‘Hurricane Jarvis’ sweeps through Florida’s offense for 17-9 Georgia win

Georgia's Jarvis Jones comes up with one of his two fumble recoveries against Florida. He also caused two fumbles and recorded 13 tackles and three sacks in his first game back from injury. (AJC photo  by Bob Andres)

Georgia's Jarvis Jones comes up with one of his two fumble recoveries against Florida. He also caused two fumbles and recorded 13 tackles and three sacks in his first game back from injury. (AJC photo by Bob Andres)

JACKSONVILLE — Never mind all that “soft defense” talk. Georgia had Jarvis Jones back in the lineup.

The Bulldogs’ dynamic outside linebacker, who has missed two games with injuries and been hobbled much of the season’s first half, was feeling good and healthy on Saturday. Just ask Florida, which felt his wrath all night.

The 2011 All-American terrorized the Gators all night, finishing with 13 tackles, three quarterback sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Jones wasn’t the only reason, but he was a big reason the No. 10-ranked Bulldogs were able to knock off the No. 2 Gators 17-9 Saturday night at EverBank Field.

The victory gives puts the Bulldogs (7-1, 5-1 SEC) into the driver’s seat to repeat as SEC East champions and represent the division in the SEC championship game in the Georgia Dome. Georgia plays host to Ole Miss (5-3, 2-2) next Saturday and closes out the conference slate at Auburn (1-7, 0-6) on Nov. 10. Since the Bulldogs now own the head-to-head tiebreaker, the Gators need to beat Missouri next week and have Georgia lose one of its final two.

“All we’ve done is give ourselves a chance to play Ole Miss and have it mean something,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said.

It was only fitting that Jones would make the play of the game. With the Bulldogs’ clinging to an eight-point lead in the final minutes, Florida tight end Jordan Reed hauled in a pass and was running inside the Bulldogs’ 5-yard line. But Jones hadn’t given up on the play. Catching Reed from behind, Jones tomahawked the football loose and it bounded into the end zone. There, cornerback Sanders Commings jumped on the ball and cradled it in the back of the end zone for a touchback.

“I didn’t really realize exactly what Jarvis had done until they told me and I looked at the line,” Richt said. “That’s on a bum ankle and I know his groin’s not really 100 percent yet. He really led for us tonight on the field But he was more vocal than I’ve ever seen him. He really wanted this one badly. I’m just happy he’s a Georgia Bulldog.”

Jones emerged from the locker room later than his teammates, who were being interviewed in a ground-floor concourse. He again had to receive post-game medical treatment. But he spoke humbly about what had just occurred.

“I had a good game, but all of us had a big game,” said the junior from Columbus. “We were clicking on all cylinders. We held the No. 2 team in the nation without a touchdown the whole game. That’s a compliment for us as a defense. I just hope we continue to play this way the rest of the season and keep challenging each other week in and week out.”

Jones’ teammates weren’t as modest in talking about him.

“Jarvis Jones is a beast; that’s a beast right there,” senior linebacker Mike Gilliard said. “He’s a hard worker; he’s a passionate, passionate guy; he loves this sport. He came out here and showed up like we knew he would. Big-time players make big-time plays in big-time games.”

“Jarvis is a great player, an outstanding player, whatever you want to say,” sophomore Malcolm Mitchell said. “To come off an ankle sprain the way he did. That’s not an easy thing to come back from. Then to do what he did, I’d pick him No. 1 in the draft if it was me.”

It was a total defensive effort by the Bulldogs beyond Jones’ play. Georgia held the Gators without a touchdown in this series for the first time since 1988 when coach Vince Dooley’s last team beat them 26-3. Florida had six turnovers – four fumbles and two interceptions – and managed just 266 total yards.

It’s no coincidence that the performance came in the same week that Williams, the senior safety and de facto defensive captain, came out and said the Bulldogs were playing too soft on defense and without the same kind of passion they did the year before. Georgia returned eight starters from last season’s unit, which finished fifth in the nation in total yardage.

“Our guys were very serious about playing with intensity and playing with some physicality,” Richt said. “They had been accused of some things that guys don’t like to be accused of and I think that probably helped motivate them.”

Richt was pretty motivated, too. The Florida series has been one that has dogged his tenure as head coach. Saturday’s win was just his fourth in 12 seasons over the Gators.

A jovial Richt remained on the field for nearly 15 minutes, working his way from the north end of the stadium to the south, giving fans the thumbs-up sign, shaking hands and chatting up hundreds who had come down to the front row.

“You need to enjoy these moments,” Richt explained. “As long as the fans were going to stuck around, I was going to stick around… . When you have a victory like that against a great team and your fanbase is there, I want to stick around and enjoy it with them. I wanted our players to enjoy it and I wanted to enjoy it. We wanted to celebrate.”

