Clayton vs. Gibson would have been great

The SEC's two best receivers will not be playing against one another this weekend due to injuries.

Michael Clayton may be a little banged up, but most are betting that he will play against Georgia. The All-SEC wide receiver poses a serious threat to Georgia's stout defense but he is dealing with a sprained ankle. He missed practice on Monday due to the injury.

For Georgia, getting ready for Clayton might seem familiar. They have been able to prepare against some of the best receivers in the SEC at the Georgia practice fields every day. Many have compared Clayton and Georgia's Fred Gibson to one another.

"Our offense is just like LSU's," said Georgia safety Sean Jones. "We have great receivers like Fred Gibson and Damien Gary. We have to practice real hard and compete with those guys each week."

Unlike Gibson, however, Clayton will play in this weekend's huge SEC match up.

Georgia head coach Mark Richt said that there is no way that Gibson will play against LSU. Gibson missed most of the South Carolina game when he re-injured his hamstring; an injury that occurred during the last minutes of the Middle Tennessee game.

"He is out, without a doubt. I don't care how good he feels he is not going until he feels good; and then we will wait another week or two. We have an open date after LSU and we can not afford to be gone any more time than this weekend right here," insisted Richt.

Although banged up, Clayton still leads the SEC in several statistical categories including receptions, receiving yards per game, and touchdown receptions per game.

"He is dangerous," understated Richt.

"He is fast and hand good hands; is big and is physical. He is a prototype wide receiver. (Covering him) is going to be a great challenge. Coverage is one thing, but pass rush is another," added Richt.

Georgia's defense has used its pass rush to produce one of the nation's stingiest defenses.

"They have a really good secondary all the way around, and they have great team speed," said LSU's Nick Saban.

The Dawgs are allowing 192 yards a game, with a lot of those yards coming in mop up roles against Clemson, Middle Tennessee, and South Carolina. They hope to have the same sort of success against Clayton and LSU.

Richt says the key to defending outstanding players like Clayton is the type of defense that Brian VanGorder runs. "The kind of scheme that we use will have a lot to do with the type of day that he has. It is going to take everybody to stop a guy like that," said Richt.

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