Monday, September 10, 2007

Johnson in, Rhetta out, Ogletree on the way

Cedric Johnson worked as the Gamecocks' first-team quarterback for the first time Monday night, but not before spending some time with The Star for a story later this week on what the junior quarterback is all about. "I want to win," he said. "I'll do whatever it takes for us to win."

Even though Johnson will start in the Liberty Bowl, head coach Jack Crowe expects Matt Hardin will play in the game, although there is no script for when the fifth-year senior will go in. Johnson had been going in on the third series behind Hardin the last two games.

While the Gamecocks worked with a new starting quarterback, word comes that they're likely to miss senior receiver Taurean Rhetta Saturday. Rhetta impacts so many areas on the team, and if Hardin had quit after his demotion, he would've been the next option behind Johnson. Purely opinion here --- but likely a popular one --- it's more important to have Rhetta available for the OVC games down the road than for a game against a FBS (the old I-A) opponent the Gamecocks aren't likely to win.

Another opinion, the coaches who play in the Football Championship Subdivision and Football Bowl Subdivision (FCS, FBS) don't even call it that. Do we have to? You know what we're talking about when we call it I-A and I-AA.

There is good news on the injury front. The Gamecocks are expecting to have center Tyler Ogletree back in practice and head coach Jack Crowe expects him to play some against the Tigers. Some is the operative word, like about five or six plays. You can read more about the offensive line and Ogletree's impact on it later this week in The Star.

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