How Will Georgia Cope With Losing WR Malcolm Mitchell?
They also lost of one of their biggest playmakers.
Georgia coach Mark Richt announced Sunday night that Bulldogs junior wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell suffered a torn ACL in his right knee in the first quarter of Georgia’s 38-35 loss at Clemson. He will miss the remainder of this season. The injury occurred as Mitchell landed awkwardly when he leaped in the end zone after celebrating a 75-yard touchdown run by teammate, running back Todd Gurley.
Mitchell was Georgia’s leading receiver last season, after 40 receptions for 572 yards and four touchdowns and 1,237 yards and eight total touchdowns in his career in Athens.
The injury is a major disappointment to the Bulldogs and comes at a very bad timing as UGA is preparing to host SEC East rival No. 6 South Carolina this weekend, whom they have lost three consecutive matchups against. Mitchell was being counted on this season to break out as a reliable down-field threat for fifth-year senior quarterback Aaron Murray and a threat in the punt/kick return game for the Dawgs as well.
With Mitchell injured, Richt and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo must find production in the passing game and a replacement at the “X” receiver position from a list of capable receivers. The list includes junior Michael Bennett, senior Rantavious Wooten, junior Chris Conley, senior Rhett McGowan, junior college transfer Jonathon Rumph and redshirt sophomore Justin Scott-Wesley.
Mitchell figures to receive a medical redshirt this season and have two years of eligibility remaining starting next season. But it is uncertain what Mitchell status will be after this 2013 season, as he was considered one of the best junior prospects leading into this year.
Georgia had high expectations to contend for an SEC championship and contend for a BCS championship coming into this season. Luckily for Georgia, those goals can still be accomplished following that heart-breaking loss to Clemson this weekend. If Georgia can win out they will be on route to Atlanta and with a win there, they will most certainly be in the BCS championship game in Pasadena.
But they will have to pursue them with one of their most talented, dynamic players on the sideline for the rest of this season.