September 11, 2011

Another LB down

Just what Georgia coach Mark Richt did not need - another injury at linebacker.

Unfortunately, that's exactly the case after Richt confirmed that starting Mike linebacker Christian Robinson suffered, what he described as a hairline fracture in his left foot, which will cause him to miss at least the next two weeks.

Robinson's injury comes just one week after the Bulldogs lost starting Moe linebacker Alec Ogletree to a broken foot suffered in the second quarter against Boise State.

"It looks like he'll be out for at least a couple of weeks," Richt said during his Sunday teleconference. "We'll continue to look at Mike Gilliard, Amarlo Herrera, Jeremy Sulek and possibly a couple of other candidates. We might try to teach Ramik (Wilson) some inside backer and Chase Vasser is someone who has had a taste at inside backer. We're just trying to rally the troops and decide who's going to be the right one."

Initially, it appeared Robinson's injury may have been worse.

According to Richt, head trainer Ron Courson initially thought there might be some ligament damage, but an MRI later revealed that is not the case.

"There might be a slight hairline fracture, but it's not anything like Tree (Ogletree) had as far as a break. "There was a fear of some ligament issue, so we were relieved what that didn't come back on the MRI."

Losing Robinson will hurt on several fronts.

Not only did he top the Bulldogs tackles the first two games, collecting 13 against Boise State and eight against the Gamecocks, Robinson was also responsible for making the defensive calls.

"We've got a challenge at the linebacker position right now," Richt said.

In other news from Sunday's teleconference:

• Richt said that left guard Kenarious Gates (ankle) should be able to return for Saturday's 1 p.m. game against Coastal Carolina, but he'll have to beat out Dallas Lee for the starting job.

"Dallas Lee has really come on and played well - in both games," Richt said. "Chris Burnette - quite frankly - did not play so well in the first, but he played more physical and did a nice job."

Richt added as of now, there are no plans - barring injury - to work any other of the team's backup linemen into the rotation.

"I feel good about those six guys (including Gates)," Richt said. "I'm not quite concerned with the other guys at this moment."

• Five different receivers caught passes from quarterback Aaron Murray, prompting Richt to send some love their way.

"There were some things in the blocking scheme that we probably should have done a little bit better. We had a couple of things that happened in the Boise State game, where it just takes some communication between the wide receivers and the quarterback, when the quarterback declares certain people as being a Mike linebacker and they've got to know that maybe a fullback's got a guy that's over them so they can go into a deep safety," he said. "So there were a couple of times where we didn't exactly get on the right guy, that maybe could have made the difference from a good run to a great run where we could have got a hat on everybody. But I thought I saw a lot of guts and a lot of plays that were being made. We dropped a ball here and there but for the most part I think the receiving corps is starting to grow up and make plays."

Freshman Malcolm Mitchell led the Bulldogs with five catches for 52 yards, with redshirt freshman Michael Bennett snaring his first career touchdown reception on a 19-yard catch and run. Junior Rantavious Wooten caught one pass for 26 yards, but it went for a touchdown, Georgia's first of the game against the Gamecocks.

• Although he didn't catch a pass, Richt said tight end Orson Charles had his best game as a blocker.

"His run blocking, his pass blocking … you could see him play with some real intensity and physicality," Richt said. "He was pretty dominant as a blocker."

Anthony Dasher is the managing editor for UGASports
and he can be reached via email at [email protected]