Injury to Georgia WR Marlon Brown Hurts Chances of SEC Title Game Upset of Bama
Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE
For the first time all season, the strengths of Georgia's football team clicked at the same time in Saturday's 37-10 win over Ole Miss between the hedges.
The defense held the high-flying Rebel offense to just 234 total yards, while quarterback Aaron Murray threw for 384 yards and four touchdowns, and running back Todd Gurley rushed for 117 yards.
But it wasn't all good news for the Bulldogs. Senior wide receiver Marlon Brown, Georgia's second-leading receiver with 469 yards and four touchdowns, was lost for the season after tearing the ACL in his left knee in the third quarter versus the Rebels.
"Marlon unfortunately has an ACL injury that will need surgery, so his career at Georgia is over," head coach Mark Richt told David Ching of ESPN.com's DawgNation. "But we're going to be expecting a full recovery."
Brown was a 4-star recruit by Rivals.com from Harding Academy in Memphis, Tenn., in 2009. Potential finally translated to success for Brown in 2012, but now Georgia is forced to cope without Brown and fellow wide receiver Michael Bennett, who was also lost for the season with an ACL injury earlier this year.
Can Georgia spring the upset over Alabama, assuming the two meet for the SEC Championship?
Depth issues at wide receiver won't be much of a factor against Auburn, Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech. But what about in the Georgia Dome against what we assume will be Alabama?
That could present a problem.
Yes, Alabama made LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger look like a functional quarterback on Saturday night in Death Valley. But the Crimson Tide still boast the nation's eighth-best passing defense, having given up just 162.6 yards per game through the air.
Brown's absence means that even more responsibility will fall on senior Tavarres King, sophomore Malcolm Mitchell and junior Rantavious Wooten.
Mitchell is the key. After starting the season at cornerback, he has successfully made the transition back to the offensive side of the ball, catching 26 passes for 358 yards and two touchdowns—both of which came in the last two weeks.
But there's no doubt that Brown's absence hurts Georgia's chances at springing the upset in the Georgia Dome.
He finally emerged as the weapon in 2012 that many billed him to be, and his absence will be felt by the Bulldogs moving forward.
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