Defense on display in SEC East showdown
TribLIVE Sports Videos
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Georgia coach Mark Richt is not worried about his team's defense, no matter how many yards the Bulldogs have allowed.
No. 5 Georgia ranks near the bottom of the SEC, checking in at 10th at more than 370 yards allowed per game. That's almost 100 more than the team gave up a game a year ago, when Georgia was fourth in the league and adding to the SEC's reputation for powerhouse defense.
The Bulldogs (5-0, 3-0) must ramp things up defensively Saturday against No. 6 South Carolina (5-0, 3-0) in an East Division showdown sure to have a bearing on who will play for the SEC title.
Richt said his players have made critical stops with the game on the line, which has helped the Bulldogs to their first 5-0 start since 2006.
Not that it's been pretty. Georgia gave up 371 yards in the SEC opener against Missouri and 478 last week in beating Tennessee, 51-44.
“I was more concerned about, ‘Are we going to stop people when we have to stop them, when it means the most?' ” Richt said. “I think that happened in the Missouri game, and I think it happened in the Tennessee game defensively. I'm pleased with that.”
Georgia got three turnovers to hold off Missouri, including a fourth-quarter interception by star linebacker Jarvis Jones. The Bulldogs picked up three interceptions and a fumble to beat the Vols. Perhaps more importantly, the defense got back suspended starters in linebacker Alec Ogletree and safety Baccarri Rambo.
Ogletree made 14 tackles and tipped a pass that led to an interception; Rambo had nine tackles. Jones is the leader, though, with 4½ sacks and eight tackles for loss.
Georgia has had its troubles stopping South Carolina's rushing attack the past two years. Gamecocks star Marcus Lattimore scorched the Bulldogs for 182 yards and two touchdowns in 2010, then had 176 yards and a touchdown last season — both South Carolina victories.
The Gamecocks have picked up defensively where they left off a year ago, when they finished third nationally. In last week's 38-17 win at Kentucky, the Gamecocks gave up 196 yards and trailed, 17-7, at the half, then held the Wildcats to 47 yards and no points the rest of the way.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Four helicopters respond to Route 51 crash in Rostraver
- Steelers notebook: Linebacker Timmons hoping for contract extension
- School lunch group hopes to revise rules it calls impractical, too restrictive
- Steelers plan to use smart pass rush against Seattle QB Wilson
- Miami (Fla.) gets prepared to take on ‘physical’ Pitt team
- Carrick crime ‘blitz’ shows early signs of success
- Penguins 4th line is showing promise
- Western Pa. students bristle at changing menu choices
- Western Pa. dairies get creative to ensure eggnog supply
- Alpine touring skiing movement faces uphill climb in Western Pa.
- Kittanning News carries latest books by Boarts and Creel