October 29, 2011

Jones shows out

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jarvis Jones tried to deflect the credit after his performance in Saturday's 24-20 win over Florida.

"We just balled out," Jones shrugged after the game.

His teammates will tell you the Southern Cal transfer certainly did.

Just last week, the sophomore Butkus Award semifinalist finished with four sacks for -27 yards and five total tackles. His sacks ranks in a tie for second most in a game in school history, and the most since 2001 when Charles Grant had four versus Auburn.

"It was a tremendous job," fellow linebacker Alec Ogletree said. "He worked hard all week to get his pass rush down. Today he just came out and did a great job."

Jones is the fifth Bulldog in school history with at least four sacks in a contest. Jones entered the game ranked fifth in the SEC with four sacks. The SEC leader coming into the weekend was Auburn's Corey Lemonier with six. Georgia had six sacks tonight for -43 yards.

"I've never had four sacks in a game in my life," Jones said. "It feels good, but it feels better to get them in a big game like Georgia-Florida."

Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham liked what he saw.

"He can rush," Grantham said. "He's a resilient player. I'm really proud of him as well as the other guys. I know how hard these guys prepare, and if we just continue to handle our business then we will be fine."

Jones was also in the right place at the right time during one of the game's other key moments.

Early in the third, it was Jones who forced a fumble at the Gator 18 that was recorded by Shawn Williams to set up Georgia's first touchdown, a 14-yard pass from Aaron Murray to Tavarres King.

Florida coach Will Muschamp said his team certainly did not have answer to keep Jones out of his backfield.

"Jarvis is a good player, he's a good rusher - their best rusher," Muschamp said. "He did a good job, but again, in those situations you have to be able to have some sort of run game to slow down the rush and it's tough on those tackles to continue to kick and block the edge rushers."

Nose tackle Jonathan Jenkins says he believe Jones' best is still ahead.

"I believe with no doubt that Jarvis can be the best linebacker in the nation," Jenkins said. "He's like my brother and I believe he can be as good as he wants to be."

As Jones' roommate, Jenkins knows his good friend better than most.

"When me and J get to the room, we just hang out and chill," Jenkins said. "I can't explain it. We just vibe off of one another. We don't talk much about what we do on the field."

Still, Jenkins knows Jones will relish Saturday's effort in his quiet moments alone.

"He's proud, no doubt about it. I know J.J. is proud," Jenkins said. "But I also know that deep down inside he knows it's not over until everything is all said and done. Until then, (Jones) is going to continue to be that quiet guy."

Jones later conceded he's proud of his year so far.

"I think I'm having a good year, but it's all just me, I can promise you that," Jones said. "I've got some great teammates, guys who love me and coaches who believe in me and put me in position to make plays. I'm just glad I've got teammates to do their job so I can make the plays that I do."

Anthony Dasher is the managing editor for UGASports
and he can be reached via email at dash@ugasports.com.