AUBURN, Ala. — Keith Marshall stood on the Georgia sideline, in shoulder pads, looking ready to play. But the tailback also held his helmet in his hands. He would not play.
Marshall injured his knee and ankle in last week’s win over Kentucky, according to head coach Mark Richt, and while his knee felt better by the end of the week his ankle was still bothering him.
“He got better every day to the point where we thought we could bring him (to Auburn) and maybe by today he’d be fine,” Richt said. “But in warm-up he still struggled so we didn’t think it was wise to put him in there.”
That was why Quayvon Hicks, normally a fullback, got a carry at tailback, losing a couple yards on a pitch play. Backup tailback Brendan Douglas got four carries, two of them near the end of the game as Georgia tried to move out from near its end zone.
Starter Sony Michel carried the load, 26 times for 77 yards, still playing with his right hand in the cast because of a broken bone. But he briefly gave Richt a scare.
“One time Sony came out and I didn’t know what it was. But it turned out he just got his hand stung pretty good,” Richt said. “He just needed a minute to get over that.”
Marshall had seen his role increase the past few weeks, getting a season-high 13 carries for 60 yards last week against Kentucky.
Another injury update
Right guard Greg Pyke re-claimed his starting position, only to go down with a knee injury.
The severity of it was not known. Pyke sat on the trainer’s table near the end of the game with ice on his left knee. He was able to get up later and walk around.