ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia has lost leading receiver Michael Bennett to a season-ending knee injury.
The redshirt sophomore from Alpharetta, Ga., tore the ACL in his right knee toward the end of practice Tuesday.
Bennett leads Georgia in receptions (24), receiving yards (345) and touchdowns (four).
“It’s very sad that it happened,” coach Mark Richt said Wednesday afternoon. “It happened on the very last play of practice (Tuesday). It was a heck of a practice, really. Everybody was working hard. Everybody had a good attitude, scout teamers were getting after it, giving us a good look, everything you’d hope for a Tuesday practice we were having.”
Richt said Bennett was engaged in a block – “just working it” – when he was injured.
“No one ran into him, no one rolled into him or anything like that, his knee buckled,” Richt said.
The date of Bennett’s reconstructive surgery has not yet been determined.
“God has a plan for me and everything happens for a reason,” Bennett tweeted Wednesday. “Get ready for a historic season Dawg nation. Our boys are gonna get it done!”
The loss is a blow to a Georgia offense that leads the Southeastern Conference in total offense at 536 yards per game going into Saturday’s game with No. 6 South Carolina. But the Bulldogs are deep at receiver, especially with sophomore Malcolm Mitchell returning to offense.
Mitchell led Georgia in receiving yards per game last season. He has six catches for 74 yards this season in limited offensive work.
Georgia still has Marlon Brown, Tavarres King, Rantavious Wooten, Chris Conley and Rhett McGowan in its receiving corps.
Coaches could consider playing freshman Blake Tibbs, who seemed to be headed for a redshirt season.