South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Connor Shaw throws a pass under pressure from Georgia linebacker Leonard Floyd, who will be one of the Bulldogs looking to pressure LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger this weekend. (Reuters)
ATHENS — According to Georgia’s official statistics, which are updated after the coaches grade game video, Leonard Floyd had two sacks and four quarterback hurries against North Texas last Saturday. The freshman linebacker is eager to add to that total this week and thinks he can against LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger.
“You could say it feels like a shark seeking blood or whatever,” said Floyd, who came to UGA from Hargrave Military Academy. “I’m itching to get me a sack right now. I’m going to come at him as hard as I can.”
Floyd, 6 foot 4 and 220 pounds, had his first dose of film study on LSU on Monday and he likes what saw. He believes the Bulldogs will be able to pressure Mettenberger. The 6-5, 235-pound senior has been sacked just four times in four games.
But he’s less mobile and more of a pocket passer than the other three quarterbacks Georgia has faced, including Clemson’s Tajh Boyd and South Carolina’s Connor Shaw. Mean Green signal-caller Derek Thompson (6-4, 230) was more physically similar to Mettenberger.
“He’s a good player,” Floyd said of Mettenberger, who’s second in the SEC pass efficiency (193.6) and has thrown for 1,026 yards with 10 touchdowns and one interception. “I’m pretty sure he’s going to try to make plays and we’re going to do our best to stop him.”
Floyd has proven to be the Bulldogs’ most effective pass-rusher, which hasn’t been a team strength to date. His two sacks and seven quarterback pressures lead the team. Sophomore Jordan Jenkins, who was expected to set the pace in those categories, has yet to record a sack but had three QB pressures Saturday.
Floyd’s good work comes as no surprise to his teammates.
“We already knew what he could do from practice and practice film and all the scrimmages,” junior linebacker Ramik Wilson said of Floyd. “We expected it.”
Between gaining experience and the styles of offense they’re facing, Wilson feels that Georgia is about to turn a corner with regard to pressuring quarterbacks.
“This is more like an NFL offense, pro style,” Wilson said of LSU. “So we’re going to try to get them into third downs and let ‘Flo’ and Jordan do their work and rush the passer. We trust them two guys and we think pressure will come.”
MILES INTRIGUE: LSU coach Les Miles had some fun Monday with UGA coach Mark Richt’s decision to give Tammy Mettenberger the week off. Tammy, an administrative assistant in Georgia’s football office, is the mother of LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger. Miles joked that Richt’s move foiled his plan to have Mrs. Mettenberger steal the Bulldogs’ game plans.
“We were really kind of hoping that we’d get the call sheet, several of the other key pieces of information,” Miles said at his weekly news conference in Baton Rouge. “But Mark kind of knew that we needed to get that done.”
Speaking to reporters after Monday’s practice, Zach Mettenberger said Georgia actually shooed his mom for two weeks, “because they don’t want her to be a spy for LSU,” he said.
ETC.: Georgia wide receiver Reggie Davis was named the SEC’s freshman of the week. Davis had two catches for 139 yards and a 98-yard touchdown in the Bulldogs’ 45-21 win over North Texas. … CBS has exercised its six-day option for the games of Oct. 5. It will choose between Georgia at Tennessee, Arkansas at Florida and Ole Miss at Auburn for its 3:30 p.m. national broadcast. ESPN will pick up the other two for 7 p.m. kickoffs on one of its networks. … ESPN College GameDay will set up on the Myers Hall Quadrangle.