By Dan Beeson (Special to the Daily World)
Facing the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets’ complicated triple-option offense on Nov. 26, there were limited opportunities for Georgia redshirt sophomore Jarvis Jones to add to his SEC-leading quarterback sack total. Run-oriented Georgia Tech attempted just 16 passes. Nonetheless, the ever-relentless Jones, a 6-3, 241-pound outside linebacker from Columbus, picked up yet another sack in Georgia’s 31-17 win over their local rival.
Jones, one of six finalists for the coveted Butkus Award – honoring the nation’s top linebacker – has registered the second most sacks in the NCAA this year with 12.5, and is leading the Southeastern Conference by four total sacks. He is currently tied for UGA’s No. 3 spot along with David Pollack (2004), now an ESPN commentator, for his single-season effort. Playing in his first full season with Georgia, Jones is now second on the team with 58 tackles, two forced fumbles, and has a team-high 38 quarterback pressures while starting all 12 games. And he still has two more chances to break Pollack’s team record, as the Bulldogs play No. 1-ranked LSU on Dec. 3 for the SEC Championship, and will undoubtedly compete in a bowl game.
Georgia (10-2, 7-1 SEC) has reeled off 10 straight wins to clinch their first SEC Eastern Division title since 2005, and take over the No. 13 spot in the latest Bowl Championship Series (BCS) poll.
The Atlanta Daily World spent a few moments with Jones right after the win over Tech:
ADW: Did you ever imagine while playing high school ball in Columbus, Ga., that just a few years later you would be a star college linebacker about to face the No. 1 team in the nation – in prime time, on national TV, at the Georgia Dome?
JJ: I’m just so grateful to be in this position. And now as a team, we’ve just got to stay humble, and play ball like we know how. LSU is a great team, but we can win this game with the right preparation and attitude. There will be no shortage in preparing for them. It’s the national stage. We got the in-state rivalry taken care of, and now it’s the big main event. And we want to beat No. 1.
ADW: You’re going from playing an option-based team like Tech to one that passes a lot, and that is overflowing with talent on offense.
JJ: Against Tech, our offense did a great job and allowed us to rush and get a couple of sacks. That forced them to pass, and they weren’t able to do the tricky stuff on the ground. LSU is a different story. We just need to seize the moment, just like