Loss of John Jenkins for bowl game presents rest of Dogs’ defense with a challenge

John Jenkins tips a pass against Florida. (Bob Andres / AJC)

John Jenkins tips a pass against Florida. (Bob Andres / AJC)

I had a suspicion when Mark Richt said he’d wait until the team was in Orlando before talking about whether everyone was eligible for the bowl game that Georgia had not made it through exams unscathed this season.

As it turned out, only one player was scratched from playing against Nebraska because of academic issues, but the one who didn’t make it is a big loss in more ways than one.

John Jenkins, sometimes called “Motel 6,” took up a lot of real estate in the middle of the defensive line at 6-foot-3 and 358 pounds and accounted for 50 tackles and two tackles for loss this season, starting at nose guard and sometimes shifting over to tackle in tandem with Kwame Geathers.

Jenkins would be a major loss for UGA in any game, but especially as the Dogs prepare to go against the No. 8 rushing offense in the country.

Geathers, who himself might not be long for the Georgia roster as the NFL beckons, will be the starter against Nebraska and, if nothing else, will have a great opportunity in the bowl game to show what he can do and improve his draft stock.

Also ameliorating somewhat the loss of Jenkins will be the likely return of senior defensive end Abry Jones, a longtime starter who missed the last half of the season after ankle surgery.

Richt said Jones is expected to be able to play, although “what type of condition he’ll be in and how many plays will he be able to play will be another story. It might create more of an opportunity for a guy like Mike Thornton and Ray Drew. … Sterling Bailey has practiced well so he might get some reps as well.”

Whoever clogs the middle of Georgia’s defensive line, the rest of the front seven are going to have to step it up a bit or the Dogs could find themselves getting gashed by the Cornhuskers’ running attack. Hopefully, a challenge like this will help sharpen their focus a bit in the wake of the disappointment over spending the postseason in a Florida city other than Miami.

A VERY GEORGIA CHRISTMAS

The cover of the 2013 Vintage Georgia calendar.

The cover of the 2013 Vintage Georgia calendar.

Hope everyone has been having a wonderful holiday season.

As my UGA freshman daughter put it, we had a very red and black Christmas this year at the King homestead. Olivia alone had a chair full of Bulldog-related gifts, including a nifty “college sweetheart” jacket and Georgia Toms, but just about everyone got something showing our family’s devotion to the school in Athens.

One thing I always make sure my son and brothers get is the Vintage Georgia calendar published each year by Asgard Press. The 2013 calendar is the seventh edition in the line, which reproduces the covers of classic UGA game programs from past years in a large 11″x15″ format printed on stiff stock and with each month’s image perforated for easy framing.

The programs reproduced in this year’s calendar range from the 1923 game against Auburn, with a drawing of an old-fashioned Georgia Bulldog wearing a G cap on the cover, on through the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s to the 1964 Georgia-Georgia Tech program featuring kicker Bobby Etter.

Most of the months feature the sort of stylized art popular in sporting circles a few decades back and the calendar looks really great on the wall of a Bulldog room or even in an office. With the new year about here, if you haven’t yet gotten a 2013 calendar, this one is highly recommended. You can find more information here.

Got a question for the Junkyard Blawg? Send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

33 comments Add your comment

Desert Fox

December 27th, 2012
10:58 am

Big loss w/o Jenkins. Hope he does well in the pros. Dawgs have to step up, won’t be easy.

Strat Cat Dawg

December 27th, 2012
11:08 am

I’m sorry for Jenkins he won’t get to play. He’s a DGD. Hit those books, John and graduate!

gafanintn

December 27th, 2012
11:10 am

Any word on who UGA staff may be pursuing to replace Mr. Rodney as DL coach and who would step up in the role of Recruiting Coordinator?

David Granger

December 27th, 2012
11:14 am

Jenkins is a big loss…he could sure stack it up at the line and clutter things up. And losing Coach Rodney is a HUGE loss. We’ll see now who was the REAL recruiter, him or Coach Richt. (Hate to admit it, but Gus Malzahn is compiling a good coaching staff over at Auburn.)

