Dawgs and Jackets early season turnover champs

ATHENS - Three weeks into the season, both Georgia and Georgia Tech have turned around their turnover issues.

The Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets finished last season tied for 92nd in the country with 17 takeaways each. This year, they each have 12 already and are tied for the national lead.

"I'm just thrilled about it," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "I'm glad we started hot, and we're continuing to do it. It does seem to be a big factor in how many games you win."

The No. 7 Bulldogs are tied for the fifth in the nation in turnover margin at plus-2.33 per game. (The Yellow Jackets lead the country at plus-3.) Georgia has forced at least two turnovers each game this season. Its players have intercepted seven passes and recovered five fumbles.

"Coming into the year, causing more turnovers was something that (defensive coordinator Willie Martinez) really wanted to emphasize," linebacker Danny Verdun Wheeler said. "Turnovers fire up the defense, take the crowd out of the game on the road or get the crowd into the game at home."

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