While Georgia Bulldogs star running back Todd Gurley made the trip to Tennessee today and could play against the Volunteers, starting freshman free safety Tray Matthews did not make the trip and has thus been ruled out, according to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer’s Seth Emerson. Matthews reportedly re-injured his hamstring earlier this week, and Emerson believes that fellow freshman Quincy Mauger will “likely” get the start for Matthews today. Strong safety Connor Norman’s status was in some doubt after he missed a practice session this week, but he made the trip and should get some playing time.
Tray Matthews has made a lot of plays this season for Georgia as a freshman, and the playmaking FS is averaging five tackles per contest with 20 total tackles in four games. He already has an interception, 0.5 tackles for loss, and even a trio of pass break-ups this season. That’s called making an immediate impact as a true freshman, and the speedy, sure-tackler was a touted top 100 recruit coming out of high school. He’s definitely made good on his recruiting rankings, and he will be missed today against Tennessee.
Fellow freshman Quincy Mauger has received plenty of playing time as well, and the true freshman backup FS from Marietta, Georgia has nine tackles this season and even one quarterback hurry. He wasn’t a sought-after recruit by any means and isn’t as talented as Matthews, but Mauger is a good player in his own right and looks like a steal after being ranked as a low-end, three-star prospect.