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October 19, 2008With depth at key positions growing dangerously thin, there's no doubt that Georgia coach Mark Richt has his fingers crossed as his Bulldogs get ready to hit the most arduous stretch of their 2008 campaign.
Saturday, Georgia travels to Baton Rouge to take on defending national champion LSU, followed by the long-awaited rematch Nov. 1 against Florida in Jacksonville.
The offensive line and defensive interior are two of those positions in uncertain straits.
Injuries have wreaked havoc with assistant Stacy Searel's offensive front, as the Bulldogs are playing their fourth left tackle since the start of preseason. There are also issues on the defensive line, and after some off-the-field news Saturday, the situation appears to be getting worse.
Backup defensive tackle Brandon Wood was arrested early Sunday morning and charged with allegedly driving without headlights and DUI. Wood's total bond was set at $1,750. He remained in the Athens Clarke-County jail as of 9:30 Sunday morning.
In a separate incident, injured left tackle Vince Vance was arrested Saturday night at approximately 9:30 p.m. for allegedly driving without a license. He was released on a $500 bond.
The two were the 10th and 11 Bulldogs to be arrested since January, although charges against three ? Jeremy Lomax, Trinton Sturdivant and Justin Anderson ? were subsequently dropped. Richt was not immediately available for comment.
Vance was one of four Bulldogs to play left tackle before tearing the ACL in his right knee last week against Tennessee.
If Wood is suspended for any period of time, it would leave Georgia with just five defensive tackles ? Geno Atkins, Corvey Irvin, Kade Weston, Ricardo Crawford and DeAngelo Tyson available for Saturday's game against LSU, and depending on an apparent injury to Weston, it may be only four. Weston did not play in Saturday's 24-14 win over Vanderbilt.
It's been that kind of year for the Bulldogs (6-1, 3-1).
Along with losing starting left tackle Sturdivant and defensive tackle Jeff Owens for the year, injuries have forced the Bulldogs have at different times this year to be without their starting fullback in Brandon Southerland (four games), starting tight end Tripp Chandler (two games), backup tight end Bruce Figgins (two games), starting Mike linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (two games), wide receiver Kris Durham (two games) and backup safety Quintin Banks (seven games).