Johnson & Moses coming after QBs

ATHENS — Charles Johnson knows he'll never erase David Pollack's name from Georgia lore, but breaking Pollack's sack record is another thing entirely.

"That's the goal," the sophomore from Hawkinsville said.

Charles Johnson sacked South Carolina quarterback Blake Mitchell twice Saturday, including late in the fourth quarter to set up a fourth-and-19 that ended the Gamecocks' upset hopes.

His sacks were two of the Bulldogs' four in the game, which helped make up for a sack-less opener by the team, and he is tied for second inthe SEC. It's a long way from Pollack's single-season record of 14, but it's a start.

"You can build off stuff like that," Johnson said, "but you can't say how your season's going to be off one game."

He'll get another chance against a passing team this week when the No. 7 Bulldogs (2-0, 1-0 SEC) take on Louisiana-Monroe (0-2) at 1 p.m. in Sanford Stadium.

Johnson's breakout game was nice for Georgia's coaches to see, but they are still looking for more consistency.

"It's nice that he has the bursts because some guys never have anything, but it's no different than the light bulb flickering and coming on longer and longer," defensive ends coach Jon Fabris said. "That's what you look for in any young player, not just Charles Johnson. You look for the light bulb staying on longer."

At least one of Johnson's teammates thinks the bulb is on to stay.

"He made so many strides in one year that I look up to him," junior Quentin Moses said. "He made strides in one season it took me three or four years to make. He's got skills you can't teach."

Johnson and Moses, roommates on the Bulldogs' road trips, have a competition to see who can register the most sacks by the end of the season. All that's on the line is bragging rights, Johnson said, but the real payoff may be for the Bulldogs.

Since the end of the Outback Bowl in January, Moses has had to answer questions about filling the void left by Pollack, who also owns the school's career sack record (36). If Saturday's game is any indication, Moses, who had one sack against the Gamecocks, won't have to do that alone.

"I'm just glad a lot of other guys are stepping up because that's a lot of pressure to put on one person," he said. "It's hard for one person to step up and fill the big shoes (Pollack) left, so collectively we're all trying to play our part and do what we can."

Senior Will Thompson, a graduate of Northside High School in Warner Robins, also had a sack Saturday and remains in the starting lineup, but Moses and Johnson clearly are emerging as the Bulldogs' dominant duo.

"Quentin Moses and Charles have been more of a force," Coach Mark Richt said. "Down after down after down, Quentin and Charles have been getting the most pressure."

Thompson, Johnson and Moses are basically in a three-man rotation, Richt said. Moses played 38 snaps against South Carolina, and Johnson and Thompson each played 31, Johnson said. Fabris will continue to rotate his players, he said.

"It's like a pitch count," Fabris said. "I've always kept a play count with my players."

Johnson, a former All-Middle Georgia player and Class A defensive player of the year, said he'd like to break into the starting lineup, but his main goals have to do with production -- and history.

"We need to make some new names around here," he said.

Georgia's top sack tandems since 1979 (the earliest records found at Georgia)

20 -- 2002 (David Pollack, 14; Boss Bailey/Will Thompson, 6)
20 -- 1981 (Jimmy Payne, 12; Stan Dooley 8)
19 -- 1993 (Mitch Davis, 13; Matt Storm 6)
18 -- 1989 (Mo Lewis, 10; Bill Goldberg, 8)
18 -- 1985 (Jeff Brantley, 11; Henry Williams, 7)
15 -- 1988 (Richard Tardits, 12; Wycliffe Lovelace, 3)
15 -- 1983 (Freddie Gilbert, 11; Terry Hoage/Donald Chumley, 4)
14 -- 2003 (David Pollack, 7.5; Odell Thurman, 6.5)
14 -- 1987 (Richard Tardits, 10; Jeff Brantley 4)
13.5-- 1992 (Mitch Davis, 8.5; Greg Jackson, 5)
12 -- 1999 (Charles Grant, Kendrell Bell, 5)

Dawg Post Top Stories