Georgia did manage to generate some offense, though it was more timely than prolific. Quarterback Aaron Murray had a season-high three interceptions – all in the first-half after having only four all season – but hooked up with Malcolm Mitchell on a 45-yard touchdown pass with 7:11 remaining in the fourth quarter that have the Bulldogs some breathing room.

And freshman Todd Gurley provided the Bulldogs just the spark they needed in the run game. He rushed for 118 yards on 27 carries and scored on a 10-yard run, his 11th TD of the season. In all, Georgia eke out just 273 yards.

Williams, for what it’s worth, finished with six tackles and a tackle for loss. Bacarri Rambo and Damian Swann each recorded interception.

Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel was sacked five times and was 14-of-26 passing. Mike Gillisee led the Gators with 77 yards rushing.

“I’ve said all season we’re not a team that has a lot of margin of error,” Muschamp said. “Six turnovers, wow, that’s hard to overcome.”

GEORGIA-FLORIDA GAME COVERAGE

601 comments Add your comment

rod dog

October 27th, 2012
7:37 pm

Enter your comments here

rod dog

October 27th, 2012
7:39 pm

TO ALL THE ARM CHAIR COACHES SHUT UP.. GO GA

BILLY JACK

October 27th, 2012
7:39 pm

GEORGIA PHYSICALLY WHIPPED THE GATORS TONIGHT-HOPEFULLY THIS DEF SHOWS UP ALL YEAR AND IN THE DOME.

Brian

October 27th, 2012
7:39 pm

gator meat is sweet, but you gotta spit the jorts out when you’re done.

curdog

October 27th, 2012
7:39 pm

My!My!
My alma mater beats my employer!
Life is good!

Bigdog311

October 27th, 2012
7:39 pm

8:43 in Jacksonville all year long!

Mark

October 27th, 2012
7:39 pm

Almost first?

KJ

October 27th, 2012
7:39 pm

To hell with Florida!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Devil_Dawg

October 27th, 2012
7:39 pm

TAREQ

October 27th, 2012
7:39 pm

GEORGIA BABY!!!

East Cobb 12

October 27th, 2012
7:39 pm

I hope that doggie fans will be happy for awhile now and keep Richt. 35-7 puppies!!!

Lonnie

October 27th, 2012
7:40 pm

Thomas Brown, Huh, GTbob and all of the haters! The Dawgs are back!!!! What a game!!!!!!!!!

Devil_Dawg

October 27th, 2012
7:40 pm

not even close
Dang

Scott

October 27th, 2012
7:40 pm

Jarvis Jones is a beast. GO DAWGS!

B'dawg

October 27th, 2012
7:40 pm

WELL WELL WELL. ALL YOU HATERS STAY OFF! THIS IS FOR THE REAL DEAL FANS. ENJOY MY FRIENDS. THIS IS MONUMENTAL. 2 YEARS IN A ROW IN A WHILE. BACK IN THE GAME AGAIN. ITS GREAT TO BE A BULLDOG!!!!!!!!!!

RK

October 27th, 2012
7:41 pm

First? Go dawgs

Bo

October 27th, 2012
7:41 pm

Knoxville Bulldawg

October 27th, 2012
7:41 pm

Feels great. Despite the mistakes we find a way to win! Go Dawgs!

RK

October 27th, 2012
7:41 pm

Way late. Great game by dawgs.

B'dawg

October 27th, 2012
7:42 pm

DEFENSE DEFENSE DEFENSE!

Lonnie

October 27th, 2012
7:42 pm

As I always say no telling what will happen in the SEC! Let’s get some Rebels.

Uncle Kirk

October 27th, 2012
7:43 pm

Fire Richt…..bwahahahaha……smartest coaching moves of the year holding JJ out to heal up for UF and getting Williams to call out the defense…..brilliant

Seattle Dawg

October 27th, 2012
7:43 pm

….and it’s great to be a Georgia Bulldog!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SouthGADawg

October 27th, 2012
7:45 pm

UGA wins without a QB today. Gurley looked great and the Defense is the best in the SEC today. UGA has a chance if QB wakes up and plays.

macaac

October 27th, 2012
7:45 pm

well well well I’ll be damned who would have thunk it?

Grady Baby81

October 27th, 2012
7:46 pm

GA Bulldogs went hard tonight I hope they don’t lose that passion to Win!

Sammy

October 27th, 2012
7:46 pm

That Jarvis play, where he strips the ball from their best player,

As muschamp would say:

BOOM!

springerray

October 27th, 2012
7:46 pm

CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS. UNBELIEVABLE.

