But defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said he was never concerned about the pressure his defense was getting on opposing quarterbacks.
"People that thought we couldn't rush the passer really don't know what they're talking about," Grantham said. "It's on the tape. I've been coaching pass rush for a long time. I've had a guy lead the NFL in sacks – we led the NFL in sacks. I know about pass rush. Those guys are fine."
Grantham is alluding to his team spent with the Dallas Cowboys and All-Pro linebacker DeMarcus Ware. Against the Rebels, Georgia outside linebacker Cornelius Washington did his best to imitate Grantham's former professional pass rush. The junior finished with 1.5 sacks, including capping the fourth quarter by slamming Ole Miss quarterback Randall Mackey to the ground on the final play of the game.
"This past week everybody was emphasizing getting sacks," junior linebacker Mike Gilliard said. "That's what we went out there and did, you know what I'm saying."
For the defense, having the actual proof of providing pressure on paper in the form of the sack total is vindicating. Grantham has been saying all week he's been pleased with the effort in getting after the quarterback.
"In this game, there was a little more coverage, and the guy had to hold the ball and then the rush got there," Grantham said. "People that say we don't know anything about pass rush – they're just kind of trying to create a story or something."
Playing though pain
Despite playing on a sprained ankle described as "80 percent" healthy, sophomore Kenarious Gates played all 82 offensive snaps at left guard Saturday.
Behind Gates and Lee, there weren't any experienced players left that could serve as backups.
"I was kind of in pain, but I had to suck it up and keep going," said Gates, who started three games as a freshman in 2010. "My teammates kept me motivated and kept me going. I felt like I should be there for my team. That's why I played."
The injury to Gates' ankle occurred in the second quarter in the season opener against Boise State, a game in which he started. He hadn't played since and has been limited in practice.
"I'm very proud of him sucking it up and playing," coach Mark Richt said. "I know he's not 100 percent. There's a lot of guys that aren't 100 percent, but he certainly knew with Burnette out he needed to do what he did. There were some times where plays were called where he had to pull and things of that nature. I think he struggled with that, so we quit doing some of those."
Burnette's injury isn't considered serious, but the timetable for his return is unknown.
Back in the action
After two dormant games, the tight end position came to life against Ole Miss.
"Yeah that was the whole game plan was to have us get involved early," Charles said. "We're the most veteran group… We've been here the longest and know what to expect. We felt like we had to take the team on our back as a segment in order to win out here."
Charles led the team in receiving against Boise State. But he made only two catches combined against South Carolina and Coastal Carolina. He was the only tight end to catch a pass during that span.
White had managed only one catch this season, a 14 yarder in the season opener.
"I guess the team was like, ‘Oh, there's Aron. Let's finally throw him the ball and let him go score,'" White said joking. "Gosh, I couldn't thank God anymore for blessing me with a touchdown today."
The tight end duo was a part of a spread out, balanced offensive attack. The reemergence, White said, could be an indicator of good things to come.
"There's such a rich tradition of tight ends here," White said. "I'm just glad we're living up to expectations this year. Hopefully we can continue to do a good job."
Off the field attrition
Junior receiver Rantavious Wooten didn't make the trip to Ole Miss after suffering injuries in a car accident earlier this week.
"He hit his head and got a concussion," Richt said.
The offense was already without junior wideout Marlon Brown (ankle).
Wooten has two catches for 39 yards and a touchdown for the season.
This and that
Quarterback Aaron Murray completed the longest pass of his career after connecting on a 69-yard pass to freshman Malcolm Mitchell. His previous longest was a 66-yard touchdown to Kris Durham versus Georgia Tech in 2010…
Junior safety Bacarri Rambo intercepted his third pass of the season in the second quarter. He's now picked off a pass in each of the three games played since serving a suspension in the season opener… Junior Shawn Williams started the game at safety, after playing linebacker last week against Coastal Carolina…
Freshman WR Chris Conley saw his first action of the season in the first half. That makes 15 members of the 2011 recruiting class who have seen the field this season… Punter Drew Butler averaged 55.3 yards on four punts, third best in school history.