ATHENS -- Who saw this happening: Jarvis Jones was hardly a factor, and Christian Robinson was a star.
Actually, given the situation, it might not have been that surprising.
Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham put Robinson, a senior inside linebacker, in the starting lineup for the first time since last season. The reason was because Robinson is very familiar with the triple-option. And Robinson vindicated Grantham by racking up nine tackles, second-most on the team, including two for a loss, which was the most on the team.
Christian does a good job in this style of play, Grantham said.
You get in a groove, said Robinson, a starter as a sophomore and junior whose time had dwindled as a senior. Thats the one thing about being a third-down guy and actually getting to play a whole game, is you get in a groove and you see, you understand how youre getting blocked the whole time.
Robinsons time Saturday didnt come at the expense of Jones, the All-America outside linebacker. And Jones was around the ball a lot. But he usually ended up with little to show for it, finishing with six tackles and a forced fumble. Not a bad line, to be sure, but much less than usual.
My job was pretty much on the quarterback, so me staying disciplined, thats what I was trying to do. I think I did a good job of that, Jones said. I ran to the ball a little bit. By the time I got to the ball, somebody on the outside was making a tackle.
But Jones also appears stuck at 10.5 sacks, and with another game against a run-heavy team next week, the chance to pass David Pollacks 14 sack program record is dwindling.
Jones took it in stride.
I dont know man. Were gonna see what happens, he said with a laugh. I had one or two opportunities here but I didnt get there.
Back to Robinson. Grantham was noncommittal on whether the revamped lineup worked well enough to stick with it for another week, against a similar offense in Georgia Tech.
Were always gonna mix and match, Grantham said. If you went back and looked at our lineups over the last 11, 12 ballgames, I think theyve been different. And the reason for that is that with the guys we have we just try to get our best 11 on the field relative to the type of offense were gonna see.
Georgia freshman Todd Gurley broke the 1,000-yard mark, but he didnt have a prolific day. Gurleys 68-yard, one-touchdown performance was actually a yawner compared to the six 100-yard games he had leading up to it.
But much of it could be attributed to Georgia Southern, which, according to offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, bunched up against the run.
They did a nice job, they did some different things to our formations that we hadnt see on film, Bobo said. They were involving their corners in the run game and playing their safeties wide. We had to make a little bit of an adjustment, and they were kinda like, OK were gonna blitz to stop the run, which opened up the passing game, as you saw.
As a team, Georgia rushed for 120 yards on 36 carries, including 29 yards from Keith Marshall, the other half of the freshman Gurshall tandem.
You shouldnt complain about four-and-a-half yards a carry, Georgia head coach Mark Richt said. Its not a bad day, really. But were getting spoiled around here lately with the yards-per-carry with our backs.
Georgia reached the 10-win mark for the 20th time in school history. Its the eighth time under Richt, who when asked about it acknowledged that the expanded schedule allowed for more chances to get victories.
Senior receiver Tavarres King now has 20 touchdowns in his career, tying him with Fred Gibson for the third-most in program history.
Quarterback Aaron Murray is now 11th in SEC history with 9,407 career total offensive yards. He needs 170 to move into the top 10.
Right guard Chris Burnette, a starter, did not dress for a second straight week because of a shoulder injury. Mark Beard again started in his place, although at left tackle, shifting Kenarious Gates to left guard and Dallas Lee to right guard. (Austin Long later received playing time at guard.)
Fullback Merritt Hall re-injured his ankle,which kept him out of a couple games.