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Georgia vs. Kentucky: Ogletree returned, Gilliard benched, Herrera confused

The return of Alec Ogletree has cost senior linebacker Mike Gilliard significant playing time. And it may be hurting the Bulldogs from a communication standpoint as well.

Kevin C. Cox - Getty Images

The return of Alec Ogletree to the Georgia Bulldogs linebacking corps has not occurred without some hiccups. Mainly, it has forced senior middle linebacker Mike Gilliard onto the bench and into a significantly smaller role. Gilliard has gone from 60-70 snaps per game down to 20-25 snaps.

"These past couple weeks, it’s definitely been frustrating on me," Gilliard told the Macon Telegraph. "But I’m playing the cards that I’m dealt, and I’m just still trying to do anything to help the team win. That’s a part of the game sometimes."

Gilliard's reduced role is important because he was heretofore the team's main defensive play caller. The Bulldogs play with two inside linebackers, but only one of them calls the plays. With Ogletree out, Gilliard and Amarlo Herrera manned the two inside linebacker positions. Herrera has led the team in tackles this season, so when Ogletree returned, he remained a starter at Gilliard's expense.

The problem is that Herrera doesn't have as much defensive play calling experience. And he admitted that against Tennessee, a communication problem led to a missed call and a Vols touchdown. Gilliard told the Telegraph that he hopes to help Herrara pick up the responsibilities of the position as quickly as possible.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.