Dawgs' LB Will Miss UT Game

ATHENS - Georgia's linebackers will be one short on Saturday.

DOWTIN GOES DOWN Linebacker Marcus Dowtin underwent surgery on a torn ligament in his left ring finger Sunday and he won't be available for this week's game.

Dowtin started two games this season and is third on the Bulldogs in tackles with 26. He sat out all of Tuesday's practice, and said he's unlikely to resume contact this week. Dowtin said he hopes to be available in time for Georgia's Oct. 17 game against Vanderbilt.

"I'm just rehabbing, trying to take it easy on my hand so I can come back next week full go," Dowtin said.

Christian Robinson and Marcus Washington have handled the majority of the second-team reps at middle linebacker in Dowtin's absence.


There were no hard feelings a day after SEC officials admitted a mistake in flagging receiver A.J. Green for an excessive celebration penalty that helped cost Georgia crucial field position in the loss to LSU, Richt said, but that doesn't mean the issue will go away.

After three players – Green, Orson Charles and LSU's Charles Scott – were flagged for celebration penalties in last week's game, Richt said he thinks it's time that the SEC considers changing the rule, which prohibits players from any gestures officials believe calls attention to themselves or is unsportsmanlike toward an opponent.

"I think it might be time to look at that and say we just have to be careful not to take the joy out of the game for the players and the ability to celebrate something good," Richt said.

Green was flagged following a go-ahead touchdown with 1:09 left to play. He immediately celebrated with teammates and made no overt gestures following the play, but the referees still called an infraction.

Because the rule is so vague and can so easily be interpreted differently by different officials, quarterback Joe Cox said it essentially forces players to minimize their emotions during the game.

"I do think sometimes it takes away from the emotion that you play with," Cox said. "Football is an emotional game, and it's tough when you try to have emotion with your teammates and not try to disrespect the other team, but there's people trying to get you to stop. I don't think it's something that should be penalized."


This week's meeting between Georgia and Tennessee marks the first time the two teams have faced off while neither was ranked in the top 25 since 1937. But with the Bulldogs coming off an emotional loss to No. 4 LSU last week and the Volunteers still looking for their first SEC win, linebacker Rennie Curran said he has no doubt the players are still treating it as a big game.

"It's a huge game every time out two teams meet up," Curran said. "There is a lot of tradition involved, a lot of emotions and goals that can be achieved for whoever wins. It is going to be a big game for both teams."

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