Georgia defender hopes Baker Mayfield is faking illness

The Heisman Trophy winning quarterback reportedly is battling the flu.

LOS ANGELES -- The Georgia Bulldogs want Baker Mayfield to get healthy.

Mayfield has been practicing, but the Oklahoma Sooners quarterback has missed multiple media availabilities throughout the week because of an illness. Oklahoma Sooners media are reporting Mayfield may have the flu.

The Heisman Trophy winning quarterback missed another media availability on Friday, just three days before Georgia and Oklahoma meet up in the Rose Bowl for a national semifinal game.

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Sooners offensive coordinator Cale Gundy was tight-lipped about Mayfield's absence.

"That's going to be left up to coach [Lincoln] Riley to talk about," Gundy said. "Obviously you saw him out there, so we'll just leave it at that."

No one really believes Mayfield has any chance of sitting out Monday's game. However, a less than healthy Mayfield could affect the offense known for his ability to create explosive plays. Georgia doesn't want there to be any excuses for Oklahoma come Monday.

"Hopefully he's faking," defensive back J.R. Reed told 11Alive. "I want to go up against the best guy out there. We're prepared to see him. We're prepared to see anybody out there. I wish that guy, get well soon."

One of the most hyped match-ups is Georgia's defense against Mayfield. He has 4,340 passing yards and 41 touchdowns through the air this season. His ability to move around and escape pressure makes it hard on defenses to stay in coverage, and that's what makes him one of the best.

"As a defense, you want to go up against the best guys," Reed said. "He was a good quarterback without the Heisman Trophy. When you go up against a guy like that and a offense like this, you want to go up against the top."

Defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter said he played with the flu earlier this season.

He admitted that he was ill when facing the Florida Gators, but he believes it didn't have an adverse effect on his game.

"I played pretty well. I thought that was one of my better games," Ledbetter said.

As for preparing for a slightly altered offense depending on how Mayfield's health evolves throughout the week:

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"You play for the what-ifs, but you also stay for the main course. You never know what can happen. You never know what type of athlete is going to come out."