Jarvis Jones erupts for UGA

Jarvis Jones erupts for UGA

September 10th, 2012 by David Paschall in Sports - College

Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones (29) closes in on his sack and strip of Missouri quarterback James Franklin.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Missouri had 16 more yards and one more first down than Georgia during Saturday night's football game at Faurot Field.

Georgia had one more Jarvis Jones.

Jones produced two turnovers in 49 seconds midway through the fourth quarter that turned Georgia's 27-20 lead into a 41-20 runaway. The 6-foot-3, 241-pound redshirt junior outside linebacker intercepted Missouri quarterback James Franklin and had a 21-yard return to the 1-yard line, and then he stripped Franklin, causing a fumble that the Bulldogs would recover at the Missouri 5.

"I think it was a special game," Bulldogs defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said Sunday night. "It was a tight game that was very competitive, and he made some huge plays in the fourth quarter that really allowed us to separate ourselves from them and open up the game. He's a special guy who works extremely hard in his preparation.

"He's really instinctive, and when you have someone of his ability, you want some flexibility in moving him around. You want to give the element of you're not sure where he's going to be."

Jones finished with nine tackles and two sacks in addition to his interception -- which was the first of his career -- and his forced fumble. He was named Sunday as the Walter Camp National Player of the Week on defense.

"My teammates look at me as a leader," Jones told reporters Saturday night. "I'm the one that gets the boys going. I had to step it up. They were checking out of passes really quick. I got off the ball good, I learned the snap count and made plays."

Said Missouri coach Gary Pinkel: "He's a great player. Going in, you try to contain the guy, but he was all over the field."

Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said Sunday that he certainly appreciated starting drives at the Missouri 1- and 5-yard lines, and he is happy to be 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the Southeastern Conference. The Bulldogs were 0-2 and 0-1 this time last year after losing 45-42 to South Carolina, which clinched its win with a 17-7 run in the fourth quarter.

"The South Carolina game was a little bit like that game last night in that it was up and down and there were some turnovers and some wild plays," Bobo said. "We didn't finish in the fourth quarter, but last night we did finish on the road in a very hostile environment. That team was ready to play, and for our guys to finish like they did and win it hopefully shows the character of this football team."

The Bulldogs host Florida Atlantic this Saturday night.

Odds and ends

With cornerback/safety Sanders Commings returning this week following a two-game suspension, Bobo is lobbying for sophomore Malcolm Mitchell to go back to playing more receiver. Mitchell had six tackles and two pass breakups as a cornerback at Missouri. ... Freshman Todd Gurley leads the nation with 47.25 yards per kickoff return. ... Bobo said that Gurley was in for 39 plays at tailback, with fellow freshman Keith Marshall getting 22 and redshirt sophomore Ken Malcome 13. ... Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, who created a stir by stating that the Bulldogs play "old-man football," sought out Georgia coach Mark Richt following the game to apologize. ... Grantham would not say whether safety Bacarri Rambo and inside linebacker Alec Ogletree would be back after sitting out the first two games. ... Grantham said that freshman Jordan Jenkins is the backup at both outside linebacker positions.

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