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
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
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."