KICKOFF: Noon (ABC)
STADIUM: Memorial Stadium (81,473), Clemson, S.C.
TICKETS: Sold out
KICKOFF WEATHER: Mostly sunny, around 87
degrees, 20 percent chance of rain, humidity around 75 percent
SERIES: Georgia leads, 40-17-4
LAST MEETING: Georgia won 31-28 in 2002.
ODDS: Georgia by 2 1/2.
INJURIES: Georgia — NT Gerald
Anderson (neck sprain) and TB Kregg Lumpkin (hamstring) are probable; DT
Dale Dixson (concussion) is questionable; DE Will Thompson (ankle), WR
Cedric Haywood (knee/ACL) DE Marquis Elmore (ankle sprain), DE Preston
Pannell (shoulder), C Michael Turner (shoulder), DT Ken Veal (ankle), FS
Greg Blue (knee), ROV Kentrell Curry (leg) and DT Darrell Holmes are
Clemson — DT Todd McClinton (seizures) is out.
UP NEXT: Clemson
hosts Furman, Sept. 6, 5 p.m.; Georgia hosts Middle Tennessee State, Sept.
6, 1 p.m.
Two of the
backup linebackers are true freshmen. There's almost no experience behind
the starters in the secondary and at wide receiver. None of the running
backs are returning starters.
And there are the little matters of 90-degree
heat and 83,000 people mostly attired in orange.
As Georgia players and
coaches discussed injuries and suspensions the past few weeks, they were
aware of what several Bulldogs need to do for them to have a chance to beat
"The young guys are stepping up and filling in nicely," said
linebacker-turned-safety Thomas Davis.
"People have to step up and fill
those roles those players left," said guard Josh Brock.
their job and that they've got to pick up the slack in the first part of the
season," offered senior cornerback Bruce Thornton.Get the picture?
Bulldogs will be without two proven starters and three players of starting
capability, plus a slew of other backups who would see quality time.
far as a team," said Georgia coach Mark Richt, "it's as beat up as I can
Eight more players are suspended, three of whom — defensive backs
Tim Jennings and DeMario Minter plus fullback Chris Hickman — have the
ability to start.
But the list of Bullpups who falling into the "need to
step up" file is long.
The Bulldogs will play several true freshmen,
maybe nearly a dozen: offensive linemen Ken Shackleford, Fernando Velasco,
and Nick Jones; linebackers Danny Verdun-Wheeler and Des Williams; defensive
backs Paul Oliver, Mikey Henderson, and Thomas Flowers; running back Kregg
Lumpkin; wide receiver Sean Bailey; and kicker Andy Bailey.
redshirt freshmen will likely make their Bulldog debuts as well: defensive
linemen Ray Gant, Dale Dixson, Quentin Moses and Marcus Jackson; defensive
backs Olaolu Sanni-Osomo; offensive lineman Daniel Inman; tailback Michael
Cooper and punter Gordon Ely-Kelso. Others in the rotation will b playing
for the first time as well.
"We've got enough first-teamers that know what to
do," said Richt. "I think our first units are in pretty good shape. After
that, we've got a lot of young guys that really aren't sure of
Clemson coach Tommy Bowden isn't putting much stock into
Georgia's problems."The way they've recruited the last five or six years,"
he said, "there won't be much separation between their first and second
Oh yeah, all these youngsters will have their coming out party at
Death Valley, one of college football most storied venues.
"It's as loud
as any place I've been when they're cranked up, and they're gonna be," said
Richt. "Looking at tape of a couple games last year, you could see opponents
at Clemson trying very desperately trying to hear what's going on."
for the game itself, Clemson has one advantage with its passing game in that
Georgia's secondary has no proven depth, and the Tigers are deep at receiver
for quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. Clemson has some experience on defense
that will likely put major pressure on Georgia's young — there's not a
junior to be found anywhere — offensive line.
But the Tigers may have some
growing pains of their own, for they're expected to unveil more of a
run-oriented I-formation offense — with some no-huddle — than Bowden has
been known for.
While Bowden says Georgia has better talent than Clemson, the
Tigers have the advantage of experienced depth. Bulldog starts won't be
lacking action, and who plays with more gas in the tank the longest will
"We've got a concern about how much fuel we're going to
have as a team," said Richt. "Can we really fight the full 60 minutes or
not? I don't know, but that's probably my biggest concern right
Georgia will rely on Youth against Tigers
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