Bulldogs allow 55 total yards, collect six sacks
By Tyler Estep
ATHENS, Ga. — The Georgia defense pitched its first shutout since 2006 Saturday, holding Tennessee Tech to just 55 yards of total offense.
Defensive ends and tackles were in the backfield all day, sacking Golden Eagles quarterbacks six times.
“Our defensive line played tremendously,” said end Demarcus Dobbs, one of four Georgia linemen with a sack. “The tackles played well to free up some of the ends. This is one of those games (defensive coordinator Willie) Martinez said, ‘We’re going to put down four linemen and let us do our thing, try and get after the quarterback, pin our ears back.’ And that’s what we did.”
Freshman defensive end Montez Robinson got the first two sacks of his Bulldogs career. Tackle Geno Atkins got one, and so did Dobbs and redshirt freshman Cornelius Washington.
Overall, the Georgia defense had 15 tackles for loss. There were no quarterback hurries accumulated — but that’s because every time they got to Golden Eagles quarterback Lee Sweeney, he was on his back.
“We were classy and played as hard as we can play,” Tennessee Tech head coach Watson Brown said. “Their defensive line was killing us. I was very conservative with play calling.”
With all of those sacks, Brown’s quarterbacks (Sweeney and Tre Lamb) “rushed” for a combined minus-51 yards. The Golden Eagles’ leading rusher, Tremaine Hudson, rushed 10 times for 20 yards.
FCS opponent or not, the Georgia defense was impressive.
“No matter what school it is, no matter who you play, it’s about you coming out here and playing the game like it’s your last,” Dobbs said. “You watch the film, and you can see guys playing with energy, playing like they’re playing against a Division I school, a Florida or an Arkansas or any of those other teams.”
Added defensive tackle Jeff Owens, “It’s fun. We’ve just got to go out and just get better. This was a stepping stone for us. It’s real encouraging.”
Coming into Saturday’s game, Georgia was at the middle of the SEC pack in sacks, ranking seventh with 16. For Washington, it was his first sack after getting one in back-to-back games against South Carolina and Arkansas early in the season. For Robinson, who has dealt with homesickness this year, it was fitting that his first big leap in contributing to the team’s performance was Saturday, in Georgia’s homecoming game.
“It was exciting; it was my first two sacks of my college career, period,” Robinson said. “It’s the highlight of my life right now. I’m pretty excited.”