October 29, 2012

Mitchell driving Richt crazy?

Malcolm Mitchell knows he probably drives head coach Mark Richt crazy.

"Of course, probably all the time," Mitchell joked after practice Monday, referring to the "talking to" he got from his head coach after his mouth resulted in a personal foul that gave Florida 15 yards and a first down.

"But they know the type of person I am. They were talking about certain things," Mitchell said. "I probably talked a little more this game than I was any other game."

Mitchell eventually earned his coach's forgiveness when he converted the 45-yard touchdown play to sew up Saturday's 17-9 win, although the Valdosta sophomore claimed there was a reason his mouth got him in trouble against the Gators.

"When you're called out as young man, you don't want to seem like you're backing down. That's all that was," Mitchell said. "I was just trying to prove who could play hardest the longest."

But it wasn't teammate Shawn Williams or some in the national media who Mitchell was trying to impress.

"I felt like I was called out by their players. You could watch film and tell they talk. I felt all week that they were going to try and run over us, like they have some other receivers and I was just letting them know that we weren't going to take that," Mitchell said. "If they were going to talk, we were going to talk, and if they wanted to hit, we were going to hit back."

Jenkins "avoids" embarrassment

By all accounts, freshmen outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins enjoyed a solid game against Florida.

But according to the freshman, there was one play during Saturday's game he still can't get out of his mind.

The play occurred during Bacarri Rambo's touchdown-saving interception to end the first half.

"After Rambo got the pick, I was like 'OK, let me hurry up and try to find somebody to block.' I turned around and there was no running back or tight end in sight, only this big ole lineman," Jenkins recalled. "I said dang, but I hit him and he moved back about a step and my legs came out from under me. They wound up playing it on SportsCenter but nobody paid attention to me, they only showed Rambo catching the pick. I slid down on my seat on the bus, and acted like nothing happened."

But that was the only play Jenkins said he'd like to take back.

"I felt like that was one of the best games I've had in college so far," said Jenkins, despite finishing with just two tackles, including one for a loss of .5 yards.

"I finally got praise from Amarlo (Herrera), and that's a hard thing to do," he said. "It seems I get blindsided the most out of everybody on the team and no matter what I do, I have that happen one to three times. But this time, that didn't happen."

Injury update

There were some new names on Georgia's post-practice injury report.

Among them, was starting center David Andrews, who was held out of workouts with a left knee contusion.

Others included fullback Merritt Hall (right ankle sprain, out), fullback Quayvon Hicks (concussion, limited; no contact), defense end Abry Jones (left ankle sprain) and linebacker Chase Vasser (left shoulder sprain, out).

Vavlas help set the tone

Georgia's defense rightfully gets most of the kudos for its effort in Saturday's 17-9 win over Florida.

But the Bulldogs' special teams - particularly the kickoff coverage unit - deserve some praise of their own.

"I think we're blessed to have Coach O (Kirk Olivadotti) who lets us do our thing. It's more natural how he coaches us," special teamer Kosta Vavlas said. "We've improved a lot. We're basically the same guys as last year but we've improved a lot. We know our roles more, everyone knows their positions on the kickoff and we're connecting pretty well."

Still, Vavlas is due to some credit as well.

On the game's opening kickoff, it was Vavlas who tore down the field and knocked down Gator return man Andre Debose at the 18.

"No, that was big team. Everybody did their job," Vavlas said. "I just happened to make the play. I was just happy to make it when I had the opportunity."

Awards keep piling up for Jones

The weekly awards continue to roll in for linebacker Jarvis Jones.

Shortly after being named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week, the Columbus native learned that he has made the semifinal list for both the Maxwell Award and the Chuck Bednarik Award.

Jones is one of four players from the Southeastern Conference included on the Maxwell list, which is given to the collegiate player of the year. There are a total of eight SEC players on the Bednarik list, which is given to the nation's outstanding defensive player of the year.

The junior is third on the team with 49 tackles and leads the defense with 14.0 tackles for loss of 84 yards and 8.5 sacks. He has also grabbed his first career interception this season and has registered five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in just six games played (he was injured versus Kentucky and Florida Atlantic).

Last week against the Gators, Jones erupted for a career-high 13 tackles (12 solo), including 4.5 tackles for loss and three sacks, to go along with two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries during the 17-9 upset. Jones anchored a defense that held Florida to no touchdowns and that forced six turnovers.

Jones leads the NCAA FBS with an average of 1.1 sacks per game thanks to 22 sacks in 20 games for the Bulldogs over the last two years.

• Next week's game at Auburn will kick off at 7 p.m. and be televised live on ESPN2.

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