Georgia vs Georgia Tech: Richt Thinks Isaiah Crowell Plays, but Can He Produce?

Johnathan CaceCorrespondent INovember 21, 2011

ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 19:  Isaiah Crowell #1 of the Georgia Bulldogs has his left ankle and foot taped up in the first half against the Kentucky Wildcats at Sanford Stadium on November 19, 2011 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Georgia has locked up a spot in the SEC championship game, but now it has to take care of business against in-state rival Georgia Tech.

But the Bulldogs appeared to have suffered a major loss in their game against Kentucky. Freshman running back Isaiah Crowell went down after getting only two carries and had a noticeable limp from the sidelines.

But according to head coach Mark Richt, Crowell should be good to go for this weekend’s rivalry games.

A major issue all year for this team has been injuries and suspensions at running back. Backup backs Carlton Thomas and Richard Samuel will likely both not play for those reasons, which would have left freshman Brandon Harton to pick up the carries.

Having Crowell—the team’s leading rusher by over 500 yards—back will be a huge boost for them because the offense may have to compensate for the defense in this game.

Since Paul Johnson brought his triple option over to Atlanta, Georgia has given up an average of 34 points per game to the Yellow Jackets. Its weakness defensively is against the run.

The three teams that have beaten Tech have also outrushed or nearly outrushed its ground attack and it lost the time of possession battle in all of those games. It is needless to say that having a good ground game against the Jackets is vitally important, especially on the road.

Crowell is averaging just under 100 yards per game in the SEC, so he should have no problem racking up some big yardage against the 72nd-ranked rush defense of Georgia Tech.

Assuming he is healthy enough to play, he will have a big game and that could be difference between a win and a loss in this bitter rivalry.