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McKinley's status, QB starter in doubt

The South Carolina football team has a lot to figure out before it hosts No. 2 Georgia on Saturday.

Entering the week, the Gamecocks do not have a definite starting quarterback, don't know whether receiver Kenny McKinley will play, or where Jamon Meredith will play on the offensive line.

Quarterbacks Chris Smelley and Tommy Beecher will compete this week for the starting job, coach Steve Spurrier said on his teleconference Sunday. Beecher is healthy, according to the coach, after dealing with shoulder and head injuries.

“We’ve got two quarterbacks who have not really distinguished themselves from each other, in my opinion. And I’ve gotta make the call. So we’ll go through practice this week and try to see how each player performs a little bit in practice and see how excited each player is to go play this week.”

Third-string quarterback Stephen Garcia is not a factor "right now," the coach added.

McKinley doesn't seem likely to play against Georgia, after straining his hamstring at Vanderbilt.

"There’s a chance that he might be back, but as you hamstring injuries tend to linger a few weeks," Spurrier said. "I hope it’s not a severe one. So we’re just gonna have to wait and see.”

Meredith is eligible to return this week from an NCAA suspension, and Spurrier said there was a "great chance" the senior will start. But he wasn't sure at which position; sophomore Jarriel King has played left tackle, Meredith's old position, and Meredith might end up at one of the guard spots.

He’s been a two-year starter, in all likelihood he’ll start somewhere,” Spurrier said.

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