ATHENS, Ga. - Georgia cornerback DeMario Minter was joking with teammate Paul Oliver after the Bulldogs' 20-16 win at South Carolina, a victory in which the freshman intercepted a pass in just his second collegiate game.
"I was like, dang," Minter said. "I've been here for three years and I still don't have one. I wanted to know what his secret was."
Minter's still waiting, and he isn't the only one.
Six games have passed since Georgia's victory at Williams-Brice Stadium on Sept. 11, and the Bulldogs haven't had a single interception since Oliver's pick, one of just two by the team all year. Safety Thomas Davis has the other interception.
"We've probably dropped four to five, legit," secondary coach Willie Martinez said. "It's just sometimes you get more in one given year. Obviously, preparation has a lot to do with that, too, whether a kid gets in position to make plays based on preparation."
Although Georgia has just two interceptions, the Bulldogs are ranked fifth in the Southeastern Conference in pass defense (167 yards per game), 11th nationally.
Five SEC schools - Kentucky, Auburn, South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee - have more than 10, with Arkansas next-to-last in the league with five, still three ahead of the Bulldogs.
Auburn cornerback Junior Rosegreen has a 5-2 edge on the Bulldogs all by himself, including a three-interception performance in the Tigers' 34-10 win at Tennessee.
"I don't know what the reason is, but it hurts," Minter said. "We try to go out and get them, but it just seems like they don't come our way."
According to Georgia coach Mark Richt, it starts with getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks to force bad throws.
Minter has another theory. Because Georgia likes to play a lot of zone, teams haven't been throwing many deep routes against the Bulldogs, which he says is where the interceptions generally occur.
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