SEC East Has Been Mauled By Injuries In 2011

NCAA FOOTBALL: OCT 16 South Carolina at Kentucky

With the news of Marcus Lattimore going down for the year with an apparent knee injury suffered this past weekend against Mississippi State, the SEC East has just been devastated with injuries this season to four very important players and three East contenders.

Florida

Florida Gators’ starting quarterback John Brantley went down with an ankle injury against the Alabama Crimson Tide. Since that moment, Florida’s offense has gone no where fast. Brantley was having a very improved season, and he played very well in the first half against Alabama until his injury. Brantley hopes to be back for the Georgia game in two weeks; however, according to some sources at Florida, Brantley will not make it back for Georgia.

This has pummeled Florida’s chances for the East, and I just don’t see how the Gators can pull it back together fast enough to win the East Championship.

South Carolina

South Carolina has now lost Marcus Lattimore, who was the SEC’s leading rusher at the time of his injury. Lattimore has had an outstanding season so far, and we have seen the last of him with his knee injury for this season. Lattimore’s sophomore season ends with 163 carries for 818 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was the horse that this offense leaned on during tough games, and he absolutely carried this team on his back for the first half of the season.

We hope Lattimore recovers quickly and comes back 100 percent ready for next season.

Tennessee

Tennessee has lost the most firepower on the year, however. Sophomore wide receiver Justin Hunter went down with a season-ending knee injury on the first drive against Florida this season. Hunter was having a spectacular season before his injury, as he caught 17 passes for 314 yards and two touchdowns.

Next, quarterback Tyler Bray went down last week with a broken thumb sufferend against Georgia. Bray was arguably having the best breakout season of anyone in the SEC, and he was neck-and-neck with Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson for the best quarterback in the SEC. However, that all came tumbling down last week as he broke his thumb following through on a throw on a Georgia player’s helmet. Bray had thrown for 1,579 yards and 14 touchdowns before his injury. He hopes to be back in five weeks.

Tennessee’s offense was a thing of beauty before Bray and Hunter were lost.

We have seen the effect of Florida’s offense without John Brantley. We have seen the effect of Tennessee’s offense without Justin Hunter and Tyler Bray. Both have been not good.

South Carolina’s offense has certainly taken a hit, and it will be interesting to see if this team can hold it together to make a run to Atlanta.

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