It sounds unlikely that Georgia will have receiver and kick-return specialist Isaiah McKenzie available in Knoxville. The 5-foot-8,170-pound speedster aggravated his chronic hamstring injury when he was tackled on a punt return against Alabama.
But that’s not the injury of most concern as the Bulldogs prepare to face the Vols. Starting centerBrandon Kublanow did not practice Monday due to an ankle injury that knocked him out for the second half against Alabama.
That means Hunter Long could start for the Bulldogs. It would be the first career start for the 6-foot-4, 303-pound senior from Memphis.
“I prepare to be the starter every week,” Long told reporters after Monday’s practice. “Whether he tells me to go in or not, that’s what I do. Basically, I’m going to keep preparing like I have been and however it is Saturday, that’s what I’m going to do.”
Kublanow was limping badly on his right ankle when he left Sanford Stadium after Saturday’s game. But he said then that he was going to be “fine.”
On his Monday call-in show, Richt said Kublanow might practice on Tuesday.
5. Obviously, Kublanow is the starter for a reason. But it was Long who was in the game at center and had the key block that sprung Nick Chubb on an 83-yard touchdown run that enabled Chubb to tie Herschel Walker’s consecutive 100-yard-rushing streak. Chubb took a handoff up the middle between Long and right guard Greg Pyke.
Long forced his man left into a scrum of congestion that impeded linebacker Reggie Ragland from getting to the hole. But Long downplayed his role.
“If you’re going to give (credit) to me, I’ll take it,” Long said of the touchdown. “Nah, it’s all five of us. And (Chubb’s) pretty decent, too.”