Season-ending injury is the most difficult phrase to announce; especially when it’s for multiple players.
The Georgia offense took a serious hit after collecting a painfully close victory over Tennessee in Knoxville on Saturday. The overtime score (34-31) does not appropriately describe the fight the Dawgs had to call upon to walk away with a win.
The Dawgs came into Knoxville already without Todd Gurley dressed out. He was there for morale and encouragement, but would not be seeing the field at all against the Vols. The pressure was all on Keith Marshall. Oddly enough, the commentator gave mention to Marshall’s bad knees before kickoff, saying how he’s been dealing with them since high school. Bad omen, maybe? However, anyone who watched Marshall’s season-ending play had to turn their heads away in agony for him.
Sadly for the Dawgs their victory also cost them three other players. Both Marshall and Justin Scott-Wesley suffered torn ACL knee injuries and are out for the season. Michael Bennett’s knee will put him out at least for this upcoming week’s contest against Missouri, and further conclusions will be made after tests are performed. Last on the injured list for UGA was punter Collin Barber who suffered a concussion after a blocked punt. He will also undergo tests this week to decide his playing future.
But if all these Georgia injuries showed the Dawg Nation anything, it is that they are a team that will continue to fight until the clock runs out, and in this game’s case push it all the way into OT. Even when the odds were against the Dawgs, Georgia unknowns were able to step up and take charge. A few names to keep a watch out for in the back half of this season– true freshman J.J. Green and Brendan Douglas, as well as walk-ons Brandon Harton and Kyle Karempelis.
The most challenging feat for Georgia will be filling the gaps with their receivers. With Gurley still out, it is better for him and the Bulldawg offense that he heals to his fullest before hitting the field.
Even with the exciting victory over the Vols, the Dawgs still need to strengthen both their defense and special teams. They need to improve and stop relying on the “young” excuse. Improvements have got to be made.
Tennessee came out with a new outfit, blared Rocky Top, and damaged eyes with a sea of orange – but the Vols still came up short after devastating the Georgia roaster. As a Georgia girl, a famous Larry Munson call for a 2001 UGA vs. Tennessee game came to mind. Georgia will need to dig deep to recover but as fans have seen this season, the Dawgs will Hunker Down.
Here is to a productive week of recovery and restructuring for the Dawgs.