published Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Georgia's Bacarri Rambo leads nation

  • photo
    In this file photo South Carolina's Patrick DiMarco (47) carries the ball as Georgia's Bacarri Rambo (18) tries to stop during the first half of an NCAA college football game Sept. 11, 2010, at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Georgia's Bacarri Rambo was suspended for the season opener against Boise State, but the junior safety has been making up for it since.

Rambo collected two interceptions in Saturday's 27-13 win at Ole Miss and has four in three games for a 1.33 average per game. He is the only Bowl Subdivision player averaging more than one interception a game. Five others, including Vanderbilt's Casey Hayward, have averaged one per contest.

"He's defended a lot of balls, and most everything that hits his hands, he's caught," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "In general, I have been bragging about the ball skills of our defensive backfield. All the guys have good hands, and we're going to be a team that gets the interceptions when the balls get sprayed around when we get pressure on people.

"This last game, we had the most pressure on the quarterback that we've had all year, and he ends up with two picks because of it. It's a team effort, but you still have to make the play when it's there."

Rambo, a 6-foot, 218-pounder from Donalsonville, Ga., had two interceptions as a redshirt freshman in 2009 and three last season.

Knowing Murray

Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen doesn't need to be sold on Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray.

Mullen was in his fourth year as Florida's offensive coordinator in 2008 when Murray was a senior at Plant High in Tampa. He recruited Murray for the Gators, but Murray committed early to Georgia and enrolled early as well.

"I know him very well," Mullen said. "Last year, he came in here and had not played a lot. Now he's a veteran quarterback and makes good decisions with the ball in his hand. He can make every throw out there, and when you stop him in the throw game, he can scramble around and create with his feet.

"We're going to have to play real sound on defense and keep the ball in front of us and hopefully get a little pressure on him and rush some of his decisions to where he doesn't have time to sit back and pick us apart."

Neyland at night

Georgia's game next week at Tennessee will kick off at 7 p.m. on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU. Other games being considered in that time slot are Auburn at Arkansas and Vanderbilt at Alabama.

If recent history is any indication, the nighttime start in Neyland Stadium could bode well for the Bulldogs. The 2007 and '09 matchups in Knoxville had lunchtime starts, and Tennessee humiliated Georgia by scores of 35-14 and 45-19. The last evening kick between Georgia and Tennessee in Neyland was in 2003, when the Bulldogs won 41-14.

Crowell honored

Tailback Isaiah Crowell was named Monday as SEC freshman of the week after rushing 30 times for 147 yards at Ole Miss. Crowell is averaging 102.8 yards per game, which ranks first among SEC freshmen and second among all freshmen nationally.

The 5-11, 215-pounder from Columbus shared the SEC freshman honor after rushing 16 times for 118 yards Sept. 10 against South Carolina.

Odds and ends

Georgia is 16-6 all-time against Mississippi State and 9-1 against MSU at Sanford Stadium, the lone loss occurring in 1956. ... Junior linebacker Christian Robinson, who has missed the past two games with a foot injury, went through portions of Monday's practice but is questionable for Saturday.

about David Paschall...

David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...

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