On Saturday, both Georgia players made use of their leaping ability to
deliver big blocks on special teams that helped keep Tennessee scoreless in
the first half.
Reggie Brown blocked a first-quarter punt by Tennessee's Dustin Colquitt, and
deflected ball bounced out of the end zone for a safety just before Ben
Watson could fall on the ball for a touchdown.
In the second quarter, with Georgia still leading 2-0, Boss Bailey soared to
block a 44-yard field goal attempt by Phillip Newman. Georgia took over on
its 47 following a return by Decory Bryant, and seven plays later Billy
Bennett kicked the first of his three field goals of the day.
In a season that has been packed with big plays by Georgia's special teams,
Brown, Bailey and Bennett kept the momentum going. With his field goals
from 27, 44 and 47 yards, Bennett now is 9 for 10 for
"He has made every kick that counts so far,'' said Georgia coach Mark
Due to his well-known vertical leap record set in the summer, the biggest
surprise about Bailey's block is that it is the first of the senior's career.
The fact he is one of the top players on the team and still is on special
teams says a lot about the role of the unit.
"It is just like offense and defense,'' Bailey said. "We put a
lot of time
into it every day in practice. It's just as important as any other part of
Brown was shocked he had an opportunity to block the punt because he
misjudged the snap and was caught flat-footed when the ball was on its way to
"When I stood up, they snapped the ball and I didn't expect them to
that quick,'' Brown said. "I didn't get a really good jump like I should.
just opened up.''
Brown's block almost gave Georgia a touchdown instead of a safety. Neither
Brown nor Watson could find the ball at first, and by spotting the ball
quicker either player might have had a chance to keep it from rolling out of
the end zone.
Georgia already has had a punt return by Damien Gary for a touchdown
New Mexico State, a kickoff return by Fred Gibson for a touchdown against
Clemson, and a blocked punt against Northwestern State returned for a
touchdown by Bruce Thornton. Against Tennessee, the special teams served
to keep momentum with Georgia
for the first three quarters.
"Every time it looked like Tennessee was going to get a little
the first three quarters, we stopped them somehow on special teams,'' Richt
said. "Our special teams have been special. There are a lot of people
credit for that, a lot of players and a lot of coaches. The job they've done
has been outstanding.''
Charles Odum is the beat writer for Dawg Post in Athens. He has over 20 years of experience covering Georgia football. He can be reached here: CEOdum@aol.com
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