November 22, 2009

Receivers step up in Green's absence

Going into Saturday night's game against Kentucky, there were obviously a lot of questions regarding which of Georgia's receivers would step up in the absence of the injured A.J. Green.

It turns out nobody should have been concerned.

Even with Green out, the Bulldogs' "other" receivers more than held their own.

A couple of freshmen helped pick up the slack.

Tight end Orson Charles caught four passes for 73 yards and a score, while Rantavious Wooten took advantage of his first career start by catching two passes for 64 yards and his first two Bulldog touchdowns.

"I worked hard all week. The coaches believed in me to make plays and I made them," Wooten said. "But in the end it's not the result we wanted. I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing. I think I've gotten the coaches attention and I'm going to keep working hard."

Redshirt freshman Tavarres King also caught a pair of long passes - 34 and 43 yards - and finished with three receptions for a career-best 109 yards.

"We have some great receivers on this team. We can all make plays," Wooten said. "(Joe Cox) just has to get us the ball and we have to make plays when (he) gets us the ball."

Trailing 6-3, Wooten got the second quarter off to a good start for Georgia when he hauled in a 21-yard touchdown which he caught right at the Kentucky goal line to put the Bulldogs up 10-6.

Later in the quarter, it was Cox to Charles from 20 yards out before the Bulldog quarterback hooked up with Wooten again, this time from 43-yards outs midway through the third.

"It felt good when it happened, but at the end, after we lost, it doesn't matter now," Wooten said. "All that matters is we lost the game. I'm not even sure I'll remember this."

Charles' four catches were also a high for the freshman.

Before Saturday, his previous career high was three catches against Tennessee Tech and 62 yards against Arkansas. The touchdown was his third of the year.

It didn't take long to see that the Tampa native was going to be in for a good night.

On Georgia's second drive, Cox went to Charles three times, completing passes of 24, 13 and 16 yards to set up the Bulldogs' first points, a 21-yard field goal by Blair Walsh.

His 20-yard touchdown catch put Georgia up 17-6.

"We had a good thing going there early on," Charles said. "We thought we would have some opportunities to make some plays to the tight end and it turned out we did."

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound also split out as a wide receiver a number of occasions. He caught all four of his passes in the first half.

"That's what we needed, having a guy like A.J. out, somebody else had to step up and we had a few guys step up," Cox said. "It's just too bad we couldn't win this game because those guys did everything they could."

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