Some Georgia fans might find it to be a fitting somber note for the final home game of the Bulldogs disappointing season. Losses to Oklahoma State, Louisiana State, Tennessee and Florida have left some fans in the mood to place a wreath over the season.
The unexpected death of the latest in the line of beloved mascots only casts more gloom over the season.
Uga VII, the white English bulldog, died Thursday of heart-related causes before he could finish only his second season as mascot. Sonny Seiler, whose family owns the line of Uga mascots, said no replacement will be chosen before next year.
An empty doghouse? Even Georgia coach Mark Richt seemed to be caught off-guard by the news.
I dont know if its unprecedented or not, Richt said, adding it will be kind of different to have a game without the mascot the university claims to be the nations most famous.
Georgia (6-4, 4-3 Southeastern Conference) has a chance to finish on an upswing. The Bulldogs have won back-to-back games, including last weeks 31-24 win over Auburn, and could clinch second place in the SEC East by beating Kentucky (6-4, 2-4).
This is a big game for us, said Georgia receiver Israel Troupe.
Troupe could make his first start as the fill-in for A.J. Green, the SECs leading receiver who will miss at least one game with a shoulder injury. Georgia will also be without safety Bacarri Rambo, who suffered a concussion while making a pivotal stop against Auburn.
Kentucky also has injury concerns.
Wildcats coach Rich Brooks said wide receiver/quarterback Randall Cobb is questionable with a bruised shoulder. Quarterback Mike Hartline will miss the last two games of the regular season with a knee injury.
Freshman Morgan Newton has started Kentuckys past five games at quarterback. He has passed for 402 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions.