Georgia blanks Carolina: News and Notes

COLUMBIA - Josh Kendall's news and notes from Georgia's game against South Carolina.

LOCAL BOY MADE GOOD: Hawkinsville's Charles Johnson was named the player of the game Saturday night by Richt on the coach's radio postgame show. Johnson had five tackles, including four for loss, a forced safety and a sack.

"I've been calling him the big bully in practice, and he did a little bullying today," Richt said.

EXTRA MOTIVATION: The victory was particularly sweet for safety Kelin Johnson and running back Danny Ware, who under their jerseys wore T-shirts they had made at the Athens mall this week.

After seeing pictures of a Gamecock fan holding up a sign at last week's Mississippi State game that read, "Hey, Georgia, You're Next," Johnson and Ware took the photo to a print shop that blew up the image and put it on T-shirts for them.

TRICKY, TRICKY: Georgia's three-receiver set wasn't the only offensive change to start the game. The Bulldogs also lined up starting tailback Thomas Brown and second-teamer Kregg Lumpkin in the backfield together for the first snap and much of the first drive.

Lumpkin, in fact, was the offensive star on the opening drive. The Bulldogs' first four offensive plays went to him. He rushed for 20 yards on three carries and caught a 12-yard pass in that span.

Georgia also broke out its no-huddle offense for the first time this season, even allowing true freshman Matthew Stafford to run the hurry-up offense when he entered the game on Georgia's second series.

INJURY UPDATE: Starting quarterback Joe Tereshinski injured his right ankle on the Bulldogs' first drive. After the drive stalled at South Carolina's 27-yard line when Tereshinski and Massaquoi couldn't connect on a long pass, he limped to the sideline.

After spending several minutes on the trainers' table, Tereshinski went to the locker room early in the second quarter and returned before halftime on crutches. Tereshinski was 2-for-3 passing for 18 yards on his one drive.

As expected, wide receiver Mikey Henderson was not available for the game due to a lingering hamstring injury, which he aggravated in last week's win over Western Kentucky. Henderson's status for next week's game against UAB is questionable.

True freshman Asher Allen returned punts in the place of Henderson.

HONORING ERK: The Bulldogs honored former defensive coordinator Erk Russell, who died Friday at the age of 80, by wearing a decal that read "ERK" on the back of their helmets. A more involved tribute is being planned for Georgia's next home game, which is Saturday against UAB, athletic director Damon Evans said.

POOCHING AGAIN: After allowing Brandon Coutu to kick the ball deep into the end zone for touchbacks on kickoffs against Western Kentucky, Georgia's coaches went back to asking Coutu to kick the ball high and just outside the end zone.

The goal of the strategy is to pin the opponent inside the 20-yard line, but, as it did many times last year, it backfired against South Carolina. Carlos Thomas returned the second kickoff of the game to the Gamecocks' 35-yard line and only a nice open field tackle by true freshman and South Carolina native Prince Miller kept him from going much further. Thomas took the third kickoff to the 30-yard line and again was stopped by Miller.

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