Published October 28, 2012 - 3:24pm
NEW: Discuss this topic in the Google+ community for SEC fans.
Another Florida-Georgia game, and another game dominated by the top outside linebacker in the country Jarvis Jones. Florida had no answer last season, and offensive coordinator Brent Pease knew he had to account for Jones and make sure someone puts a hat on him every play coming into Saturday’s game. And what did Jones do for an encore? Once again, he was the best player on the field in Jacksonville.
Jones has missed two games this season – FAU and Kentucky – due to two different injuries. He missed FAU with a groin injury and missed Kentucky with an ankle injury, but it’s safe to say he’s back in a massive way, and just his presence in the lineup takes his teammates to another level. He showed that against Florida yesterday, dominating the game in similar fashion to how he did just last season, and the entire defense responded. Yeah, Shawn Williams called everyone out, but Jones was the one guy making plays and wreaking havoc.
In 2011, Jones created nightmares for the hobbled John Brantley. Jones racked up six tackles, four sacks and a forced fumble in route to a 24-20 win.
This year he was even better, totaling 13 tackles, two forced fumbles and three sacks. It was no doubt the play of the game when Jones stripped Florida TE Jordan Reed as he leaped for a touchdown in the end zone. He caught Reed from behind and tomahawked the football loose for a Georgia recovery in the end zone. Game over.
When Mark Richt was told the stat line just before post-game conference, he knew it was all the more impressive because Jones wasn’t even 100 percent.
“I didn’t really realize exactly what Jarvis had done until they told me and I looked at the line,” Richt said. “That’s on a bum ankle and I know his groin’s not really 100 percent yet. He really led for us tonight on the field But he was more vocal than I’ve ever seen him. He really wanted this one badly. I’m just happy he’s a Georgia Bulldog.”
The Jones-led defense held Florida to 266 total yards and 81 on the ground.