Sammy

October 27th, 2012
7:47 pm

MIAMI, MIAMI MIAMI MIAMI

Rmikel58

October 27th, 2012
7:47 pm

Now see………thats what happens when youre focused and determined. I knew you had it in you but you had to find it.
Congrats go celebrate , stay out of trouble and get ready for next weeks opponent Ole Miss.
Dfense won the game and Murray thank God JJ saved you and the Dawg Nation.

flatsdawg1

October 27th, 2012
7:47 pm

Thank you Dawgs, thank you Jarvis, thank you Jesus! Great entertainment! Ole Miss, Auburn and then Alabama will be coming up with the effort Dawg fans saw today. Jarvis Jones should be in the heisman talk.

DGD

October 27th, 2012
7:47 pm

DAMN IT FEEL GOOD TO BEAT THEM!!!!!….NOW HOW CAN WE MEASURE UP TO BAMA

TN Dawg

October 27th, 2012
7:48 pm

Big D – give us this type of play every week. Go Dawgs!!!!

78Dawg

October 27th, 2012
7:48 pm

WOW..I need a difibulator….WOW…Great win..but 1. Murray has to step up big. He made too many mistakes. 2. Why is Bowman still on this team..kid can’t play…gets a stupid 15….But..I’m happy Dawg tonight……Go Dawgs..Sorry Gators we got your number !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gen. Andy Jackson

October 27th, 2012
7:49 pm

“I know when my wife had cervical cancer, if that doesn’t put life in perspective, what does? There are just thing bigger than whether I’m the head coach at Georgia, or whether anybody thinks I’m smart or not smart, or a good coach or a bad coach. I know I’ve got a job to do, and I want to know that the process I go through in that job is one I can live with when I go to sleep at night…”
–Coach Mark Richt

Amen, Coach.

AND WE WON. GO DAWGS.

Woofy One

October 27th, 2012
7:50 pm

Had our offense played at the same level as our defense it would have been 31 points on the board. DEAD LIZARDS all over the highway tonight.

jpilot

October 27th, 2012
7:50 pm

Ugly is ok if you win.

dawgon

October 27th, 2012
7:51 pm

Long way to go. Ugly emotional win. These are usually followed by let downs. Hope we can get up for an improved well coached Ole Miss team.

Grady Baby81

October 27th, 2012
7:51 pm

Alabama you better call a lifeguard because them Dawgs are coming to sniff you out!

chilidawg

October 27th, 2012
7:51 pm

Somebody please tell Malcom Mitchell to stop talking $#!t.

DGD

October 27th, 2012
7:51 pm

JORDAN JENKINS HAD AN EXCELLENT GAME BUT THE MENTOR (J. JONES) DID WHAT MENTORS DO…SHOW EM HOW ITS DONE…UR TURN TO STEP UP NEXT YEAR JENKINS

SV STEVE

October 27th, 2012
7:52 pm

Yeah Dawgs. Offence sucked, Defense Awesome!!!!
two more games to go!!
Gurley came back, all we need is two more COMPLETE GAMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

must win

October 27th, 2012
7:52 pm

congrats to GA…esp Defense and particularly Jarvis Jones….a man among boys.

go DAWGS!

sogadog

October 27th, 2012
7:52 pm

I take back all that crap I have been writing about CMR on these blogs. Great defense and a running game wins championships. Two more SEC games to go. Go DAWGS!!!! Muschamp has taken the curse from UGA to UF.

bobdawg

October 27th, 2012
7:53 pm

What a great win. Our D came to play.
Our D caused a lot of those big plays.
Murray had a tough day.
Gurley can run it….so let him run.

mars=lifetime dawgs

October 27th, 2012
7:53 pm

Glad we won. Was nervous. We never do well in big games, but we’ve proven tonight that we could all along. Why do we only play this well when Richt’s job is being scrutinized? If we play this way all the time and the REAL Dawg fan wouldn’t be pining for a new Head Coach.

must win

October 27th, 2012
7:53 pm

where are the GT and Florida fans??? lol….Tech got rocked and Florida, well, they are out of the national championship pic now….hahahahaha.

joseph gamble

October 27th, 2012
7:54 pm

Dawgs pushed Gators around all day,who saw that coming? & get well soon to Marcus Lattimore

dawgon

October 27th, 2012
7:54 pm

Uh Hello, 3-more regular season games to go. Can we all agree now that Murray is a nice mediocre QB now?

Dawgsgone

October 27th, 2012
7:54 pm

Pass the crow, I’m ready to eat my share. Never would have believed with this many to’s and penalties we would win. But man it feels great!!!! I promise to never doubt again (until we have another lousy game)