S. Carolina Week: Monday News and Notes

ATHENS - David Hale's news and notes from Georgia's fall practices.


Tavarres King couldn't wait to make his first catch as a member of the Bulldogs' wide receiver corps. The only problem was, when his opportunity came, he missed it.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford targeted King late in the second quarter against Central Michigan, but the ball bounced in and out of the true freshman's hands.

"It was kind of a routine catch," King said. "I should've caught it, but I didn't."

Wide receivers coach Mike Eason came over to King after the play to offer some words of wisdom, telling King to shrug off the drop because he would have another chance soon.

Late in the fourth quarter, that opportunity came. Backup quarterback Joe Cox hit King for a 25-yard gain – a play in which a pass-interference flag was thrown, but King made the play despite the foul.

"(The coaches) gave me another opportunity, and I made the most of it," King said. "It just makes you feel like you belong and they do believe in you."

King had a good template for making the most of his second chance. His roommate, freshman running back Richard Samuel, had been down that road already.

A week earlier, Samuel fumbled the first handoff of his career. A few minutes later, however, he was back on the field running the football. He finished that game 34 yards, then scored his first touchdown against Central Michigan last Saturday.

"We actually laughed about," King said of the duo's drops. "I was like, ‘Dang, roomie, you fumbled your first ball, I dropped my first catch, then we came back rolling.' "


For the second time in three weeks, Georgia's defense is preparing for a matchup with an unknown quarterback.

Georgia Southern rotated two young quarterbacks in the Bulldogs' opener, and South Carolina, who hosts Georgia on Saturday, has yet to announce a starter for the game.

Tommy Beecher started the Gamecocks' Week 1 win, but threw four interceptions in the game. Sophomore Chris Smelley got the nod last week against Vanderbilt and threw two picks of his own in a 24-17 loss.

Regardless of who gets the starting job against Georgia, head coach Mark Richt said his defense won't change its preparation.

"They're not that different in style," Richt said of South Carolina's quarterbacks. "They're trying to accomplish the same thing regardless of which one of the two – and there may be a third guy involved. I don't think (South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier) has got a player right now that is so drastically different than the others that it would make a difference."

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