ATHENS — Georgia is dealing with a big loss heading into its Southeastern Conference showdown against South Carolina.
Michael Bennett, the fifth-ranked Bulldogs' leading receiver, tore up his right knee in practice and is out for the year, coach Mark Richt announced Wednesday.
Bennett injured the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) toward the end of Tuesday's practice. He will undergo reconstructive surgery, though no date has been set.
The third-year sophomore leads Georgia (5-0, 3-0 SEC) with 24 catches for 345 yards and four touchdowns. Though he wasn't heavily recruited out of high school, Bennett had developed into one of Aaron Murray's favorite targets.
The only consolation for the Bulldogs: Receiver is one of the team's deepest positions, especially since two-way player Malcolm Mitchell has moved back to offense after starting the year at cornerback. Chris Conley and Rhett McGowan could also take more of a role in the offense, bolstering a receiving corps that already includes Habersham Central graduate Tavarres King (16 catches, 307 yards, three TDs), Marlon Brown (17-272-3) and Rantavious Wooten (6-99-1).
Georgia faces No. 6 South Carolina (5-0, 3-0) on Saturday in a game that will play a big role in the SEC East race.