Editor’s note: There’s some confusion about Pickens’ status for next week, because an unsportsmanlike penalty is different than targeting. Check back with DawgNation for updates.
UGA freshman sensation George Pickens will miss the first half of the SEC Championship game after being ejected in the third quarter from Saturday’s game, per ESPN’s broadcast crew.
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 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.
The reason all of this is a big deal to UGA is because Pickens is considered to be the best freshman receiver in the SEC, and the Bulldogs will already be without their top receiver, Lawrence Cager, due to injuries. UGA’s top offensive player, D’Andre Swift, also exited the Tech game early with an apparent shoulder injury.
Bottom line: Depending on the clarification of the penalty, Pickens may have to sit out the first half of next weekend’s SEC Championship.