Defensive end duo Abry Jones and DeAngelo Tyson strong for Georgia

Defensive end duo Abry Jones and DeAngelo Tyson strong for Georgia

November 22nd, 2011 by David Paschall in Sportscollege

Fans rub the helmet of Georgia's Abry Jones after the Bulldogs defeated Tennessee.

Photo by Jenna Walker/Times Free Press.

Contributed Photo Georgia defensive tackle DeAngelo Tyson chases South Carolina's quarterback.

MUNSON'S SERVICE

The memorial service for former Georgia radio announcer Larry Munson will be held at a date yet to be determined, but it will be after Dec. 4.

In lieu of flowers, the Munson family requests that donations be made to the Noah Harris Cheerleading Scholarship. The endowed scholarship is awarded annually to a student-athlete on the cheerleading team who displays outstanding character, leadership and dedication to the athletic program and the community.

Checks should be made payable to the UGA Foundation with the designation "Noah Harris Cheerleading Scholarship in memory of Larry Munson." They may be sent to the Georgia Bulldog Club, P.O. Box 1472, Athens, GA 30603.

ATHENS, Ga. -- While Jarvis Jones keeps racking up the sacks and Bacarri Rambo the interceptions on Georgia's vastly improved defense, the quality of play by ends Abry Jones and DeAngelo Tyson has not been lost on second-year coordinator Todd Grantham.

"I think those guys have been very exceptional," Grantham said. "Both of them have shown very good leadership, and both of them bring energy to our defense and have been stout in our run play."

Jones, a 6-foot-3, 309-pound junior from Warner Robins, has started all 11 games this season, while Tyson, a 6-2, 306-pound senior from Statesboro, has made 10 starts. The two have helped anchor a unit that allows 81.3 rushing yards per game, which ranks second nationally behind Alabama.

Statistics don't always come easily for that position, but Jones has amassed 36 tackles and seven tackles for loss this season. Tyson has 20 tackles, including 3.5 for loss.

"You've just got to be a team player and not look for the spotlight," Tyson said. "It's not a flashy position on our defense, but if everyone is doing what they're supposed to do, you should just notice a great defense playing hard and working to the best of their ability."

Tyson took one for the team last year by becoming the first starting nose in Grantham's 3-4 scheme. It was not the most pleasant experience, as the Bulldogs struggled at the point of attack in losses to South Carolina, Mississippi State, Colorado, Florida and Auburn, as well as the win over Georgia Tech.

By the time the 6-6, 350-pound Kwame Geathers developed this past spring and the 6-3, 351-pound John Jenkins arrived this summer, giving Georgia two gargantuan options at nose, Tyson had gotten quite cozy at end.

Jones played in all 13 games and made six starts at end last season, and he already has surpassed his statistical productivity from a year ago.

"Even though I don't get the national praise like J.J. and all that, I still like what I'm doing," said Jones, who did share SEC co-defensive lineman of the week Monday. "As long as you're happy as an individual, I don't see anything wrong with the way things are going."

For two consecutive weeks, Jones has totaled four tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss, which are somewhat high numbers for ends in the 3-4. Now the Bulldogs are bracing for Georgia Tech's triple-option and all those cut blocks that come along with it, and all normalcy will disappear in terms of statistics.

In last year's 42-34 win over the Yellow Jackets, when the Bulldogs survived despite allowing 411 yards on 77 rushes, Jones and Tyson each had a career-high 16 tackles. Jones also had two tackles for loss and a forced fumble.

"I know some guys hate this offense, but I've been facing it since high school," Jones said. "I pretty much know what to expect. I had a good game against them last year, and I would really like to repeat that."

The Bulldogs also yielded 315 rushing yards to Cam Newton and Auburn last season and finished with a rush defense that allowed 147.2 yards per game. That ranked just seventh in the SEC, but things have been very different in Grantham's second season.

With Jones and Tyson doing their part and then some.

"I think our defense is greatly improved," Jones said. "With us being bigger bodies, we're really holding up on the line, and with our athleticism I think we're really making plays. Me and DeAngelo are really trying to take advantage of things that come to us."

Said Grantham: "Those two guys work hard every week to prepare, and they come to play. They've been a huge part of our success."

Odds and ends

Georgia junior Orson Charles was named Monday night as one of three finalists for the 2011 John Mackey Award, which is awarded annually to college football's most outstanding tight end. ... Senior kicker Blair Walsh, who made four field goals in Saturday's win over Kentucky, is the SEC special teams player of the week.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.