ATHENS – Georgia noseguard Kwame Geathers and Vanderbilt center Logan Stewart are expected to receive punishment from the Southeastern Conference for their actions on a play in the fourth quarter of this past Saturday’s game in Nashville.
On the second play of the Commodores’ first offensive possession of the fourth quarter, Stewart comes up from behind on Geathers and dives for the back of his left knee and clips him at the end of a play, in which quarterback Jordan Rodgers is run out of bounds for a seven-yard gain. After he is knocked down, Geathers immediately whips around and punches Stewart in the side.
Referees immediately threw flags. After a lengthy discussion, Stewart was called for clipping and Geathers is called for an unsportsmanlike personal foul. The Commodores were awarded an automatic first down as a result of the personal foul penalty.
The SEC has yet to issue a ruling on the chain of events, but precedent indicates both players will likely be subjected to disciplinary action from the league office.
Just last season, Georgia center Ben Jones was assessed a half-game suspension for his flagrant illegal block against Mississippi State. Jones had to sit out the first half of the Colorado game the following week.
And anytime a punch is thrown during a game, it almost always results in at least a half-game suspension. Auburn players Mike Blanc and Michael Goggans had to sit out the first half of the Alabama game last year after throwing punches against Georgia last November.
Meanwhile, repercussions could also be forthcoming for Georgia strong safety Shawn Williams. The junior starter was flagged for two personal fouls against the Commodores, including one in which he appears to be fighting with a Vanderbilt player.
If Geathers and Williams are subject to suspensions, they will be assessed in the Florida game on Oct. 29. The Bulldogs have a bye this week. Stewart’s penalty would be assessed in Vanderbilt’s game against Army this weekend.
Geathers, a redshirt sophomore from Georgetown, S.C., has started three games at noseguard for the Bulldogs and alternates regularly with junior John Jenkins. He has seven tackles, a pass break-up and a quarterback pressure.
Williams, a junior from Damascus, has started every game this season, including one at inside linebacker. He is the Bulldogs’ third-leading tackler with 34 and has two interceptions, including one against Vanderbilt this past weekend.
Saturday’s game, clinched by Georgia in the final seconds, was extremely emotional. The night ended with Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin and UGA defensive coordinator Todd Grantham in a shouting match at midfield.
Check out the video yourself and tell us if you think Geathers and/or Stewart deserve to be suspended.
– Chip Towers