"I remember him locking (North Carolina's) Julius Peppers down as a true freshman," David Pollack said.
That game in 2001 did for Dorsey what the 2002 South Carolina game did
for Pollack, thrust him into the national spotlight and marked him as a
player to watch.
The two will meet Saturday when the No. 5 Bulldogs (9-2) face Georgia Tech (6-5) at Grant Field. It could be the last time the juniors go
head-to-head because both are considering an early exit to the NFL.
How much the 6-foot-3, 276-pound Pollack and the 6-6, 330-pound Dorsey
will square off is impossible to predict because the Bulldogs rotate
Pollack depending on an opponent's formation and tendencies. He will
line up against both Dorsey, Tech's left tackle, and Kyle Wallace, the
right tackle, but it's the matchup with Dorsey that will stand out.
"(Dorsey) is just such a big man, he takes up a lot of space,"
Georgia defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder. "You combine that with
his athleticism, and you've got a heck of an offensive tackle. We have a
lot of respect for him."
They should. Dorsey and the Yellow Jackets did a better job than
anybody last season of neutralizing Pollack. He had just two tackles, a
season low, and one sack.
The Yellow Jackets often used a tight end to "chip" Pollack
he said, and he expects more of the same this year. On a chip block,
either a tight end or running back helps an offensive tackle by hitting
a defensive player on his way to run a pass route.
It's a strategy opponents have used all season to help negate
Pollack's impact. His numbers are down this season, but they could
hardly have gone up. He was SEC Player of the Year last season after
recording 102 tackles and a school-record 14 sacks. He also had 23.5
tackles for loss and 35 quarterback pressures.
He is still getting near the quarterback. He has twice as many
pressures as any player on the team (28), but he only has 2.5 sacks,
which is tied for third best on the team, and seven tackles for loss.
"He's created a lot of opportunities for others," VanGorder
Pollack hasn't had a sack since the Oct. 11 Tennessee game, when he
had two and was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week. His only
double-digit tackle game this season came against Florida three weeks
ago, but a lot of his drop in production is a direct result of how much
attention he's getting from opponents, VanGorder said.
Despite his diminished numbers, Pollack still commands enough national
respect that he is one of four finalists for the Lombardi Award.
Pollack said he's anxious to face Dorsey. There are things he can do
to negate Dorsey's size advantage, he said, "but I'm not going to tell
"You have to exploit people's weaknesses," he said.
If Pollack can't get pressure on elusive Yellow Jacket quarterback
Reggie Ball, who has been sacked 23 times this year, then his teammates
will have to take advantage of the attention he gets to do it. Safety
Thomas Davis, who plays linebacker in the Bulldogs' nickel defense,
leads the Bulldogs with 4.5 sacks. Linebacker Odell Thurman is next with
Overall, Georgia is ninth in the SEC with just 18 sacks.
"I think we've had a decent pass rush, not great, but decent,"
VanGorder said the Bulldogs' coaching staff has been trying to improve
the team's pass rush for the last three years.
"That's a point of emphasis," he said.
Big Matchup for Pollack
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