J.R. Reed extended his arms out while he was hoisted up on his teammates shoulders. He was donning the golden spikes, which are awarded to defenders who come away with turnovers, as those around him celebrated in jubilation.
Soaking in the moment, Reed was in glee after scoring his first-ever fumble recovery for a touchdown.
“You could call it a savage moment,” Reed said.
Georgia defenders have referred to themselves as savages when getting after the opposition.
On Reed’s touchdown, with 5:21 remaining in the third quarter of Georgia's 42-7 win over Florida, he and defensive back Tyrique McGhee both came on a blitz and hit Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks, forcing him to fumble the ball.
With the ball loose, Reed scooped it up and scored a touchdown.
The play seemed to confuse Florida’s offensive line as Georgia initially showed pressure up the middle. Those players dropped back, with McGhee and Reed coming free off of the edge.
“We just brought some pressure,” McGhee said. “I was on the end of the line with J.R. coming behind me. I figured they were going to pick me up but I came free and took advantage of it. J.R. came and scooped and scored. That was a great play and a great call by (defensive coordinator Mel) Tucker.”
It was also the first defensive score all season long for a Georgia team that has been dominant on that side of the ball in most games.
“Long overdue,” Smart said. “We felt it had been close several times this year. We have been emphasizing it. I think Coach Tucker and the defensive staff do a tremendous job.”
Smart said that during team meetings each week, Tucker will show the defense clips of all the non-offensive touchdowns that occur around the SEC. This will be the first week where a Georgia play will be included.
Smart thinks seeing that being on the weekly clip will fire his players up.
“Now we get to be on there and the guys will be all jacked up in the meeting to watch it,” Smart said.
While Reed makes a lot of plays in coverage, he said he loves getting a safety blitz dialed up every so often. And when he does, he hopes to make the opposing offense pay.
“Just licking my chops, man,” Reed said. “Anytime I can get a safety blitz, I don’t know how many I could get, but if I could get one I’m trying to go after the ball and hit the quarterback.”