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Monday, September 12, 2011
More bad news for Georgia at linebacker

By Chris Low

Linebacker was one of those areas where Georgia couldn't afford to have any injuries this season.

Two games in, the Bulldogs are already without both starting inside linebackers.

The latest to go down was junior Christian Robinson, who injured his left foot last Saturday in the 45-42 loss to South Carolina and will be out "at least a couple of games," according to Georgia coach Mark Richt. The Bulldogs were already without sophomore Alec Ogletree, who broke his foot in the opener against Boise State and isn't expected to return until sometime in October. Ogletree had been one of the Bulldogs' top defenders during the preseason after moving over from safety and was a guy Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham was counting on being one of his top playmakers.

Now, Grantham is without both of his inside guys and has very little experience behind them.

True freshman Amarlo Herrera started last week in place of Ogletree, but senior walk-on Jeremy Sulek and junior Mike Gilliard also played. All three will see their snaps increase the next few weeks with both Ogletree and Robinson out. Richt said there's a chance that true freshmen Ramik Wilson and Chase Vasser could move from outside linebacker to insider linebacker. Richt said he doesn't envision Richard Samuel moving back to linebacker from running back.

Richt said the early indication was that Robinson's injury wasn't as serious as the one suffered by Ogletree and that Robinson should be back earlier.

The Bulldogs should be OK without their two starting inside linebackers this week against Coastal Carolina, but then travel to Ole Miss the next week and get Mississippi State at home on Oct. 1 followed by a road trip to Tennessee on Oct. 8.

Georgia's defense played better against South Carolina after a rough opener against Boise State. The Bulldogs held the Gamecocks to three offensive touchdowns, one of those set up by a fumble return to the 5. But if they're going to recover from this 0-2 start and get back into the East race, they can't keep losing starters on defense.