Sep 7, 2013; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Ramik Wilson (51) reacts with defensive end Sterling Bailey (58) after a goal line stand against the South Carolina Gamecocks during the second half at Sanford Stadium. Georgia defeated South Carolina 41-30. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia Bulldogs Football – Developing Situations


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Let’s just recap the mounting injuries at the offensive skill positions for Georgia: RB Todd Gurley missed last week with an ankle injury. His status for this week’s game against Missouri remains in question. RB Keith Marshall tore his ACL and will miss the remainder of the season. WR Malcolm Mitchell, expected to be the team’s leading receiver in 2013, blew out his knee while celebrating the Bulldogs’ first TD of the season and will miss the season. Fellow WR Justin Scott-Wesley, who caught the game-winner against LSU, also suffered a season-ending knee injury. WR Michael Bennett, the team’s third-leading receiver, underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and will miss an undetermined amount of time. That means QB Aaron Murray hands off to his third-string running back, true freshman J.J. Green. The senior can still target WR Chris Conley, who leads the decimated team in receptions, yards and TD catches. Murray, however, is without three of his top four receivers. If Georgia runs the table, it would be difficult to make a convincing argument that Murray shouldn’t at least be in Radio City Music Hall for the Heisman Trophy presentation. The question is, will he have enough weaponry to beat the likes of upstart Missouri and defensive giant Florida? …

Quick: Who’s the leading tackler in the SEC? You didn’t guess Georgia LB Ramik Wilson, did you? Wilson recorded a game-high 15 tackles including a sack last week at Tennessee. Through five games, Wilson has registered 52 tackles. He might be the key figure for a young defense that must improve rapidly to take pressure off the walking wounded offense…

Despite allowing 24 points (and very nearly more) during the overtime win over Tennessee, the Georgia defense played fairly well. Remember, before the Volunteers blocked a punt and scored on the play, the Bulldogs had held them to 3 points through essentially three quarters. Even when Tennessee scored 14 fourth-quarter points, it took three fourth-down conversions. The Bulldogs aren’t polished on defense by any means. They are, however, improving…

Special teams play must improve for Georgia or it will cost the team a game this season. The Bulldogs have now allowed a kickoff return for a touchdown and have had two punts blocked for touchdowns…

Before the season started, imagining true freshman RB J.J. Green getting significant carries in close SEC games would have been difficult. Green got his chance this week with both Gurley and Marshall out. The freshman gained 129 yards on 17 carries, including a 17-yard burst on a key third-and-one early in the game-tying drive late in the fourth quarter. If Gurley can’t go Saturday, the Bulldogs will again call upon Green to prop up the run game.

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