Dean Legge/Dawg Post

UGA's Mike Ekeler Enthusiastic

AUBURN - By the end of the day Saturday, Georgia’s defensive players had handled what Auburn offered up on offense reasonably well during the Bulldogs’ 20-13 victory.

They might need to still be on guard for any mishaps involving their assistant coaches.

Fiery inside linebackers coach Mike Ekeler briefly put safety Rico McGraw on the injury list when Georgia came off the field after a third-quarter three-and-out.

“Is that the one?” coach Mark Richt said. “He injured Rico? Oh, I wish I didn’t know that.”

Richt can’t be too surprised about a coach he calls “a fired-up dude.”

A pumped-up Ekeler slapped McGraw on the side of the helmet and the freshman hunched over on the sideline. Director of sports medicine Ron Courson examined him before McGraw returned to the game.

Earlier, Ekeler was chest-bumping some players after a kickoff tackle from Rashad Roundtree.

“Ekeler can steamroll somebody,” outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins said. “Don’t high-five Ekeler after a play. He’s strong as heck. He’ll hurt you.”

Players seem to love his passion.

“Let him go, let him go,” inside linebacker Jake Ganus said. “His energy is contagious. That was kind of funny. I didn’t even see it.”

Jenkins got his most extensive playing time since sustaining a groin injury earlier in the season. He had six tackles, a sack and forced fumble.

“I was just excited to get as much playing time as I did with this being my last SEC game,” Jenkins said.

Georgia held Auburn 104 yards below its season average with 275 yards of total offense. The Bulldogs have held five other opponents to fewer totals this season.

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