Georgia expected to be down multiple defensive starters for rivalry showdown with Florida


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No. 5 Georgia and No. 8 Florida will square off in the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party in Jacksonville on Saturday, and the Bulldogs defense is going to be beat up. Starting defensive lineman Jordan Davis and veteran Julian Rochester will miss the game due to injuries, according to a report from 247Sports. Plus, All-American safety Richard LeCounte was involved in a traffic accident on Saturday night and is expected to miss a few weeks.

Davis suffered an elbow injury in the 14-3 win over Kentucky last weekend and will miss “multiple weeks,” according to the report. The 6-foot-6, 330-pound junior nose tackle is the anchor of the defensive line and frees up the rest of the Bulldogs defense to swarm to the football. He only has 13 tackles this season, but stats don’t tell the full story. He was voted a preseason first-team All-SEC defensive linemen by the conference’s coaches, who clearly respect his ability to clog up the middle. 

Rochester, a fifth-year senior, suffered a torn ACL — his second in two years — against the Wildcats, according to the report. The 6-foot-5, 300-pounder is a key rotational member of coach Kirby Smart’s defensive line. He has 103 tackles during his five-year career in Athens. 

LeCounte a first-team All-American, suffered shoulder, neck and rib injuries after being hit by two cars while riding his motorcycle. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound senior has 26 tackles this season and notched 13 of them last weekend vs. the Wildcats.

The news that Davis and Rochester will miss the game should be especially concerning given the other injuries on that side of the ball. Safety Lewis Cine suffered an ankle injury against Kentucky and linebacker Monty Rice missed the game last week with a foot injury. Rice’s replacement, Quay Walker, has missed some time with a neck injury. Plus, defensive back Tyrique Stevenson left the game last week with an undisclosed injury.

It’s unlikely that all of those players will miss the game against the Gators. Nevertheless, Georgia’s injuries are piling up at the worst possible time.

Florida and Georgia will tee it up at 3:30 p.m. ET in the SEC on CBS Game of the Week.



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