UGA notebook: Gwinnett grads Lee, Sulek relish extending playing time

Photo: Craig Cappy
Georgia's Isaiah Crowell (1) is brought down by South Carolina's Quin Smith (24) during Saturday's game in Athens.

Photo: Craig Cappy Georgia's Isaiah Crowell (1) is brought down by South Carolina's Quin Smith (24) during Saturday's game in Athens.

ATHENS -- There were plenty of Gwinnett grads in uniform for both teams in South Carolina's 45-42 win over Georgia on Saturday at Sanford Stadium, including normal Georgia starters Christian Robinson (GAC) and Drew Butler (Peachtree Ridge).

However, two of them were seeing a lot more action than they ever have for the Bulldogs.

After coming on for an injured Kenarious Gates at left guard in last week's season opener against Boise State, Buford grad Dallas Lee made his way into the starting lineup for the first time Saturday.

And the 6-foot-4, 300-pound redshirt sophomore admitted it was a little different feeling from the three games he saw as a back-up last season.

"It's an awesome feeling starting off the game like that," Lee said. "It's what you come here for. It's what you grind all summer for. It's definitely a dream come true. I just went out and played as hard as I could."

While he would have obviously preferred the result had been different, it was a solid start for Lee, who helped open the way for a Georgia offense that rolled up 436 yards of total offense and 42 points.

Another Gwinnett grad seeing some of the first extensive playing time of his career was walk-on linebacker and Dacula grad Jeremy Sulek.

While he was listed as No. 1 on the pregame flipcard depth chart after the injury to starter Alec Ogletree, the 6-1, 209-pound senior was mainly used in the Bulldogs' third-down package.

Again, while the overall results went against his team, the stat boards indicates Sulek and his Georgia teammates did a solid job, holding South Carolina to just 4 of 14 conversions on third down.

"Anything I can do to help the team win, I'm all for it," said Sulek, who was also credited with a tackle. "Alec is a great player, and I don't think (just) one man on this team can take his spot. So, we're going to piece together anybody and everybody that can come in and help fill the void.

"Really, the only stat that really matters is the scoreboard. A loss never feels good."No really, check those scorecardsWith as many scholarship players and walk-ons that routinely dress out each game for big programs like Georgia and South Carolina, it is common practice for players to share uniform numbers.

What is unusual is when the numbers being shared are worn by multiple players that have a major impact on the game.

That can lead to confusing moments like the fake punt South Carolina pulled off late in the first half, were press box announcers when scrambling to determine that the player wearing No. 6 was redshirt senior defensive end Melvin Ingram and not redshirt sophomore DeAngelo Smith, who scored the 68-yard touchdown.

In addition, both teams had a pair of impact players sharing numbers Saturday, with freshman running back Isaiah Crowell and starting cornerback Branden Smith both wearing No. 1 for Georgia and starters Stephen Garcia at quarterback and Stephon Gilmore at cornerback sharing No. 5 for South Carolina.Remembering 9/11There were several different ceremonies commemorating today's 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks during Saturday's game.

In addition to a pregame flyover by Air Force planes during the national anthem, and there was also recognition of families of several military and police personnel with ties to the University of Georgia or the city of Athens who were either killed or wounded in action.