on the year, will back up Jenkins in the first half.

"We've got good players who are going to step up and play in Kwame's absence," Tyson said. "It's just a moment where somebody needs to step up.

Tyson's services may not be needed if Jenkins can hold up, but he's experienced at the spot after having played the position in all of 2010.

"He's a team player," said sophomore lineman Garrison Smith. "We needed a nose last year and he stepped up for the job. It was hard. Playing that nose guard ain't no joke. You've got to be a man in there, and he played it."

Lee a solid starter

While offensive guards Chris Burnette and Kenarious Gates have spent the past two games rotating on the right side of the line, Dallas Lee has played every snap at the opposite spot.

The redshirt sophomore has gone from an offseason question mark (due to a respiratory condition) to a solidified contributor.

"I didn't know what to expect when fall camp started, but I felt comfortable with him when we got to the game," said offensive line coach Will Friend. "He's done some good things."

An ankle injury to Gates in the season opener provided the opening for Lee.

"Gates going down, that stinks and nobody wants to see a teammate get hurt, but I had an opportunity and ran with it," Lee said.

There were no worries in putting Lee in that first game, Friend said.

"I felt like he would be fine," he said. "He really played pretty well in that ball game. He's actually done well enough to be in the starting five since."

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