Musa Smith: ‘They're not going to let me play'

ATHENS, Ga. — It appears more likely than ever that Georgia will have to play No. 6 Florida Saturday without running back <b> Musa Smith</b>.

Smith, who missed last Saturday's win over Kentucky, is still having trouble with a groin injury.

"(Coaches) told me if I could not run without any pain (Monday), they won't let me play,'' Smith said.

Since Smith was still in pain, he concluded "They're not going to let me play.''

Coach Mark Richt said Sunday he rated Smith the least likely of three injured starters to play Saturday.

"We don't want him in there wounded,'' Richt said.

Verron Haynes (14 carries for 86 yards and two touchdowns) and Jasper Sanks (20 carries for 70 yards) led Georgia's rushing game in the 43-29 win over Kentucky. Freshman tailback Mike Gilliam also saw his first playing time of the year, though he had only one carry for two yards.

Meanwhile, offensive tackle Jon Stinchcomb (groin) expressed confidence he will be ready to start this week, while defensive tackle Johnathan Sullivan appeared less confident his sprained left knee would be ready for the game.

"I don't know yet, I've got to see this week,'' said Sullivan, his left knee heavily wrapped. "There's a little bit of swelling.''

Gibson recalls ‘suspicious' Spurrier
One of the biggest surprises of last year's recruiting wars was the late decision by receiver Fred Gibson to sign with Georgia, only days after he committed to sign with Florida. His Ware County High School teammate, lineman Gerald Anderson, decided at the same time to sign with Georgia after announcing his plans to attend Georgia Tech. Gibson, emerging as Georgia's top receiver, said Monday that Florida coach Steve Spurrier did not take his decision easily.

"I called Coach Spurrier and he was asking all these questions like ‘What made you change your mind?' and all that stuff,'' Gibson said Monday. 

"I was just like ‘Coach, I thought about it and I'm doing the right thing for me.' He was very suspicious, asking me all kinds of crazy questions like ‘Did they give you any special benefits?' and all that stuff.''

Gibson said he told Spurrier "None of that went on.''

Gibson said that at the urging of his high school coach, Dan Ragle, he called Spurrier the day before signing day and eventually "talked to just about the whole (Florida) coaching staff.''

In the win over Kentucky, Gibson set a Georgia record with 201 yards receiving on nine catches, including touchdown receptions for 68 and 56 yards.

Richt looking forward to first game in Jacksonville
Count Richt among those who support leaving the Georgia-Florida game in Jacksonville.

"I'm excited about it,'' Richt said. "I've never been to it. I've only seen it on television and I'm looking forward to it. I think it's a great tradition and something people around the nation can relate to. ... If we can win some of them, it might become a top game in the nation every year.''

Asked about the fact Jacksonville is only about 60 miles from the Florida campus, Richt said: "We've got just as many folks in the stands as they do. It's not their home stadium.''

Richt said his only concern about the trip to Jacksonville is the possibility of unusually warm weather after a mild summer in Athens.

Charles Odum can be reached at

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