Florida can’t be happy to see Jarvis Jones back this week for Georgia.
The junior outside linebacker had four sacks, five tackles and forced a fumble in the Bulldogs 24-20 win against the Gators last season.
“I made a couple of good plays in that game,” Jones said. “I definitely learned a lot and got better that game. As the season went on, I kept learning and kept getting after it.”
Jones missed last week’s game against Kentucky with a sprained ankle and hasn’t been fully healthy since before the Missouri game on Sept. 8. He was bothered by a strained groin that kept out against Florida Atlantic.
“I think he came back to Georgia because he wanted to win, he wanted to improve and he wanted to play in a game like this,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said.
Said Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel: “He’s another great player and we’re going to have to do some things to slow him down a little bit. Chip him. Not let him get inside. Great players are going to make plays sometimes.”
Florida is relying heavily on the run, but has given up the third most sacks in the SEC with 21. The Gators gave up eight sacks to Texas A&M, five to LSU and three to South Carolina.
So Jones, who has 5 ½ sacks this season, could have his chances.
“I know he’s going to be excited about getting in there and trying to help us win,” Richt said. “I know he had a big game a year ago. I’m sure he’d love to have another one, but it’s a little bit different style of offense and a different quarterback. We know (John) Brantley really wasn’t moving around that good. It wasn’t like it was tough to chase him down once you got there. Driskel is much more mobile and much more physical I think especially since he’s healthy compared to what Brantley was a year ago.”
A more healthy Jones could be a big boost to Georgia’s defense.
“Hopefully he can bring some energy to us,” defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said, “and get us going a little bit.”
–Please follow me at Twitter.com/marcweiszer