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No quarterback starter named yet

Chris Smelley and Tommy Beecher remain "sort of evenly" in the competition to start at quarterback, South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier said today.

Spurrier said he would name a starter later in the week. But he added there was a good chance both will play against No. 2 Georgia on Saturday.

"I don't know how else to do it, except get both of them ready, and the one who starts the game will have an excellent opportunity to go maybe the distance, and have the other guy ready," Spurrier said at his weekly news conference. "Statiscally Chris is better. But we felt like Tommy certainly potentially could do some things that may give us a chance to win the game."

As for Stephen Garcia, Spurrier said the redshirt freshman has improved, but isn't ready to play yet.

"We'll wait and see as the season progresses here," Spurrier said. "Tommy Beecher and Chris Smelley were here all summer working with the guys. I really believe they deserve every opportunity to be our quarterbacks right now. And then we'll go from there."

Whoever starts this weekend will still likely not have star receiver Kenny McKinley, who Spurrier continued to term as "very doubtful" with a strained hamstring. He didn't practice Monday and was unlikely to do so today.

"When you pull a hamstring like he did it's usually a two-to-three week deal," Spurrier said. "I hope he can play, but right now we're trying to prepare some of these other receivers."

Joe Hills and Jason Barnes are two of the young receivers who could see more playing time, according to the coach. Hills could start the game, depending on what formation is used, and Barnes is a backup on several sets. Spurrier said they were trying to get C.C. Whitlock involved too.

"We go by how they practice. You watch them in practice every day, and if they can get open and catch a ball in practice, they'll be starters," Spurrier said. "But when they don't get open and don't catch very many balls in practice, it's just hard to put them out there."

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