The Ole Miss game marked the first time Georgia used a starting defensive lineup that differed from the first four games. The change came at linebacker where middle linebacker Jarvis Jackson didn't start due to plantar faciitis, a painful foot injury. Strongside linebacker Danny Verdun Wheeler moved inside to start in Jackson's place, and Brandon Miller moved into the starting lineup on the strong side.
Jackson entered the game on the first drive, though, and played extensively in the first half.
TWICE BITTEN: Georgia's punt team got a huge break in the first quarter when Ole Miss sophomore Terrell Jackson was called for holding, negating a blocked punt. After Georgia's second drive stalled at the Bulldog 37-yard line, the Rebels blocked a Gordon Ely-Kelso punt that was recovered by Kendrick Lewis on Georgia's 5-yard line. However, Jackson's penalty not only negated the block but also gave Georgia a first down.
Not to be denied, the Rebels blocked another punt in the second quarter, this time when Suwanee native Ryan Brunatti slipped a Dannell Ellerbe block and got his hand on one. This time, Ole Miss took over at the Bulldog 10-yard line. The Rebels got a 23-yard field goal out of the drive.
Ellerbe was replaced by Jackson on the next punt.
GREAT TIMING: Redshirt freshman defensive end Rod Battle, a 6-foot-4, 250-pounder from Douglass High School in Atlanta, picked a good time for the first sack of his career. Battle chased down shifty Ole Miss quarterback Brent Schaeffer for a 10-yard loss on third-and-three, which forced Ole Miss to attempt a 53-yard field goal rather than a 43-yarder.
Rebel freshman Joshua Shene missed the kick.
The Bulldogs had four sacks in the first half, tying their season high, set against Western Kentucky and UAB.
WHAT'S HE DOING HERE: Playboy founder Hugh Hefner helped fire up the Ole Miss crowd as the guest cheer leader. Each home game, the Rebels film a celebrity saying, "Are you ready?" and play it on the scoreboard video screen.
The home crowd responds by saying, "Hell Yes," and then beginning its traditional "Hotty Toddy" chant.
PREGAME ENTRANCE: The Bulldogs walked onto the field in small groups of arm-in-arm players Saturday night, a tactic they've used during previous conference road games. Despite the low-key entrance, Georgia still was booed lustily by the fans who made it out to Saturday's game.
THIS AND THAT: Former Ole Miss quarterback Eli Manning, now the signal caller for the New York Giants, came to Oxford, Miss., for the game. The Giants have a bye this weekend. … Mary Persons graduate Tra Battle was flagged for unnecessary roughness with 7:46 left in first quarter. … Georgia's game against Tennessee on Saturday will kick off at 7:45 p.m. and be televised on ESPN.