(Updated 9 p.m.)
ATHENS –- Georgia’s remaining healthy inside linebackers — yes, there are a few — marvel at how the position has been decimated by injury.
“It’s just crazy, how one week Alec [Ogletree] goes down and the next week Christian [Robinson] goes down,” Mike Gilliard said.
“It’s unbelievable, the way our linebackers are getting hurt,” Amarlo Herrera said.
Ogletree suffered a broken foot in the season’s first game and will be sidelined for up to six weeks. Robinson suffered a less severe foot injury in the second game and will be out for two or three weeks. So with both of their starting inside linebackers sidelined, the Bulldogs got to work Monday on Plan C.
The latest depth chart lists Gilliard, a junior, and Herrera, a freshman, as the starters. Also working at inside linebacker in practice Monday were freshman Ramik Wilson, who shifted from outside linebacker, and Jeremy Sulek, a senior walk-on.
“The coaches said whoever practices the hardest at linebacker will start,” Wilson said. “It’s an equal game for all of us.”
Gilliard, in his third year in the program, sees this as an opportunity he needs to seize, albeit under undesired circumstances.
“I feel like it’s just one of those times I’ve got to step up and play ball,” Gilliard said. “It’s my opportunity, and I’ve got to go out there and take full advantage of it.”
Crowell shares honor
Isaiah Crowell’s introduction to Sanford Stadium drew notice from the SEC office on Monday.
The Georgia tailback shared the league’s freshman-of-the-week honors for his productive home debut against South Carolina. Crowell had 148 yards offense Saturday, including 118 rushing yards on 16 carries (7.4 yards per carry), and scored his first two collegiate touchdowns.
“You see he’s pretty special when he has the ball in his hands,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said afterward. “He’s got to continue to get himself in shape where he can carry it more and be in the game more.”
Crowell shared the SEC’s weekly top-freshman honor with Kentucky running back Josh Clemons, who is from Whitewater High in Fayetteville.
In Kentucky’s 27-13 victory over Central Michigan, Clemons rushed for 126 yards on 14 carries. He did most of his damage on a single play, an 87-yard touchdown run that was the longest rush by a Kentucky player since 1970 and the longest ever by a Kentucky freshman.
Not surprisingly, South Carolina’s Melvin Ingram was named the SEC’s special-teams player-of-the-week for his performance against Georgia. Ingram rambled 68 yards for a touchdown after taking a direct snap on a fake punt, and he fielded an onside kick near the end of the game to clinch the Gamecocks’ victory. What’s more, on defense, he scored a touchdown on a five-yard run with a late-game fumble recovery.
TV ratings up
The Georgia-South Carolina game posted a 17.3 rating in the Atlanta television market Saturday, up from a 16.7 for the Bulldogs’ season opener a week earlier.
The rating is the percentage of TV households in the market tuning in on average. Saturday’s rating translated to an audience of about 416,000 local homes.
Ole Miss time set
Georgia’s Sept. 24 game at Ole Miss will start at 12:21 p.m. and be televised on the SEC Network, it was announced Monday.
Georgia’s first two games were televised nationally on ESPN, and Saturday’s 1 p.m. home game against Coastal Carolina will be shown on pay-per-view.
A deep hole
History isn’t very comforting for Georgia fans trying to deal with the back-to-back losses to Boise State and South Carolina.
This is just the 11th time in UGA football history, which dates to 1892, that the Bulldogs started a season 0-2. And on the 10 previous occasions, the Dogs finished the season with a winning record only once: 6-5 in 1979.
Checking the stats
Two weeks into the season, Brandon Boykin ranks No. 1 in the SEC and No. 6 nationally in all-purpose yards (rushing, receiving, punt returns and kickoff returns) with an average of 194 per game.
He had an 80-yard rushing touchdown against Boise State and seven kickoff returns for 184 yards against South Carolina.
“This is my last year, so I’m going to do whatever it takes,” Boykin said. “Maybe next week, or whenever, we’ll try to put some more stuff in.”
– Tim Tucker