September 13, 2009

Boykin, Smith show their speed

The question was posed to cornerback Brandon Boykin: If he and freshman receiver Branden Smith would line up for a race, who would win?

"Straight ahead, he's got it," smiled Boykin. "But if we're putting on moves, I think I can do my thing ... I need to challenge him to a race."

No doubt it's one that many would like to see.

Both players showed just how fast they were during Georgia's 41-37 win over South Carolina. First it was Smith, who set a Georgia record with his 100-yard kickoff return to tie the score at 7-7 before Smith later took a reverse handoff from quarterback Joe Cox and exploding through a crease 61 yards for the first touchdown of his career.

"I've been getting a lot of phone calls, a lot of emails," Smith said. "It's been a good day."

Smith, who said he figures he also got about 10 snaps on defense besides his time on offense, boasts the state of Georgia's fifth-best time in the 100-meter dash while at Washington High where he ran a 10.4. He added that he was once timed at 4.2 in the 40-yard dash.

"You saw what he did on that reverse, but we don't just have to hand him the ball to him to make a play right now," Cox said. "He can line up all over the field. He's a guy when he has the ball can do a lot of things."

Like Smith, Boykin has received plenty of attention himself since his big return against the Gamecocks.

"I woke up (Sunday) morning thinking it would set it, but the whole thing is still surreal to me," Boykin said. "I really don't even remember. I looked at ESPN360 to see what I did. All I remember is the hole was so big and I saw all that space. I know somebody hit me from the side but I was able to keep my balance and after that saw my downfield blocks and it was a race to the corner."

Plays by Thomas, Tyson key

They might not have seemed like much.

But Carlton Thomas and DeAngelo Tyson are quite possibility the players responsible for enabling Georgia to beat South Carolina.

It was Tyson's who reached up with his big right hand to block Spencer Lanning's extra-point that kept Georgia in front 38-37 before Thomas saved the Bulldogs again.

With the ball on South Carolina's 14-yard line, Cox was hit from behind by cornerback Stephon Gilmore, forcing a fumble. The ball bounced around on the Sanford Stadium turn for what seemed like forever until Thomas darted in to recover the ball.

"The blocked extra point probably didn't seem huge at the time, and then when Carlton dove on the fumble, that was huge," Cox said. "He doesn't do that...we were just up by one point so that big."

Tyson said the key to him making the block was due to the fact that he went into the play with a defensive mentality.

"Our defensive treat s field goal block as a defensive play and that's the mentality I went out with," Tyson said. "We had a left edge call, which means you have to turn your shoulder, so I turned my shoulder and knifed in and to through there. When I got through there I just put my hand up."

The blocked extra point was the first by the Bulldogs since Kedric Golston did likewise against LSU in the 2003 SEC Championship Game.

"I've been hearing a lot from teammates and people saying if it wasn't for the block, then they kick a field goal on that last drive and the game goes into overtime," Tyson said. "I was just happy to contribute to the team and help us get the victory."

Cox ready for easy week

Cox laughed, saying he's hopefully this week will be a bit uneventful than his first two as Georgia's starting quarterback.

Two weeks ago, the flu almost knocked Cox out of the opener against Oklahoma State before news of chronic shoulder condition had many wondering about last week's start against South Carolina.

"It would be nice," Cox said. "But I'm sure that there will be something else that comes up."

The injury, which Cox describes as a nerve issue that causes wear on a muscle that protects the rotator cuff.

Head coach Mark Richt said that knowledge is one of the reasons he plans on holding Cox out of throwing on Wednesday in order to keep him as fresh as he can.

Cox said the injury did not bother him at all during Georgia's victory over the Gamecocks.

"I did OK," said Cox, who completed 17 of 24 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns. "Everybody played good enough to win and we found a way to do it."

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