Jones Paves Way for Championship
a saying that defense wins championships. For Georgia, linebacker
Jarvis Jones and his defensive teammates proved that point, as the
Bulldogs held off a tough Kentucky team 19-10 in Athens on Saturday.
With the win, Georgia clinches the SEC Eastern Division title.
was a great feeling," Jones said on the win. "Earlier in the year we
were down and people were down on us. We just stayed together, kept
fighting and getting better. It's paying off for us. We still have a
long way to go, though. It was big for us, Coach Richt and definitely
big for our seniors. Our seniors are going out of here as champs of the
Eastern Division and get to play in the SEC Championship. That is huge
for us. What better gift can you get as a senior?"
offense opening slow, Jones and the defense were able to step up and
make the plays needed. Something Jones wouldn't have any other way.
think any game we need to do something extra on defense," Jones said.
"Anytime we get the ball and get it back to the offense, it gives us a
better chance to win the game. Kentucky is a SEC team, so I knew that
it was going to be a dogfight. I knew we were going to have to fight 60
minutes. They came to play. We knew they came in here with the mindset
that they wanted to beat us, and they came out firing on all cylinders.
So as a defense we kept playing and made the plays."
performance was nothing less than spectacular. The Butkus Award
semifinalist, an award given to the best linebacker in the nation,
recorded seven tackles, and 2.5 tackles for a loss. His sack total is
the highest in the league and ties him for the No. 3 spot in Georgia's
record books for sacks in a season with 12.5. Jones is currently tied
with David Pollack's 2004 numbers, but Pollack also holds the record
with 14 in 2002.
As a defensive unit, Georgia held the Wildcats
to just 13 yards on 22 plays in the second half and did not give up a
point. In the second half alone, the Bulldogs accumulated five sacks
and seven tackles for loss.
"Coach Grantham is a great coach,
and our defense is able to make our adjustments and go back out there,"
Jones said. "We knew a lot of stuff they were doing earlier, so we just
made plays. It seems like as the game went on we got more energy, more
aggressive and we just kept fighting."