ATHENS — Keith Marshall was healthy enough to run out and receive an ovation on Senior Night. The injury-plagued tailback was not healthy enough, however, to actually play in the game.
Marshall missed his second straight game with an ankle injury, though he was in uniform for UGA’s win over Georgia Southern, just like he was last week at Auburn. Marshall practiced this week and was getting better, but “still in our opinion wasn’t full speed,” according to coach Mark Richt.
But Richt indicated that Marshall will have a chance to play at Georgia Tech next week.
“My guess is by Monday he’ll be running around pretty good,” Richt said.
Another injured offensive player, right guard Greg Pyke, did not see action, according to the participation chart. Pyke hurt his knee last week at Auburn and was replaced in the starting lineup by senior Hunter Long, who played center. (Brandon Kublanow switched from center to right guard.)
During the game one of UGA’s most potent weapons – maybe the most potent – went down. Isaiah McKenzie, who scored UGA’s only first-half touchdown, on a 23-yard sweep, hurt his foot later in the game. He returned after X-rays came back negative, but eventually was pulled from the game for good.
“He wanted to go back in there, and did. But as time wore on it just got worse and we kept him out,” Richt said.
McKenzie was limping as he left the locker room, but did not have any visible wrapping on it. Richt didn’t say when McKenzie suffered the injury, and whether it was on the play where he fumbled and Georgia Southern returned it 63 yards for a touchdown.
UGA also avoided a bad double-injury in the second half, when Jake Ganus and Dominick Sanders – two of the team’s best defensive players – were both hurt on the same play. It appeared they collided with each other, and both jogged off the field and quickly returned to the game.
But then Ganus hurt his ankle on a chop block – which cost Georgia Southern a 15-yard penalty. Ganus also eventually returned to the game after missing the rest of the drive.
“I’m fine,” Ganus said as he left the locker room.
“He was fighting through some injury and some pain, and just kept gutting it out, like a lot of guys were,” Richt said. “We knew he was in pain but he wanted to keep going. And we knew he was safe to go back, some things just hurt a little bit more than others as far as injuries.”