Georgia lost wide receiver Marlon Brown for the season Saturday, as the senior suffered an ACL injury in the third quarter against Ole Miss. Now, the Bulldogs need other receivers to step up their production.
Brown's hurt ACL is coupled with the season-ending ACL injury Michael Bennett sustained in practice before Georgia's game against South Carolina. With two of his top receivers on the sideline, Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt expects others to pick up the slack:
"We still have some playmakers," Richt said Sunday. "But Marlon and Michael were just two outstanding football players ... And they actually had a nice physicality to them them (at) that position. We'll miss that. Other guys are just going to have to step up and get after it."
Even without Brown and Bennett, the Bulldogs have plenty of pass-catching talent. Tavarres King has 27 catches for 551 yards and a team-leading six touchdowns, and Malcolm Mitchell has 26 catches for 358 yards and two scores. King and Mitchell will likely become the focal points of the Bulldog passing game, but it would help quarterback Aaron Murray if other receivers improve their play and become consistent targets. Rantavious Wooten, Chris Conley and Rhett McGowan are the most likely candidates to make a leap to the next level.
Georgia's first game without Brown is on Saturday at the rival Auburn Tigers. With a win, the Bulldogs will clinch the SEC Eastern Division title and a berth to the SEC Championship Game. Kickoff from Jordan-Hare Stadium is set for 7 p.m. ET, and the game will be televised by ESPN.