Georgia wide receiver George Pickens ejected for fighting, will sit 1st half vs. LSU

Blaylock scores while Pickens and Swilling throw punches out of bounds (1:32)

While Dominick Blaylock scores on a nine-yard touchdown pass from Jake Fromm, George Pickens and Tre Swilling brawl on the opposite side of the field, resulting in Pickens' ejection. (1:32)

ATLANTA - Georgia receiver George Pickens was ejected in the third quarter of Saturday's 52-7 victory at Georgia Tech after trading punches with a Yellow Jackets defensive back.

The SEC confirmed that, per NCAA rules, Pickens would be suspended from playing in the first half of next week's game against No. 2 LSU in the SEC championship game.

Pickens and Georgia Tech cornerback Tre Swilling fought in the corner of the end zone after UGA receiver Dominick Blaylock's 9-yard touchdown, which gave the Bulldogs a 38-7 lead with 4:28 to go in the third. Pickens threw at least two punches and threw Swilling into a wall.

"Just disappointed, that's the biggest thing," Georgia coach Kirby Smart said of the fight. "We don't want to reflect ourselves that way. He would be the first one to tell you that he lost his composure."

Under NCAA rules, players who are ejected for fighting in the second half of a game are "disqualified for the remainder of the game and the first half of the next game."

Pickens' absence in the first two quarters against LSU will especially hurt because the Bulldogs are already without leading receiver Lawrence Cager, who underwent ankle surgery on Friday and probably will not return for a bowl game, according to Smart.

"Unfortunately, [Pickens] got an undisciplined penalty and when you make undisciplined decisions, regardless of what's done first, you pay a penalty for that," Smart said. "He won't be able to play the first half of next week and when you make emotional decisions, that's what happens. We're going to help George. We're going to help him grow up. We're going to help him make better decisions so he can help our team, but that's unfortunate."

Smart called Pickens' actions both "selfish" and "undisciplined."

"I mean, don't be stupid," Smart said. "It's just silly, it's selfish, it's undisciplined. It's, 'Why?' You ask yourself why. Why would I give up an opportunity over what we have next week? Over what? I always ask guys, 'Was it worth it?' That's what I always say. 'Was it worth it?' It's not worth it to me when you hurt the team.

"But you live and you grow up and you love them. And look, I love George Pickens. He went to the hospital with us on Friday and did an unbelievable job. He had as much charisma and as much care for those kids as anybody we had there. George is a great kid. He's a freshman."

Pickens, from Hoover, Ala., didn't play in the first half against Georgia Tech. Smart said he was suspended for a violation of team rules. He returned for the No. 4 Bulldogs' first offensive play of the second half.

He caught a 41-yard touchdown pass to put UGA ahead 31-7.

Smart said star tailback D'Andre Swift is expected to be ready for next week's game after he left in the third quarter Saturday with a bruised left shoulder injury. Swift, the SEC's third leading rusher, had 10 carries for 73 yards with two fumbles before he left.

"We think he's going to be fine," Smart said. "He's got a shoulder contusion but we think he's going to be fine. He should be back."

Smart said Swift could have returned against Tech if the Bulldogs had needed him.

"He's been dealing with that kind of all year," Smart said. "He's had shoulder contusions, and it's bothered him from time to time. But he's a really tough guy. He probably could have gone back in the game if he needed to. But he knew that wasn't what we needed to do, we needed to rest him and get him ready.