Georgia’s John Theus, Malcolm Mitchell play despite injuries

September 9, 2012 

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- As expected, Georgia was without several key suspended players Saturday against Missouri, but several injured players were able to gut it out.

Safety Bacarri Rambo and inside linebacker Alec Ogletree were suspended for a second straight game, for what has been widely reported -- but never confirmed by Georgia -- to be a violation of the school’s drug policy. Fullback Zander Ogletree also missed the trip, after not playing last week.

That left Georgia without four defensive starters, with cornerback Sanders Commings and outside linebacker Chase Vasser also suspended. Their suspensions are up this week, and they will be eligible for Florida Atlantic.

There was good news for Georgia. Right tackle John Theus and cornerback Malcolm Mitchell, each dealing with sprained ankles, were healthy enough to start. Mitchell had missed the opener, and Theus got hurt late in the game.

But Theus, playing his first college road game, had a rough start. He was beat for a third-down sack on Georgia’s first drive, then a drive later committed a false start that negated a long third-down conversion.

Mitchell, playing his first college game at cornerback, also had a rocky start. He committed a face mask penalty on the second drive, but it was offset by a Missouri penalty.

Malcome plays; Gurley starts

There was a changing of the guard in Georgia’s backfield.

Todd Gurley, the reigning SEC co-freshman of the week, got the start in his second college game. He supplanted Ken Malcome, the starter in the opener.

Malcome was dealing with a hand injury, but he did play, making his first carry on the second drive.

Gurley’s first carry was inauspicious. He fumbled, losing 8 yards after managing to pounce on the ball.

SEC pageantry

SEC commissioner Mike Slive had a busy Saturday. He started the afternoon in College Station, Texas, where he flipped the coin before Texas A&M’s SEC debut, which turned out to be a 20-17 loss to Florida.

A few hours later, Slive was in Columbia, flipping the coin before Missouri’s debut. The SEC said a special commemorative coin was used.

Perhaps the most famous former Missouri football player was also at the game. NFL Hall of Fame tight end Kellen Winslow was recognized during a first-half timeout.

Extra points

• Also not making the trip for Georgia were defensive end Sterling Bailey and outside linebackers Dexter Morant and Rueben Faloughi, either because of an unknown injury or not being high enough on the depth chart.

Several freshmen also didn’t make the trip: offensive lineman Greg Pyke, receiver Blake Tibbs, quarterback Faton Bauta and defensive tackle John Taylor.

• Missouri’s offensive line started out undermanned and took a bigger hit in the game. Guard Jack Meiners couldn’t play after being questionable during the week. Then left tackle Elvis Fisher left the game in the second quarter with a leg injury.

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