ATHENS, Ga. (AP) - Mike Gilliard had never started a game before Georgia lost linebackers Alec Ogletree and Christian Robinson to injuries the first two weeks of the season.
Four games later, Gilliard is Georgia's leading tackler and the Southeastern Conference's defensive player of the week.
Now that he has so successfully seized the starting job at inside linebacker, Gilliard says he doesn't want to let go.
Gilliard had 12 tackles, a forced fumble and a sack in last week's 20-12 win at Tennessee to win the SEC honors. The junior has helped the Bulldogs, who play at Vanderbilt on Saturday night, overcome the injuries to win four straight games.
After a slow start, Georgia ranks sixth in the nation in total defense.