Let the tackling commence.
For those keeping count at home, the Southeastern Conference‚Äôs top three tacklers will be on display Saturday night in Sanford Stadium when Georgia‚Äôs Ramik Wilson and Amarlo Herrera and Kentucky‚Äôs Avery Williamson chase down ball-carriers.
The combatants can‚Äôt wait.
Or maybe not.
‚ÄúI don‚Äôt care,‚Äù Wilson said. ‚ÄúI really don‚Äôt even look at my stats, so I don‚Äôt know what they look like. Coach (Todd) Grantham and Coach O (Kirk Olivadotti) keep all of us on that track not to worry about our stats. Focus on your practice and the next game and everything after the season will take care of itself.‚Äù
Wilson leads the SEC with 110 tackles and fellow junior inside linebacker Herrera has 91. Williamson, a senior linebacker, is behind them with 88.
‚ÄúRamik‚Äôs going to stay in the lead, and I‚Äôm going to try and stay right behind him,‚Äù Herrera said.
Wilson rang up the most tackles in an SEC game this season and the 10th most nationally when he had a career-high 18 tackles against Auburn last Saturday.
Williamson has four games of 10-plus tackles this season and was second in the SEC last year with 135 tackles.
‚ÄúHe‚Äôs right where he belongs at middle linebacker,‚Äù Georgia coach Mark Richt said of Williamson. ‚ÄúA big, strong guy. A 6-1, 240 pounder. A very physical football player.‚Äù
Williamson is playing with a thumb injury that got a new cast this week.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a ligament,‚Äù Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs not a torn ligament, but for some reason after this past weekend it swelled up very big. As a matter of fact, it was so much swelling in it on Sunday that they couldn‚Äôt put a cast on it until Monday when they got some of the swelling out of it.‚Äù