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uga's defense has stood out in tech streak

by carter strickland

the atlanta journal-constitution

published on: 11/22/07 athens game after game, this season and others, georgia's defense hasn't played its best until there is a stench of desperation at play.

take the auburn game: the defense gives up 17 straight only to come back and shut down the tigers from that point forward. then there was kentucky: the defense gives up 10 unanswered points and then allows only two first downs on the wildcats' next five possessions.

then there are the past three games against saturday's oppenent, georgia tech:

" in 2004 the defense gets a sack and forces a fourth-and 21 on what could have been tech's game-winning drive.

" in 2005 tim jennings picks off reggie ball on what could have been tech's game-winning drive.

" in 2006 tony taylor picks up a fumble and returns it for a touchdown in the third quarter to get georgia on the board and back in the game.

"we always seem to come up with something," said linebacker marcus washington.

in other words, that defense comes up smelling like a rose. now because of it georgia has the sugar bowl on its mind.

"they have been making big plays in every game, making turnovers late, and making the stops when we need [them] and getting us the ball back," said quarterback matthew stafford.

the offense has turned those turnovers and big plays into points 14 times in georgia coach mark richt's career the team has come back and won in the fourth quarter. most notably this year was the game against vanderbilt that turned the season.

"we seem to find a way to win and be persistent," said running back thomas brown. "when we are in the fourth quarter that is when it comes out: if you can't finish you are not going to win this week.

"it is a focus and understanding of what is ahead," brown said. "everybody kind of regroups and starts to understand we have one quarter left to get the thing under control and get the w."

the offense tends to get a lot of the glory for those fourth-quarter turnarounds. but at least three times this year and the past three times against tech it has been the defense that has been the key.

"we start to realize what is at stake," said cornerback asher allen. "when that happens, we know we have to go out and make the big play."

"guys just believe," said cornerback thomas flowers. "it starts with [mark richt] and then the assistant coaches and then the seniors. if the seniors don't believe we can do it, then the underclassmen never will. we have got to keep our composure as senior leaders. we believe they are going to follow."

sometimes those underclassmen even lead. it was reshad jones, darryl gamble and dannell ellerbe who changed the fortunes of the season with the late forced fumble and recovery at vanderbilt. that's two redshirt freshmen and a junior. geno atkins, a sophomore, and jeff owens, a junior, turned the tables against auburn.

senior kelin johnson made the big punt block against kentucky. but it was true freshman rennie curran who turned his game up in the second half and refused to allow any running room.

"we go on the field with all the confidence that we are always looking to make the big play," curran said. "everybody is always just expecting themselves to cause the fumble or do something. everybody is always thinking positive on our defense, and that has helped us make the big play."

the thing is they are not thinking and acting that way all the time, which leads georgia into the situations in the first place.

"i wish we didn't have to go out there and get shocked into having to play," said defensive line coach rodney garner.

"we are always really excited coming out, and it may cause us to rush things a bit and lose focus on our techniques at first," curran said. "but in the second half we are able to calm down and refocus and see what we did wrong when we go back in the second half and finish it off well."

one other crucial element to georgia's defense, particularly in late season games, is its depth. georgia has always maintained a deep rotation on the defensive line, and this year that has extended to the secondary and linebackers. that has allowed for fresher legs later in games, which in turn has led to more speed on the field.

"when you are playing fast like that, especially when you are playing faster than the opponent, you are going to knock the ball loose and get on top of it," washington said.

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uga's defense has stood out in tech streak

by carter strickland

the atlanta journal-constitution

published on: 11/22/07 athens — game after game, this season and others, georgia's defense hasn't played its best until there is a stench of desperation at play.

take the auburn game: the defense gives up 17 straight only to come back and shut down the tigers from that point forward. then there was kentucky: the defense gives up 10 unanswered points and then allows only two first downs on the wildcats' next five possessions.

then there are the past three games against saturday's oppenent, georgia tech:

• in 2004 the defense gets a sack and forces a fourth-and 21 on what could have been tech's game-winning drive.

• in 2005 tim jennings picks off reggie ball on what could have been tech's game-winning drive.

• in 2006 tony taylor picks up a fumble and returns it for a touchdown in the third quarter to get georgia on the board and back in the game.

"we always seem to come up with something," said linebacker marcus washington.

in other words, that defense comes up smelling like a rose. now because of it georgia has the sugar bowl on its mind.

"they have been making big plays in every game, making turnovers late, and making the stops when we need [them] and getting us the ball back," said quarterback matthew stafford.

the offense has turned those turnovers and big plays into points — 14 times in georgia coach mark richt's career the team has come back and won in the fourth quarter. most notably this year was the game against vanderbilt that turned the season.

"we seem to find a way to win and be persistent," said running back thomas brown. "when we are in the fourth quarter that is when it comes out: if you can't finish you are not going to win this week.

"it is a focus and understanding of what is ahead," brown said. "everybody kind of regroups and starts to understand we have one quarter left to get the thing under control and get the w."

the offense tends to get a lot of the glory for those fourth-quarter turnarounds. but at least three times this year and the past three times against tech it has been the defense that has been the key.

"we start to realize what is at stake," said cornerback asher allen. "when that happens, we know we have to go out and make the big play."

"guys just believe," said cornerback thomas flowers. "it starts with [mark richt] and then the assistant coaches and then the seniors. if the seniors don't believe we can do it, then the underclassmen never will. we have got to keep our composure as senior leaders. we believe they are going to follow."

sometimes those underclassmen even lead. it was reshad jones, darryl gamble and dannell ellerbe who changed the fortunes of the season with the late forced fumble and recovery at vanderbilt. that's two redshirt freshmen and a junior. geno atkins, a sophomore, and jeff owens, a junior, turned the tables against auburn.

senior kelin johnson made the big punt block against kentucky. but it was true freshman rennie curran who turned his game up in the second half and refused to allow any running room.