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SimpleDawg

December 27th, 2012
11:50 am

Oh well, one dog don’t stop the show.

A loss for sure, but we have plenty of others looking to make their mark.

If the offense is clicking, the score board will be lit up like a pinball machine.

Joey

December 27th, 2012
12:22 pm

NFL Pro Bowlers from UGA

AJ
Geno
Champ
Tim Jennings
Blair Walsh

DGDs.

WDE

December 27th, 2012
12:54 pm

First off Happy Holidays Bill glad you and your family had a good one ! Second this is no real shock JJ went to JUCO cause of his grades out of H.S not surprised he let his school work slip at the end of his playing career. It will be a challenge to replace him but perhaps it will help us figure out who that will be now and give us a little idea head star in figuring out who is best suited for that key position.

Dawg Fud

December 27th, 2012
1:46 pm

Hate that Jenkins does not get to play one last time. He has given an effort consummate with his size – monumental!

Thanks for your hard work Motel 6!

THE Dixie Redcoat Band

December 27th, 2012
1:48 pm

Walsh a Pro-Bowler…in his first year. Last year this time he did a “flop” vs Sparty! Coaching or what? Sad…..

GTDog

December 27th, 2012
2:02 pm

Malzahn is indeed bringing in some good coaches, including himself…

I suspsect they’ll be a few War Eagles leaving the nest in the next several months, similar to what happened at UF when Muschamp got there.

GTDog

December 27th, 2012
2:04 pm

Walsh is a funny character. Remember his freshman year, he got in a funk and finished poorly. Then, the next two season…Al Groh and All American consideration. Then…..senior year, just got in a funk and never climbed out of it.

This year….back to his old self. Strange dude……

GTDog

December 27th, 2012
2:18 pm

Wait a sec….AL Groh? That’s the old GT coach……what is it called the Grosa Award? Something like that…….heh heh heh

Jaye Byrd

December 27th, 2012
3:42 pm

I woudn’t worry about missing Jenkins. When you’ve got a defense made up entirely of future NFLers, you don’t have to worry about stopping the run. Talent will show, it always does in big games, right?

SnowDog

December 27th, 2012
3:43 pm

A lot of these defensive players will play it safe, more worried about getting injured and ruining and NFL career than winning one meaningless Bowl game.

Geathers, Jones would qualify for guys in that category.

Can’t blame them.

Don’t expect anything from Jarvis, Jones, Jenkins, Ogletree, Williams, Commings, Rambo, in this game, too much NFL future at stake.

Trust me, they won’t risk an injury, it won’t happen.

Remember how AJ played in the UCF game in 2010? Expect more of the same.

What to do if you’re Grantham?
If I were Grantham, if that appears to be the case, and they are getting run over, then I’d pull them, bench them, and put in unproven hungry guys anxious to make their mark like a Thornton, a Drew, you know Garrison Smith will bring it, I’ve never seen him take a PLAY off, much less a game. He just needs someone to rotate with to keep him fresh, and then you need a 2 deep at the the other positions that are focused on one thing—WINNING THE GAME. I’d keep moving guys around during the Bowl game, until you find a 2 deep in the game, that want to WIN.

The other thing Grantham can do if that happens is put your young guys in, stack 8 in the box and do a lot of run blitzes.

If you’re still getting beat, start doing slants, at least it’s a 50/50 shot at winning the battle at the line.

SnowDog

December 27th, 2012
3:46 pm

Alabama has the #17 ranked rushing offense, and they laid 350 yards on this defense, so it’s unnerving to think how many yards, and points, #8 ranked rushing offense Nebraska will roll up on this defense.

Especially when the NFL bound guys have nothing to play for.

Browndog

December 27th, 2012
4:19 pm

Hope they all have a fun and safe game.

wise willie

December 27th, 2012
5:56 pm

Enter your comments here

wise willie

December 27th, 2012
6:02 pm

With/without jenkins, the dawgs won’t stop this rushing attack. Our offense had better be cooking cause it will take 45 plus to win this one.

georgedawg

December 27th, 2012
6:03 pm

any word on replacement for garner. good luck to jenkins – glad he came. looks like to me we have some good guys coming along on ol and dl – which has been a short coming to some extent = future looks good to me.

