The Union Recorder

Local Sports

November 7, 2012

Backup WRs may play bigger role for No. 5 Georgia

ATHENS — Some backup wide receivers may have more prominent roles as Georgia tries to play its way into the SEC championship game.

One month after losing leading receiver Michael Bennett for the season with an injured right knee, No. 5 Georgia is adjusting to the loss of Marlon Brown as it prepares to play at Auburn on Saturday night. Brown, who shares the team lead in receptions with Tavarres King, tore his ACL in last week's 37-10 win over Mississippi.

King and Malcolm Mitchell are left as the leaders of the depleted unit. Rantavious Wooten, Chris Conley and Rhett McGowan could play bigger roles against Auburn.

"Certainly, people are going to have to step up," said King, a senior. "We're going to need everybody. It's all hands on deck."

Brown and Bennett each had four touchdown catches. King has six scoring catches; no other player has more than two.

Brown, King, Wooten and Mitchell caught touchdown passes from Aaron Murray in the win over Ole Miss. Brown had a team-leading 113-yards receiving, including a 66-yard touchdown pass, before hurting his knee.

Including tight ends and running backs, 11 Georgia players had catches in the game. It was a show of strength that caught the attention of Auburn coach Gene Chizik.

"Even though they've had a couple of injuries, the next guy steps up to the plate," Chizik said. "Everybody understands they are where they are offensively because they do have explosive guys and they're very efficient at what they do."

Georgia can win the Eastern Division and clinch a spot in the Southeastern Conference championship game by beating Auburn.

Murray had 384 yards passing with four touchdowns and no interceptions for the Bulldogs (8-1, 6-1 SEC) against Ole Miss.

King and Mitchell are expected to be Murray's top targets against Auburn. Murray said Brown, like Bennett, was a strong receiver who could break free from defensive backs at the line and when making catches.

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