It’s official: UGA freshman George Pickens will have to sit out the first half of next week’s SEC Championship game.
Pickens was ejected after throwing several punches into the helmet of a Georgia Tech defender in the second half of UGA’s 52-7 win on Saturday.
After the ejection, there was some confusion about whether or not Pickens would have to sit out next week, due to a rules interpretation by some media. However, UGA officials, including coach Kirby Smart, confirmed the news immediately after the game.
It’s a big blow to the Bulldogs, who will now play in their biggest game of the season next week without the team’s top two receivers. If UGA upsets LSU in the SEC Championship, the Bulldogs will make the college playoffs.
UGA will be without Pickens for the first half, while Lawrence Cager (the team’s leading receiver) will be out after ankle surgery this week. Cager also sat out Saturday’s Georgia Tech game.
Back to Pickens: Even though Pickens is only a freshman, he has quickly turned into one of college football’s top newcomers. Cager entered Saturday’s game leading the SEC in several receiving categories for freshmen.
Pickens was thrown out of the Georgia Tech game after throwing forearm haymakers into the helmet of Jackets defensive back Tre Swilling.
ABC-TV/ESPN reporter Allison Williams reported that Pickens told UGA coach Kirby Smart afterwards on the sidelines that “(Swilling) punched me first in the throat.”
Replays did indicate that Swilling did initiate the punching part of the altercation with a pair of quick punches at Pickens’ neck.
But Pickens caught the attention of the referees after he wound up and threw several haymakers with his forearm into the helmet of Swilling.
It was already a rough day for Pickens, as he sat out the first half due to a “team matter,” per DawgNation’s Mike Griffith.