When Georgia defensive end Abry Jones showed up for his post-practice interview Monday night, he was wearing a boot on his sprained ankle. He had left the Vanderbilt game two weeks ago with the injury and then played sparingly last Saturday against Tennessee. Jones has 14 tackles on the season, but the ankle sprain limited him to just one assist against the Volunteers. He thinks he will be healthier for this weekend's showdown with South Carolina.
“My health is good,” Jones said. “I think I am getting better every day. Pain is just part of the game and I just suck it up and get to it.”
Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham echoed Jones’ prognostication Tuesday night.
"Abry practiced today and looked like he’s ready to go, so we’ll continue to treat him and get him healthy and I think he’ll be fine on Saturday,” Grantham said.
Jones wants a shot at redemption against the Gamecocks.
“Personally this is a tremendous game for me,” Jones said. “Definitely your senior year you want to go out on top, especially with a team that has beaten you the last couple years.”
South Carolina’s success against Georgia lies mainly with how devastating running back Marcus Lattimore has been to the Bulldogs.
The first time Jones and his teammates faced South Carolina in 2010, the true freshman ripped through the Georgia line, breaking tackles on his way to 182 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries. Then last year the Bulldogs succeeded in bottling up Lattimore until the fourth quarter when he picked up 96 yards against a tired Georgia defense. Lattimore would finish the day with 176 yards on 27 carries and one touchdown.
“Last year we started out containing him and we thought we had him under wraps,” Jones said. “When it came down to crunch time he knew what he had to do for his team and came out and became the playmaker we all knew he was.”
Jones knows that this is his last chance to stop Lattimore.
“Facing him and the great offensive line that is blocking for him -- you can’t forget about those guys – you just have to bring your A game,” Jones said. “They know they have a great back and they definitely want to open some holes for him.”