Grant steps up with four sacks

ATHENS, Ga. — When Georgia lost starting defensive end <b>Bruce Adrine</b> to a season-ending knee injury last week, <b>Charles Grant</b> felt more pressure than ever to boost Georgia's listless pass rush.

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Adrine did not have a sack before his injury. Completing the shutout for Georgia's starting defensive ends, Grant also had been held without a sack through the first seven games.

That changed in dramatic fashion against Auburn.

Grant led a suddenly revived pass rush with four sacks — one shy of Georgia's school record — as the Bulldogs doubled their previous season total with seven sacks against Auburn's two quarterbacks.

"I knew I had to step up,'' Grant said. "It was about time for me to step up.''

Entering the game, Georgia ranked last in the Southeastern Conference with seven sacks, and the poor pass rush was seen as a major reason Georgia ranked 106th in the nation in pass defense. No player had more than two sacks through the first seven games.

Saturday's unofficial postgame stats credited Georgia with seven sacks for a loss of 43 yards. Official stats are gathered from the coaches' review of game film.

"I'm proud of our kids,'' said Georgia defensive line coach Rodney Garner. "I thought they played hard.''

Grant was credited with 13 tackles, four sacks and a forced fumble.

Said Garner: "Charles picked it up. I thought all the kids picked it up. We were very thin, very limited on the defensive line. We're going to need the same type of effort and a little more the rest of the way.''

Freshman defensive tackle David Pollack, making his first start, added two sacks. He credited his production to good coverage by Georgia's defensive backs, which forced Auburn quarterbacks Daniel Cobb and Jason Campbell to hold the ball.

"I think it's a tribute to our secondary,'' Pollack said. "Our secondary helped us.''

Freddie Gilbert holds the Georgia record with five sacks against Temple in 1983. Gilbert, Richard Tardits and Mo Lewis now have been joined by Grant in second place with four-sack games.

"(Defensive coordinator Brian) VanGorder and the other coaches did a great job getting us prepared and putting us in the position to make plays,'' Grant said. "Auburn came out with a great game plan. We knew they were going to try to run it on us.''

Charles Odum can be reached at

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