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For all the talk about how Shawn Williams’ “soft” comments woke up Georgia’s sleeping defense before the Florida game, Jarvis Jones points to a different weekend that re-energized an underperforming unit.

He looks at Georgia’s embarrassing 35-7 loss to South Carolina on Oct. 6 that sent the Dawgs back to Athens with their tails between their legs and tossed their SEC/BCS hopes temporarily into the garbage.

It also served as a time for the Dawgs’ defense, which returned just about everyone from a unit that ranked fifth nationally in total defense a year ago, to realize that skill alone wasn’t going to get the job done.

[+] EnlargeJarvis Jones
Daniel Shirey/US PresswireJarvis Jones says the Georgia defense hit stride after the loss against South Carolina.
The defense needed to get its swagger back by relocating its focus, something the junior linebacker said was lost with distractions and arrogance.

“South Carolina did a great job of reminding us and humbling us and got us on the right path,” Jones said.

That path has been a relatively smooth one for the Bulldogs, and extremely bumpy for opponents. Since its rough outing against the Gamecocks, the Bulldogs have risen in the defensive rankings and have allowed just 301 total yards per contest in the past six games. During that span only one team -- Kentucky -- scored 20-plus points on the Bulldogs. Before that, five of Georgia’s first six opponents scored 20 or more.

Granted, only two of Georgia’s past six opponents currently rank within the top 50 in total offense (Georgia Tech, 28; Ole Miss, 46), but the defense’s play is a far cry from what it was at the beginning of the season.

“We've been focused and we've been disciplined and very coachable,” said Jones, who is third in the SEC in tackles for loss (19.5) and sacks (10.5). “That got us to the point where we are today.”

He's also hoping it gets Georgia past Alabama’s bruising offense in Saturday’s SEC championship game.

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