Dawgs to try for more pressure vs. Vols
Rodney Garner
Rodney Garner
Dawg Post Reporter
Posted Oct 2, 2007

ATHENS – Georgia had its season-low in sacks, zero, and tackles-for-loss, four, last week against Mississippi, but Rodney Garner isn’t blaming his defensive tackles.

“It was all slide protection, all quick game (by the Rebels),” Garner said. “You aren’t going to get any sacks or pressure.”

Tennessee will vary its blocking scheme more than the Rebels did, which should give the No. 12 Bulldogs more chance to make plays along the defensive line, but that doesn’t mean they will. The Volunteers have the best offensive line Georgia will have faced this year, according to both Garner and head coach Mark Richt.

Tennessee has allowed an SEC-low two sacks this season.

“This is going to be the biggest test we’ve had to date,” Garner said. “Are they as big as Ole Miss? I wouldn’t say that. Are they more powerful than Ole Miss? Yeah, I would definitely say that.”

Garner expects to switch his starting lineup for the first time all season against Tennessee, he said. Jeff Owens will remain a starter, and he will be joined by Geno Atkins, who has jumped ahead of Kade Weston on the depth chart.

“Knock on this wood right here, Geno has to make it through this week of practice,” Garner said. “He and Jeff have been the most productive of the guys, and I’m going to reward them.”

Atkins has 11 tackles, including six for loss.

NO. 1 IN HIS HEART: Tennessee received 17 points in the most recent USA Today coaches’ poll, but none of them is thanks to a vote by Richt. Georgia’s coach said Tuesday that the Volunteers may be good enough to be ranked as high as No. 10 in the country, but later revealed he left them out of his Top 25.

“I thought about it,” he said. “I think they’re good enough, but as you look at your own poll you have to say who are going to throw out to put them in. But I don’t think there’s any doubt they’ll be there by the end of the season.”

Tennessee was ranked No. 15 prior to the season but has lost 45-31 to No. 3 California and 59-20 to No. 9 Florida.

“Tennessee might ought to be the 10th-rated team in the country right now,” he said, “but they’ve played two pretty good stinking teams and didn’t come out a winner.”

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