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No. 1 Georgia bolstered by return of Bowers, Ratledge, McConkey from injuries – Metro US

No. 1 Georgia bolstered by return of Bowers, Ratledge, McConkey from injuries

SEC Championship Football
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart walk onto the field before the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game in Atlanta, Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia tight end Brock Bowers and right guard Tate Ratledge have returned from injuries to start for the No. 1 Bulldogs against No. 8 Alabama in the Southeastern Conference championship game on Saturday.

The return of Bowers is especially important to Georgia’s hopes of competing for a third consecutive national championship.

Bowers missed three consecutive games early in the season following an ankle injury that required surgery. He returned to play in victories over Mississippi and Tennessee before missing last week’s 31-23 win at Georgia Tech with lingering soreness.

As evidence of his value to the offense, Bowers leads the Bulldogs with 51 receptions for 661 yards and six touchdowns despite missing four games.

Georgia didn’t wait long to take advantage of Bowers’ return. Quarterback Carson Beck passed to Bowers for a 23-yard gain on the Bulldogs’ first snap.

Wide receiver Ladd McConkey, who also missed last week’s game with an ankle injury, did not start but also played in the opening series and caught a 15-yard pass. Kendall Milton capped the opening drive with a 17-yard touchdown run.


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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-football