"we go on the field with all the confidence that we are always looking to make the big play," curran said. "everybody is always just expecting themselves to cause the fumble or do something. everybody is always thinking positive on our defense, and that has helped us make the big play."

the thing is they are not thinking and acting that way all the time, which leads georgia into the situations in the first place.

"i wish we didn't have to go out there and get shocked into having to play," said defensive line coach rodney garner.

"we are always really excited coming out, and it may cause us to rush things a bit and lose focus on our techniques at first," curran said. "but in the second half we are able to calm down and refocus and see what we did wrong when we go back in the second half and finish it off well."

one other crucial element to georgia's defense, particularly in late season games, is its depth. georgia has always maintained a deep rotation on the defensive line, and this year that has extended to the secondary and linebackers. that has allowed for fresher legs later in games, which in turn has led to more speed on the field.

"when you are playing fast like that, especially when you are playing faster than the opponent, you are going to knock the ball loose and get on top of it," washington said.

who was the one former tech player involved in all of those plays? that is why we hate him.

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uga's defense has stood out in tech streak

by carter strickland

the atlanta journal-constitution

published on: 11/22/07 athens — game after game, this season and others, georgia's defense hasn't played its best until there is a stench of desperation at play.

take the auburn game: the defense gives up 17 straight only to come back and shut down the tigers from that point forward. then there was kentucky: the defense gives up 10 unanswered points and then allows only two first downs on the wildcats' next five possessions.

then there are the past three games against saturday's oppenent, georgia tech:

• in 2004 the defense gets a sack and forces a fourth-and 21 on what could have been tech's game-winning drive.

• in 2005 tim jennings picks off reggie ball on what could have been tech's game-winning drive.

• in 2006 tony taylor picks up a fumble and returns it for a touchdown in the third quarter to get georgia on the board and back in the game.

"we always seem to come up with something," said linebacker marcus washington.

in other words, that defense comes up smelling like a rose. now because of it georgia has the sugar bowl on its mind.

"they have been making big plays in every game, making turnovers late, and making the stops when we need [them] and getting us the ball back," said quarterback matthew stafford.

the offense has turned those turnovers and big plays into points — 14 times in georgia coach mark richt's career the team has come back and won in the fourth quarter. most notably this year was the game against vanderbilt that turned the season.

"we seem to find a way to win and be persistent," said running back thomas brown. "when we are in the fourth quarter that is when it comes out: if you can't finish you are not going to win this week.

"it is a focus and understanding of what is ahead," brown said. "everybody kind of regroups and starts to understand we have one quarter left to get the thing under control and get the w."

the offense tends to get a lot of the glory for those fourth-quarter turnarounds. but at least three times this year and the past three times against tech it has been the defense that has been the key.

"we start to realize what is at stake," said cornerback asher allen. "when that happens, we know we have to go out and make the big play."

"guys just believe," said cornerback thomas flowers. "it starts with [mark richt] and then the assistant coaches and then the seniors. if the seniors don't believe we can do it, then the underclassmen never will. we have got to keep our composure as senior leaders. we believe they are going to follow."

sometimes those underclassmen even lead. it was reshad jones, darryl gamble and dannell ellerbe who changed the fortunes of the season with the late forced fumble and recovery at vanderbilt. that's two redshirt freshmen and a junior. geno atkins, a sophomore, and jeff owens, a junior, turned the tables against auburn.

senior kelin johnson made the big punt block against kentucky. but it was true freshman rennie curran who turned his game up in the second half and refused to allow any running room.

"we go on the field with all the confidence that we are always looking to make the big play," curran said. "everybody is always just expecting themselves to cause the fumble or do something. everybody is always thinking positive on our defense, and that has helped us make the big play."

the thing is they are not thinking and acting that way all the time, which leads georgia into the situations in the first place.

"i wish we didn't have to go out there and get shocked into having to play," said defensive line coach rodney garner.

"we are always really excited coming out, and it may cause us to rush things a bit and lose focus on our techniques at first," curran said. "but in the second half we are able to calm down and refocus and see what we did wrong when we go back in the second half and finish it off well."

one other crucial element to georgia's defense, particularly in late season games, is its depth. georgia has always maintained a deep rotation on the defensive line, and this year that has extended to the secondary and linebackers. that has allowed for fresher legs later in games, which in turn has led to more speed on the field.

"when you are playing fast like that, especially when you are playing faster than the opponent, you are going to knock the ball loose and get on top of it," washington said.

who was the one former tech player involved in all of those plays? that is why we hate him.

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reggie ball is better than taylor bennett.

no you are mistaken my friend..

the one game taylor had calvin johnson he threw over 300 yards and had a couple td's.

reggie never did that..

reggie couldn't count to four. mad.gif

reggie didn't know what a tight end was for. huh.gif

reggie was a bust. rolleyes.gif

taylor is dealing with the lose of c.j. and has a underachiever in james johnson and a redshirt freshman in thomas..greg smith may be an option but when you lose c.j. you lose alot.. wink.gif

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reggie ball is better than taylor bennett.

no you are mistaken my friend..

the one game taylor had calvin johnson he threw over 300 yards and had a couple td's.

reggie never did that..

reggie couldn't count to four. mad.gif

reggie didn't know what a tight end was for. huh.gif

reggie was a bust. rolleyes.gif

taylor is dealing with the lose of c.j. and has a underachiever in james johnson and a redshirt freshman in thomas..greg smith may be an option but when you lose c.j. you lose alot.. wink.gif

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