Coming off of a huge game against Florida in which Mr. Jones compiled 13 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries, his stat line against Ole Miss would be what most folks would likely dub 'quiet'. Jones finished the day with just three tackles and didn't get a sack, but the interesting thing about him is that even when Jones isn't making tackles, he still has the ability to greatly influence the game. Let's look at four different examples of just how Hurricane Jarvis does what he does so well.
Midway through the first quarter, Georgia found itself down 3-0 and not doing much offensively. Ole Miss had a first down at their own 42 yard line and chose to run a play from the shotgun, utilizing five wide receivers and an empty backfield. Georgia was showing blitz on the play, doing a good job of disguising their defense and tricking quarterback Bo Wallace into thinking that they would be coming in hot. When the ball was snapped, however, the Dawgs actually only brought three rushers, dropping the other three men who had been on the line into coverage, including Jarvis Jones. Ole Miss wide receiver Randall Mackey was lined up in the near right slot and running a drag route. When watching Wallace's eyes, one can see that he was intending to throw the ball to Mackey, but when Jarvis Jones dropped into coverage and occupied the zone where Mackey was attempting to cut across the field, he was able to disrupt Mackey's route, causing Wallace to have to look elsewhere. This delay in not being able to deliver the ball as expected allowed linebacker Alec Ogletree, who originally overran the play, the extra time to make up for his mistake by chasing Wallace down and sacking him. Check the play out here at the 1:21 mark:
The second example of Jones's impact on the game once again comes from his coverage skills, as opposed to pass rushing skills. Late in the second quarter, with the Dawgs down 10-7 to the Rebel Black Bears, Ole Miss found themselves fresh off of forcing a second fumble, resulting in a first down from their own twelve yard line. Ole Miss was lined up in the shotgun, with three wide receivers, a tight end, and a runningback offset to the weak side of the play. The Rebels sent their x receiver on a deep route and their runningback on a little swing route out in the flats, looking to hit the Dawgs with a quick swing pass as they had a number of times already in the first half. The Dawgs only rushed four, leaving seven men in coverage, one of whom was Jones. Jones initially takes one step back, giving early coverage on the x receiver, but as Jones reads Wallace's eyes, he sees him look for his runningback on the swing route and steps up and plays man coverage, essentially taking away the quick pass. This tight coverage on the intended receiver, combined with Jordan Jenkins's near sack, causes Wallace to have to look deep and throw up an ill-advised pass, resulting in an athletic Alec Ogletree interception. Take a looksie for yourself here at the 3:36 mark:
The third and fourth examples of Jones's impact on the game actually are conveniently grouped together in the highlights, and two plays leading to the the Bulldogs' safety of the Rebels in the third quarter. After a nice punt by Collin Barber got the Rebels pinned deep in their own territory, they tried to play it safe and run the football. In the first play, the Rebels were again running the shotgun, but with a two back set, with backs flanking quarterback Bo Wallace on either side. There was also a tight end one step off of the line on the right side of the play, as the Rebels were looking for additional blocking to prevent a safety. Jones is lined up on the left side, directly in front of the said tight end. The tight end brought in to help protect attempts to block Hurricane Jarvis, but Jones does a good job of shedding the block. At this point, the ball carrier has just gotten past him, but because he shed his block quickly, Jones is able to wrap him up from behind, wrestling him to the ground for a loss of a yard.
In the second play in the sequence, Jones has moved back over to the right end of the line. Ole Miss lines up in the same formation as described before, but this time, decides to attempt to run the ball to the left, as opposed to the right as they did on the prior play. Jones goes unblocked by the left tackle, with the right guard being pulled around the end to take care of Jones. Unfortunately for the Rebels, they didn't count on the fact that Jones would be able to overpower the larger right guard, and when contact is made, Jones physically pushes the guard backwards, filling the hole that was supposed to be created for the runner by the pulling guard. As a result of this, the back attempts to pop back out and sneak around the end, but the Bulldog defenders are there to meet him. Branden Smith, who had a great game in the nickel back position, meets the ball carrier just inside the goal line and delivers a healthy blow that stones the runner, allowing Alec Ogletree, who has some of the best closing speed in the game for a middle linebacker, to Tree to come over the top and finish off the tackle. The Bulldogs get a safety, Smith and Tree are credited with the tackle for loss, but ultimately, it was Jones who led to the play being made from the beginning. Check out the two plays in succession here if you'll dial it up to the 1:51:35 mark:
Don't forget to continue to look for ways that Jones influences plays where his name isn't called, as he's definitely one of the biggest difference makers in college football.
Oh, and, as always...Go Dawgs!