Georgia Football Notebook 9-18

Ray Gant

ATHENS - Although senior Ken Veal is closer to 100 percent healthy than he's been all year, freshman Ray Gant still will start on the defensive line against LSU, defensive line coach Rodney Garner said.

Ken Veal was the projected starter before he badly twisted an ankle before the season. In his place, Ray Gant has made 12 tackles and quite an impression on Coach Mark Richt.

"He's definitely earned a lot of playing time," Richt said. "I'd imagine he's going to be in there quite a bit if he keeps playing like he has been. He's got some fundamental issues he needs to improve on, but what has got him all the playing time is his effort."

Gant also has five quarterback pressures.

INJURY UPDATE: o Safety Kentrell Curry (leg) and defensive end Marcus Jackson (thumb) will travel to Baton Rouge and dress out for the game but neither is guaranteed playing time.

"If (Curry) plays and how much is very hard to say," Richt said. "Marcus is in the same boat."

Starting wide receiver Fred Gibson (hamstring) and starting running back Tony Milton (leg) won't make the trip because there is no chance they would play, and SEC schools are only allowed to take 70 players on the road. Tight end Ben Watson (ankle) is also out, but he will make the trip because he's a senior, Richt said.

GAME PLANNING, AGAIN: The Bulldogs practiced for almost two hours at Sanford Stadium on Thursday, and there were enough mistakes that Richt said he may have to review the game plan and take some things out. "I'll make sure we're doing the things we know how to do," he said. Georgia practiced at the stadium so the coaches could have crowd noise piped in to mimic what the team will hear Saturday in Tiger Stadium.

TWO-WAY STAR: LSU receiver Michael Clayton, the linchpin of the Tigers' offense, may see some time in the secondary Saturday. Clayton played safety in last year's Cotton Bowl and against Arizona this year, and he has practiced there some this week. Clayton has 23 catches for 423 yards and four touchdowns this year.

In other Tigers personnel matters, it wouldn't be a surprise to see junior Shyrone Carey start over listed starter Joseph Addai. Carey was one of team's offensive players of the week last week after rushing for 129 yards on 21 carries.

THIS AND THAT: Michael Cooper will get the majority of the snaps at running back Saturday, Richt said, but the No. 2 position hasn't been set yet. "It'll probably be situational." ...

Defensive lineman Preston Pannell of Cordele will start practicing again in mid-October, Richt said. Pannell has missed a year and a half due to shoulder injuries. Defensive lineman Darrell Holmes (shoulder) is also expected to return to contact work in mid-October.

QUOTABLE: "We've faced adversity off the field in the offseason and in camp, but... we've never had anybody really steal the momentum of a game away from us. I'm certain it will happen Saturday, and I'm eager to see how the guys will react to it." - Richt.

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