Georgia WR/KR Isaiah McKenzie Suspended for Belk Bowl


Georgia Bulldogs freshman wide receiver and kick return specialist Isaiah McKenzie will not play in the Dec. 30 Belk Bowl.

Georgia Bulldogs
Georgia Bulldogs /

Georgia Bulldogs

I guess it wouldn’t be a big game if we didn’t have to report on some sort of Georgia suspension.

The Bulldogs announced on Friday that freshman wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie will not play in the Belk Bowl, being suspended for the single game.

Mark Richt spoke to the media about the suspension after Friday’s practice at Charlotte Country Day School.

“Isaiah will not play in this game,” Richt said. “Isaiah has got a one-game suspension. It’s not an academic-eligibility issue. It’s not drug issue or anything like that. It’s more in-house, taking-care-of-business issue. He’ll be back in January, but he’ll miss this game.”

So let’s start with the obvious, and this will affect Georgia’s kick return game. McKenzie had been the shot in the arm that the Bulldogs needed on kick returns, averaging 12.1 yards on 19 punt returns, with two touchdowns, as well as 11 kickoff returns for an average of 28.1 yards per return and a 90-yard return for a touchdown.

That kind of production on special teams is going to be important against Louisville, and as has been seen in Georgia’s bowl games over the last five years, special teams can end up becoming a huge factor.

According to Richt, Sony Michel will take over kickoff return duties, and sophomore Reggie Davis will be fielding punt returns. Both are able players, so hopefully there won’t be much lost.

As a wide receiver, McKenzie saw very limited action this season, only catching six passes and adding seven runs (generally on end-around plays), averaging 11.1 yards per touch. But this also leaves quarterback Hutson Mason with one less weapon against a defense that should be ripe for the picking against deep passes.

Just another day in Georgia football.

Next: Georgia TE Coach John Lilly to Call Offensive Plays in Belk Bowl