ATHENS, Ga. — It was a big day for the Ogletree family on Saturday against Ole Miss.
Linebacker Alec Ogletree was the standout on defense for Georgia. He finished with 11 total tackles (two for a loss with one of them forcing a safety), one sack and interception to polish off his stat line.
His twin brother Alexander got the start at fullback for the injured Merritt Hall. Alexander had two catches for 12 yards and an eight yard touchdown run – the first of the junior’s career.
“It’s good to see Alec and Alexander, twin brothers, make big plays for Georgia. They had a very big game,” coach Mark Richt said. “I’m sure their family is very excited about that. They have a wonderful mom and dad, we love their family and we’re glad the boys are doing good.”
It’s usually fellow linebacker Jarvis Jones who makes the biggest impact on defense, but on Saturday it was Alec Ogletree . His interception was the fourth turnover in five consecutive plays for both teams, and it required an acrobatic leap to make the catch.
“I did long jump and stuff in high school. I always think I can still jump,” Alec said. “Sometimes I feel like I’m getting old and the knees don’t work the same anymore, but it was a good play for us.”
He also took the credit for a safety with less than a minute to go in the third quarter when he threw down Rebels running back Jeff Scott for a three yard loss in his own end zone.
Alec attributed the play to a team effort from the entire unit to quickly penetrate into the backfield.
“It happened from the whole defense,” he said. “One of the linemen pulled around and (Jones) hit him and made the ball bounce outside. I came right off (Jones’) butt and made the tackle in the backfield and got a safety out of it.”
Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham praised Alec’s performance, and said that he needs more Saturdays like that in order for the Bulldogs to finish the mission.
“He made plays, he was consistent and played physical,” Grantham said. “We need to have him continue to play that way to reach the goals we want to reach. I’m really proud of the way he’s continued to improve himself to help our team.”
While Alec may have the more impressive stat line, between the two brothers it’s Alexander who is the happiest from the results of the game.
Earlier this week when he found out he was getting the start, Alexander made sure he gave it everything he had because opportunities are scarce for a fullback.
“I had to put in a lot more energy into it because you never know how many times you’re going to touch the ball,” he said. “I just waited for my name to get called, and they called the play for me and I was ready to execute it.”
His first career touchdown was an eight-yard scamper in the third quarter which made the contest a three possession game.
“It felt great,” Alexander said. “There’s nothing like being in the end zone for six points. I just wanted to live it up.”
Alec was proud of his twin brother when he saw he scored his first career points.
“I’m happy for him. I know he’s been buying his time to get in there and show what he can do, and he’s just been taking advantage of it these past few months,” Alec said. “He was able to get his first career touchdown, and you can’t tell him nothing now.”
Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo was encouraged by Alexander’s ability to catch the ball whenever it was throw his way. He said it was positive dimension to add to the offense.
“I’m really pleased with (Alexander) and how he’s coming on,” Bobo said. “He’s a guy I mentioned last week that had a good attitude through all this, and did a nice job coming out of the backfield catching the ball. It was a big plus for us today.”
With Hall expected to return next week, the coaches may have to make a decision after Alexander’s performance against the Rebels.
He is hopeful that he will get the starting job, and is ready for whatever the coaches decide.
“Hopefully I do,” Alexander said. “Merritt is getting healthy and he’ll be back there this week, so we’ll see what (the coaches) do.”