Buzz-off

December 27th, 2012
8:00 pm

SnowDog,
UGa would have the #1 rushing offense in the nation if they played in the Big 10……. And Nebraska would be around 30-40 if they were in the SEC.

Washaun Ealey

December 27th, 2012
9:14 pm

If you know you are going to be drafted and your degree is worthless, why go to class? I’d say take it easy and enjoy the rest before the combine.

Grandmaster JeJe (GM)

December 27th, 2012
9:41 pm

What the hell does this mean:

“before talking about whether everyone was eligible for the bowl game that Georgia had not made it through exams unscathed this season.”

A person SMART enough to know.....

December 27th, 2012
11:04 pm

we haven’t seen that much air between an Uga’s chest and the ground in 50 years at least.

Fan of Auburn's Vet School

December 28th, 2012
8:59 am

The Bulldog on the Official Football Programme is a much healthier specimen than Uga. If you like Bulldogs and want to see a better example, you should see the Bulldog mascot for Mississippi State University or any of the Handsome Dans at Yale (some have lived as long as 10 years). I don’t understand why Georgia fans accept the unhealthy, miserable examples that become Uga. The breeder ought to be ashamed.

Gimme a break

December 28th, 2012
10:12 am

There will be no drop off because they can drop off much further vs the run. Jenkins was awful all year, it was like he was on roller skates. UGA’s defense stinks in general.

NCDAWG

December 28th, 2012
1:02 pm

Yes- Nebraska can run the ball… but they did it against inferior defenses. Bama can run and throw it. Sure Nebraska has had some explosion but they aren’t anywhere near as complete an offense as Bama. I’m not worried about losing Jenkins. I think we may find that we might be better off without him. Why? Because teams have controlled him in the middle and turned him into a giant moving pick that shields off the LB’s. Watch film and see how many times he is used this way. We don’t necessarily need mass… we need someone to penetrate. Is Bama’s NG huge? Was there a giant drop off when Mt.Cody left? And there you have it.

Columbus Dawg

December 28th, 2012
1:27 pm

Not only are the players not going to risk injury, the coaches seem to care more about the “Star” player’s stats and NFL standing than the team as a whole, the University, and the Dawg Nation. (Society of the Miserable). i believe McGarity will get the picture as ole’ Larry used to say when the Big Dawgs let him know what they expect out of Mark Richt going forward. Let me say that I am very proud of the way the team has progressed in 2011 and 2012, despite the losses, but it has taken YEARS for Richt to build up to get in the position he was in before the Bama loss, and I do not believe he will have the luxury of having YEARS to build up to that point again. At Georgia, it seems that the huge exodus of underclassmen ALWAYS outweighs the incoming talent. I’m not saying that true freshman should be able to come in and replace NFL caliber talent in their first year, but by the time they have had a redshirt year, they should be viable depth, and the sophomores and redshirt sophomores should be in place to take the sting out of losing the underclassmen that make the jump. It just does not seem to happen this way in Athens. I realize that when all of your neighbors are winning the BCS that it is hard to get seventeen and eighteen year olds to not want to go be a part of that, especially when those said programs are paying them to come play for them, but something has to give. Obviously the NCAA is not going to do anything to stop the cheating, so Georgia will somehow just have to overcome it. The 2013 class just may be what it takes to overcome.

I hope the headlines read “The Golden Domers whip the Mobile Homers”!

Dawg Squeeze

December 28th, 2012
3:09 pm

UGA Football – 32 years and counting!

LogicalUS

December 28th, 2012
3:36 pm

“did it against inferior defenses”

Did any of those “inferior” defenses average giving up 280 yds a game like the great and mighty UGA defense has against quality teams this season?

Hate to break it to ya, but UGA has not been much above an inferior defense for most of the season.

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