ATHENS — Defensive back Malkom Parrish was a large part of the Georgia defense that held the Southern Jaguars’ two first possessions to three-and-outs Saturday in the Bulldogs 48-6 win.
But his biggest moment came on special teams.
Parrish blocked the Jaguars’ punt return with 8:38 remaining in the first quarter to set the Bulldogs at the Southern 27-yard line. That led to a two-play, 42 second possession, Nick Chubb caught a 24-yard touchdown pass from Greyson Lambert to score the Bulldogs’ first touchdown of the day.
“I blocked it, but I think I should have blocked it a little better, but I’ll take what I got,” Parrish said. “We kind of knew their block protection and we took advantage of it.”
Parrish, the sophomore who played in 11 games in 2014 with no starts, started a fourth straight game at left cornerback on Saturday, finishing with three tackles, one tackle for loss and one blocked punt. He has 16 tackles and two tackles for loss this season.
Coach Mark Richt said Parrish has become a trustworthy and reliable player for the Bulldogs (4-0), earning him the ability to block kicks as a starter. Against the Jaguars, Richt said he and coaches decided to block the kick on Parrish’s side because of the trust they have in him to keep possession.
“In practice, you have to show us that you can block the punt and not (rough) the punter,” Richt said. “That’s what Malkom has proven over time and that’s why we wanted him to be the guy.”
Parrish said he thought communication went well as a secondary against the Jaguars because they could hear each other on the field. He had a tackle for loss in the first quarter on a complete pass from Jaguars quarterback Austin Howard to wide receiver Willie Quinn.
“I want to go back in, work on technique and get better as the year goes on,” Parrish. “I think we all played well as a unit.”
Parrish also drove Jaguars lead running back Lenard Tillery out of bounds in the second quarter. Tillery was held to 19 carries for 82 yards and one touchdown.
The Bulldogs held the Jaguars to 184 offensive yards and one touchdown.