Notebook: Georgia plans pregame, halftime tribute

ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia plans to pay tribute to the nation and those lost in the Sept. 11 attacks with pregame and halftime ceremonies in Saturday's game.

Fans will receive placard American flags. The Georgia and Arkansas teams will be on the field for a pregame ceremony, and the Redcoat Band plans to play "Amazing Grace,'' "America the Beautiful,'' and "Stars and Stripes Forever,'' while the sellout crowd of 86,520 will be encouraged to sing along with "God Bless America.''

There also will be a video tribute based around Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA.''

Among the honorary captains for Georgia will be Athens firefighter Tim Crowe, a defensive lineman from 1979-82, and Dallas, Texas police officer Alphonso Ellis, a fullback from 1987-90.

The pregame program will begin at 6:15 p.m. Fans are urged to allow more time than normal to enter the stadium due to extra security measures at the gates.

*Gibson ‘can't wait' to show skills: Head Coach Mark Richt says it is time to move freshman receiver Fred Gibson into the playing rotation, and the 6-foot-4 Gibson says he is ready to take advantage of the opportunity.

"I've got a good feeling,'' Gibson said. "I can't wait to get out on the field and catch a couple of balls and show what I'm made of.''

Gibson has impressed Richt with his consistency in catching passes, and he took advantage of the long gap between games to move up on the depth chart.

"That time helped me out a whole lot,'' Gibson said. "I think I'm ready. I'm learning from the upperclassmen.''

Gibson plans to play for Jim Harrick's Georgia basketball team after the football season.

*How long since three-week gap? It was first believed that this is the first time since Georgia's first season of football in 1892 — when it played only two games, against Mercer and Auburn — that the Bulldogs have had a three-week gap between regular-season games.

Further research revealed that in 1981, there was an unplanned three-week gap between Georgia's wins over Auburn and Georgia Tech to end the regular season. The Tech-Georgia game was played in Atlanta, and Coach Vince Dooley agreed to requests from ABC-TV and Tech's Bill Curry to move the game back one week, from Nov. 28 to Dec. 5, so the game could be televised.

Georgia beat Georgia Tech 44-7 to complete a 10-1 regular season and its second of three consecutive Southeastern Conference championships.

Curry will be part of the ESPN2 crew that will broadcast Saturday night's game. Curry was in Athens Thursday to watch Georgia's practice.

*Hogs hurting in offensive backfield: Due to Ryan Sorahan's ongoing problems with a back injury that knocked him out of last week's loss to Alabama, Zak Clark is the likely starting quarterback against Georgia.

Tarvaris Jackson, a redshirt freshman, also could play at quarterback.

Meanwhile, running back Cedric Cobbs could be slowed by a hamstring injury he suffered on his only carry against Alabama. Also, Fred Talley, who started against Alabama and rushed for 71 yards, is questionable with a back injury.

Brandon Holmes, a big (6-2, 218) power back who played against Georgia last year when Cobbs was hurt, is the probable starter at running back. Holmes rushed for 81 yards against Alabama.

Another top Arkansas player, defensive end Carlos Hall, has knee and ankle injuries.

Charles Odum can be reached via e-mail at CEOdum@aol.com.


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