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There are some similarities between programs ahead of matchup

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    COURTESY OF UGA ATHLETICS
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No. 2 Georgia (2-0) will host SEC East division foe South Carolina (2-0) in the conference opener on Saturday at Sanford Stadium.

There are some eerily similar storylines for both teams ahead of the matchup between the Bulldogs and Gamecocks.

Both teams are currently dealing with injuries at the quarterback position. South Carolina starting quarterback Luke Doty is expected to start against Georgia on Saturday. However, graduate assistant and former Oconee County quarterback Zeb Noland has started for the Gamecocks through their first two games and led them to a 2-0 start.

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart commented on USC’s quarterback dilemma on Monday.

“We got to see Luke (Doty) last year,” the sixth-year head coach said. “He’s an incredible athlete, he creates problems in terms of extending plays. You know, he’s a really good athlete; he can move the pocket around, against us last year on offense, but overall a good athlete.”

Smart also acknowledged the job that Noland did in Doty’s absence.

Georgia quarterback JT Daniels has been dealing with an oblique injury, so senior Stetson Bennett got the start over redshirt freshman Carson Beck on Saturday against UAB. The former Pierce County quarterback shined and passed for five touchdowns in the first half, tying a school record, which only four quarterbacks in school history have ever been able to accomplish.

Smart acknowledged after the win against UAB that Daniels is “day to day”. On Monday, his head coach elaborated on the subject a little more.

“The approach is rest, recovery, and treatment, and we’ve done the best we can with that,” Smart said. “The biggest thing that we’ve been told is that you don’t want to aggravate it. He’s been dealing with it since – he felt it prior to Clemson. He felt like he had a tweak, but something happened in the Clemson game to fire it back up. We don’t know. We’ve gone back to watch the tape, you know, he didn’t take a lot of shots.”

Other than the quarterback situation, there are several coaches on both teams who are familiar with one another.

For example, first-year South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer coached at Georgia under Smart during the run to the national championship in 2017. He then went to Oklahoma to take a job coaching under Lincoln Riley before being hired by the Gamecocks earlier this year.

Oddly enough, former South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp, whom Beamer replaced, was hired at Georgia in the offseason as a defensive analyst. Now, the former Georgia standout will be on the field coaching special teams against his former program, which he was let go from less than a year ago. Muschamp will be filling in for Scott Cochran, who hasn’t been with the team since August as he is dealing with “personal issues.”

The kickoff is set for 7 p.m.