ATLANTA, GEORGIA - NOVEMBER 25: Head coach Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs looks on during the third quarter against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Bobby Dodd Stadium on November 25, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Georgia Travels to Orange Bowl Without Two Key Starters

It's no secret that this season's Orange Bowl features two teams that wish they were in the College Football Playoff. And now, one of those teams, the Georgia Bulldogs, will likely be without two key starters as they take on the Florida State Seminoles. 

Those players are tight end Brock Bowers and offensive tackle Amarius Mims. They didn't travel with the team to the Orange Bowl site at Miami, Florida. 

The Bulldogs missed being selected for the College Football Playoff after losing to the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game. And Alabama was chosen for the College Football Playoff over Florida State after the Seminoles lost starting quarterback Jordan Travis and who are now without primary backup Tate Rodemaker, as he is transferring elsewhere. 

"Right now, we've got our guys that are healthy playing," head coach Kirby Smart said regarding opt-outs. "Guys that are completely healthy cleared to play, they've all said they're going to play."

"That's up to Brock. Brock's been with us the whole time, and he's been doing all the things he's got to do," Smart added. "It's more important, though, that he's 100%. The guy probably played earlier than he should have, came out there and competed his butt off. He's done everything he can for Georgia. He's not 100%, so it makes it a little harder to do."

If Mims and Bowers sit out, it would make sense. Bowers dealt with an injury this season and is regarded as one of the best prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft, while Mims is viewed as a top offensive tackle prospect. 

Bowers had 56 receptions this season on 71 targets for 717 yards and six touchdowns. He played in 10 games this year and was hurt during the Vanderbilt game in Week 7. 

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Bulldogs are favored by more than 17 points as the Seminoles look to third-string quarterback Brock Glenn, who had 55 passing yards in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Game against Louisville. 

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