(Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire)
Every Wednesday right here you can read Across the South, where we’ll get into a different topic on the SEC, break down the biggest matchups of the previous week, preview the coming week’s slate, and talk about where things stand in the best conference in the land!
In this week’s edition, Georgia had a costly road trip at Vanderbilt over the weekend, defeating the Commodores 37-20 but losing arguably the best player in college football, superstar tight end Brock Bowers, for at least the next 4-6 weeks to an ankle injury. Can the Bulldogs weather the storm and survive until Bowers returns?
There is no denying that Brock Bowers is the most important player on the roster for the Georgia Bulldogs. Through 7 games in 2023, Bowers has caught 41 passes for 567 yards (1st in the nation among tight ends) and four touchdowns. He was on pace to have an even better year this year than his dominant 2022, where he had 63 catches for nearly 1,000 yards and seven touchdowns.
When gauging Bowers’ value, look no further than the Auburn game. While he was a relative non-factor in the first half, he completely took the game over in the second half and Georgia was able to escape The Plains with a win.
Bowers suffered a high-ankle sprain in the win over Vanderbilt that will require a TightRope surgery and the recovery is typically 4-6 weeks.
Georgia does get the benefit of a bye week this week, but enters the meat of its schedule in the four weeks after. While they should be able to handle the rivalry game with Florida next week, after this it’s Missouri at home, who has been a nice surprise this season. Following Missouri, Georgia will face Ole Miss (also at home) and Tennessee on the road.
On paper, Georgia has the talent to ride out Bowers’ absence. But missing such a huge part of the Dawgs offense, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo is going to have to make some serious adjustments to be able to keep things rolling and avoid a regular season loss.