Georgia Bulldogs: Collin Klein

Top 5 moments: Jones takes over

December, 10, 2012
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Editor’s note: Each day this week, we will look back at a memorable moment or series of events from Georgia’s 2012 season. We begin today with Jarvis Jones’ game-changing plays in two Bulldogs victories.

ATHENS, Ga. -- In a season full of highlight-reel plays, Georgia’s All-America outside linebacker Jarvis Jones provided some of the most memorable moments.

[+] EnlargeJordan Reed
Icon SMIJarvis Jones' strip of Jordan Reed at the Georgia goal line sealed the Bulldogs' 17-9 victory over Florida and capped a dominating performance.
In particular, he placed himself in the Heisman Trophy conversation (he finished 10th) with a pair of dominant performances in wins against Missouri and Florida.

Although injuries eventually derailed Mizzou’s season, the Tigers were a formidable opponent when the Bulldogs visited Columbia in Week 2 for the SEC newcomer’s first conference game. And Georgia’s outlook wasn’t particularly sunny late in the third quarter when it trailed 20-17. But Jones was the driving force in the Bulldogs’ 24-0 run to close the game, generating two touchdowns almost single-handedly.

With the Bulldogs leading 27-20 midway through the fourth quarter, Jones surprised Mizzou quarterback James Franklin by dropping back into pass coverage, picking off his throw at the Tigers’ 22-yard line and returning it all the way to the 1 to set up a Todd Gurley touchdown.

On Missouri’s very next possession, Jones ran down Franklin in the backfield for a sack and jarred the ball loose for a fumble that Jordan Jenkins recovered at the Tigers’ 5. Ken Malcome scored a touchdown shortly afterward that pushed what had been a one-touchdown lead to a three-score advantage in the matter of only a few plays.

The national media started pumping Jones for the Heisman that night, but a series of injuries would take the steam out of the junior’s grassroots campaign. However, if a defensive player ever gave a performance that merited that kind of attention, it was Jones’ similar game-changing effort in a 17-9 win against then-unbeaten Florida.

He actually improved upon a four-sack effort against the Gators from 2011 by dominating every facet of the rematch. His final line: 13 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss, three sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries would be an acceptable total for the average defensive starter -- for an entire season.

Jones did it in one game and provided possibly the play of Georgia’s season when he chased down Gators tight end Jordan Reed at the Bulldogs’ goal line and forced a fumble that Sanders Commings recovered in the end zone with 2:05 remaining to snuff out Florida’s comeback bid.

Johnny Manziel, Manti Te’o or Collin Klein enjoyed more successful seasons in the eyes of the many Heisman voters who helped them become finalists for the award. But Jones at his best was every bit as important as any of those players -- and his performances in these two games in particular paved the way for Georgia to win its second straight SEC East title and come within an eyelash of playing for the BCS title.

Joyner: Aaron Murray's Heisman case

November, 20, 2012
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In a season where there isn't one player who stands head and shoulders above the rest of the field, it is easy to see why someone like Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel (aka Johnny Football) would have a strong candidacy for the Heisman Trophy.

Manziel has posted some impressive numbers, including setting the freshman quarterback record for rushing yards and total offense on his way to becoming the first freshman to pass for at least 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a single season.

Having given Manziel his due, upon closer examination it becomes clear that he isn't even the best Heisman quarterback candidate in the SEC.

That honor belongs to Georgia Bulldogs passer Aaron Murray, and it really isn't even close. Read the full story here.

Random thoughts from UGA-Kentucky 

October, 21, 2012
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LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Some notes, quotes and observations from Georgia’s 29-24 win against Kentucky on Saturday night:

• Needless to say, Georgia’s defensive issues are clearly not solved. Kentucky had been a train wreck on offense in conference play and the Wildcats posted new SEC-season highs in points (24), first downs (21), rushing yards (206), total offense (329) and matched their SEC-season high for third-down conversions (6-for-14).

Give Todd Grantham and company credit for adjusting since Kentucky started out 4-for-5 on third down and went just 2-for-9 afterward. But this Wildcats team hadn’t scored an offensive touchdown in the first quarter since the 2010 season. They had only three first-quarter points in seven previous games this season. And yet they moved the ball straight down the field like they were Oregon to open the game with a touchdown.

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