Witherspoon watched the rest of the first half from the trainer's table after the second-quarter injury to his left knee. His status for the rest of the game was announced as doubtful, and he also left the field on crutches. Redshirt freshman Derrick Holloway moved up to play Witherspoon's weakside linebacker spot. Ryan Fleming, who had been Witherspoon's top backup, was held out with a sprained knee.
School loyalties took a back seat in pregame ceremonies as respect was paid to the victims of the terrorist attacks on the nation. Both teams entered the field earlier than normal, lining up in single file in front of their respective sidelines. Georgia players laid their helmets on the ground and held hands, and Arkansas players held their helmets as the Redcoat Band played "God Bless America'' and the national anthem. Earlier in the pregame ceremony, a special video tribute was introduced. While there was a delay with the video, fans interrupted the silence with impromptu chants of "USA! USA!'' while holding up the American flags they were given at the gate.
After the video, which featured the song "God Bless the USA,'' players and fans stood for a moment of silence.
Gibson gets his kicks
Coach Mark Richt let it be known he planned to give freshman receiver Fred Gibson more playing time. The surprise was the Gibson had to wait no longer than the opening kickoff for his first opportunity. Gibson, who had not returned kicks in the first two games, was in for the opening kickoff, which he returned 28 yards.
Gibson was in the rotation at receiver but did not have a reception in the first half. Before he was lost with a knee injury, Brown was back with Gibson for kickoffs. Decory Bryant joined Gibson as the deep men after Brown's injury.
How 'bout them Tigers
The biggest cheer of the first half came when Clemson's overtime win over Georgia Tech was announced.
Georgia players held out were receiver Tavarus Morgan (hamstring), offensive tackle Clint Larkin (ankle) and Fleming. Also, Georgia continues to hold out junior rover Cap Burnett, a former starter, after concerns about his frequency of concussions.
Diamond Dogs take a bow
Georgia's 2001 Southeastern Conference championship baseball team was introduced before the game. The team made the third College World Series appearance in the program's history.
A reminder that Georgia's game at Tennessee next week will be televised by CBS, with a noon kickoff.
Circle of Honor
Terry Hoage, Liz Murphey, Al Parker and Johnny Rauch were inducted into Georgia's Circle of Honor Friday night at Butts-Mehre Heritage building and recognized at halftime.
The honor is considered the highest tribute paid to former Georgia athletes or coaches.
Hoage, an honorary captain at the game, was a two-time All-America pick who as a junior in 1982 led the nation with 12 interceptions. The rover finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1983.
Murphey was the most instrumental person in the formation of the Georgia women's athletics program that now is one of the most successful in the nation. Murphey served as assistant athletics director for 20 years and also was a long-time women's golf coach. She coached two national champions — Terri Moody in 1981 and Cindy Schreyer in 1984.
Parker was a four-time All-American in tennis and was named national player of the year in 1991.
Rauch played football under Coach Wally Butts from 1945-48, starting every game in his career. The first player in NCAA history to start in four straight bowl games, Rauch passed for 4,044 yards — then the NCAA record. He led Georgia to a 36-8-1 record and two SEC titles.
Rauch coached the Oakland Raiders from 1966-68, winning 33 games and a spot in Super Bowl II. He also was head coach of the Buffalo Bills in 1969.