Georgia within one win of SEC East title

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ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia didn’t officially lock up a spot in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game on Sat­urday, but it was hard to tell by the condition of the Bulldogs’ Sanford Stadium locker room.

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Georgia running back Isaiah Crowell dives for the end zone past Auburn defensive back Erique Florence. In his first game back from a one-game suspension, Crowell ran for a team-high 132 yards and a touchdown.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Georgia running back Isaiah Crowell dives for the end zone past Auburn defensive back Erique Florence. In his first game back from a one-game suspension, Crowell ran for a team-high 132 yards and a touchdown.

Water bottles, orange peels and tape covered a soaked floor when the doors swung open after the players finished jumping up and down in celebration.

The 14th-ranked Bulldogs romped No. 24 Auburn, 45-7, behind four touchdown passes from quarterback Aaron Murray and a dominant defensive showing to move one victory away from their first trip to the league championship game since 2005.

“We came out with an edge and a chip on our shoulder,” safety Bacarri Rambo said. “Hopefully we made a statement to everyone that Georgia’s back on the map.”

All that stands between Georgia and a spot in the Dec. 3 title game in Atlanta is a victory against Kentucky next Saturday.

The Wildcats will be coming off a 38-8 pounding by Vanderbilt that dropped the Commodores to 1-5 in the SEC.

Georgia (8-2, 6-1) won its eighth consecutive game – the longest winning streak for the Bulldogs since 1982 – and did it under pressure after South Carolina (8-2, 6-2) knocked off Florida, 17-12, before the Bulldogs took the field.

“I can’t hardly think of another game that we played in this stadium where we played as well as a team offense, defense, special teams,” said Mark Richt, who has gone from a coach considered on the hot seat to one on a hot streak.

“I think everybody kind of fed off each other.”

South Carolina’s victory meant a Bulldogs loss to Auburn would have sent the Gamecocks to the championship game.

Bring on Louisiana State University in the SEC title game?

Auburn (6-4, 4-3) lost at No. 1 LSU 45-10 three weeks before Georgia beat the Tigers 45-7.

“I think we can line up against anybody in the country and compete,” said outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, who had two of Georgia’s five sacks. “We ain’t scared of nobody.”

Aaron Murray completed 14 of 18 for 224 yards and four touchdowns.

Carlton Thomas rushed for a career-high 127 yards and Isaiah Crowell ran for 132 and a touchdown. The two returned after one-game suspensions.

The 38-point victory was Georgia’s largest against Auburn since a 41-0 win in 1946. The Bulldogs defeated Tennessee, Flo­rida and Auburn for the first time in the same season since 1981.

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avidreader
3184
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avidreader 11/13/11 - 09:54 am
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The guys are hot! It's nice

The guys are hot! It's nice to know that Richt can focus on his job and not have to listen to disheartened fans demanding his head. It's a fickle world we share.

justthefacts
21703
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justthefacts 11/13/11 - 10:02 am
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Imagine if they has stuck

Imagine if they has stuck with their original schedule instead of switching Louisville for Boise State. They probably would be undefeated and ranked 1 or 2 now.

Riverman1
83567
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Riverman1 11/13/11 - 01:50 pm
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If Ark beats LSU, AL should

If Ark beats LSU, AL should be the opponent in the SEC championship game. The reason is, in THIS CASE, it will come down to the highest ranked BCS team. Anyway, I believe UGA can beat AL or LSU. Not that it will get them in the NCAA championship game.

Riverman1
83567
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Riverman1 11/13/11 - 05:36 pm
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I believe UGA will win the

I believe UGA will win the SEC Championship and they should play for that National Championship. The SEC Champion should always play for the championship against Notre Dame.

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