It was another bad day for Georgia on the injury front.
Receiver Chris Conley appeared to sprain his ankle on the final play of the game, a desperation pass. Safety Josh Harvey-Clemons left the game after an undisclosed leg injury in the first half.
“I don’t know what’s up with Josh. He just was out for the rest of the game,” head coach Mark Richt said. “Chris needed help getting off the field at the end of the game. So that’s never a good sign. I don’t know. ... I think it was an ankle sprain, I don’t know how serious it was.”
They were just the latest in a ridiculous run of injuries for Georgia.
The Bulldogs played Saturday without their two top tailbacks entering the season (Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall) and three of their top four receivers (Malcolm Mitchell, Justin Scott-Wesley and Michael Bennett). Conley was the fourth of the top receivers.
Starting free safety Tray Matthews also missed his third straight game with a hamstring injury.
“When that happens, your margin for error is even smaller,” Richt said of the injuries. “You’ve gotta play better, you’ve gotta play smaller. And yeah we’re going through it right now, in a tough way. But we’ve got a good group of guys, we’ve got a good group of coaches, we’re gonna stick together.”
Douglas’ fumble ‘unacceptable’
Freshman tailback Brendan Douglas had a critical fumble for a second straight game. He was disconsolate afterwards, tears in his eyes as he met the media.
“It’s unacceptable to fumble,” he said.
Asked how hard this was for him, Douglas replied, “Pretty hard.”
And he left it at that.
But Richt didn’t come down hard on his tailback, who also fumbled inside the 5 in last week’s loss to Missouri.
“He’s got good habits,” Richt said. “I’m sure they did a good job of knocking (the ball) out. And every once in awhile the ball gets knocked out. But as a young back, he’ll learn to do an even better job of securing the football.”
Rumph doesn’t play
Jonathan Rumph, the highly touted junior college transfer, did not get in the game despite being active for the first time this season. Rumph, the team’s tallest receiver at 6-foot-5, missed the first six with a hamstring.
Richt deferred to receivers coach Tony Ball. Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said Rumph just hasn’t been able to practice enough.
“A guy that’s missed that much practice is just still trying to get better, and it just didn’t feel like he could go,” Bobo said.