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By now you've probably seen the video of linebacker Leonard Floyd, standing up and then falling to the turf after accidentally being kicked in the groin Saturday night against Clemson.
Boos rang down from the crowd at Clemson's Memorial Stadium, as many questioned whether or not the freshman was actually injured at all and "flopped" to slow the Tigers' offense down.
Monday, Floyd insisted that wasn't the case.
"I couldn't bear the pain no more," Floyd said after practice. "It was nothing to slow the game, I was injured and I fell."
According to the Eastman native, the injury occurred following a near sack of Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd.
Initially Floyd stood up, looked toward the sideline then fell back to the turf.
"As a player you always want to want to try to fight through it," Floyd said. "But I couldn't bear it much longer."
Defensive lineman Mike Thornton was on the field when the incident occurred.
He also denied players are told to lay down.
"No, not at all. This week we played a Clemson team that was pretty fast and a couple of guys did cramp up," Thornton said. "Even I cramped up a couple of times. It was a fast game."
Thornton said he could feel Floyd's pain.
"I've been hit down there a few times. It's not fun. Leonard's got to put a cup on," he said. "It gets dirty in this league sometimes, but they're not going to call a flag on that."
Floyd feels comfortable with the "Star"
It was not necessarily a surprise that Floyd started Saturday's game. It was a surprise to see him play "Star."
"I felt I did pretty good," said. "But you can always get better though."
Floyd said he began practicing at the position last week.
"Most of it was me dropping back into coverage," Floyd said. "At prep school I did a lot of coverage because they had me at outside linebacker in the 3-4, so I was pretty used to it."
How much Star Floyd plays moving forward remains to seen.
The Bulldogs will welcome back Josh Harvey-Clemons off his suspension Saturday against South Carolina and it's expected the former Lowndes standout will assume the position once he gets into the game.
"I just take it as I go," Floyd said. "Whatever position they want me to play at, I'll play it."
Thornton feels defense had its moments
Clemson ran for over 190 yards against the Bulldogs, continuing a disturbing trend from last year, but Thornton feels the stats were somewhat misleading.
"I feel we did pretty good with the guys we had playing because as a defense nobody really expected us to play as well as we did," he said. "I feel we played well as a defense. There are small things we have to correct this week."
"Just missed assignment, lining up, gap control, things like that," Thornton said. "I feel as a unit we played decent, we just have work to do. There's 11 games left to do."
Gates keeping his cool
Left tackle Kenarious Gates allowed two sacks in Georgia's loss to Clemson, and Saturday has the task of trying to slow South Carolina All-American Jadeveon Clowney.
Monday, the Bulldog senior was peppered with questions about how he was going to try and control the talented junior.
But he didn't have much to say.
"I'm just going to treat it like any other game. It's another game on the schedule," Gates said. "It's not just me as an individual, it's what we're going to do as a team."
If the Bulldogs plan on doing anything different, Gates obviously wasn't about to tell.
"We're going to do nothing different, we're going to do what we do. We're Georgia, this is a powerful offense," he said. "We're going to do what we do, we're not going to run away from this player or run away from that player. We'll be a powerful offense, we'll be explosive and we're going to work hard."
Gates also shied away from any discussion where he would rank Clowney in regards to other players he's matched up with over the course of his career.
"There's a lot of talent out there out there. Everybody gives great effort. Don't get me wrong, he's a good player, but I'm going to point out one player because there's a lot of talent out there," Gates said. "He's a great talent, but he's just one of their guys that you've got to be prepared for."
This and that
The official post-practice injury report only consisted of Paris Bostick (left foot surgery), Malcolm Mitchell (ACL) and Reggie Wilkerson (ACL).
Captains for Saturday will be Arthur Lynch[/d]b and [db]Todd Gurley (offense), Garrison Smith (defense) and Justin Scot-Wesley (special teams).
Georgia began preparations for South Carolina with a one-hour workout in shorts on the Woodruff Practice Fields. The Bulldogs logged a full Labor Day on Monday by lifting weights, holding meetings and going through the practice. "I was happy with the focus our guys showed throughout the day," Georgia coach Mark Richt said in a statement. "We were just in shorts at practice and we started introducing them to South Carolina. It was a good start to the week. We know it will be a tough, physical game on Saturday, and we'll have to get prepared for that with our practices on Tuesday and Wednesday."
Gurley was chosen Monday as the SEC Offensive Player of the Week and as the National Running Back of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards. In the 38-35 loss to Clemson, Gurley rushed for a career-high 154 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries. His performance included a career-long 75-yard touchdown run on his first carry.
Bulldogs and the Gamecocks will be wearing Coaches Curing Kids Cancer stickers on their helmets Saturday to help raise awareness that September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The game will kick off the charity's "Blowing the Whistle on Kids Cancer!" campaign.
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