Georgia tops Florida, controls SEC East

Georgia 17, Florida 9

Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 10:45 PM
Last updated Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012 10:13 AM
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—Malcolm Mitchell got chewed out by Georgia coach Mark Richt, then ate up Florida’s defense on a catch-and-run touchdown.

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Georgia and Florida players fight for a loose ball. The Bulldogs prevailed in a sloppy game and beat the Gators for the second year in a row.  AJ REYNOLDS/MORRIS NEWS SERVICE
AJ REYNOLDS/MORRIS NEWS SERVICE
Georgia and Florida players fight for a loose ball. The Bulldogs prevailed in a sloppy game and beat the Gators for the second year in a row.

SLIDESHOW

georgia win

See photos from Georgia's win over No. 3 Florida on Saturday.

Jarvis Jones made sure the Bulldogs would be in the fast lane for a return trip to Atlanta for the Southeastern Conference championship game by forcing a fumble with Florida driving to try to tie the game.

No. 12 Georgia went from “soft” in the words of safety Shawn Williams when the week began to hard-nosed and hard to score on in a 17-9 upset Saturday of the third-ranked Gators at EverBank Field.

Two more manageable wins in the next two weeks and the Bulldogs will clinch the SEC East title.

In an emotionally-charged game that was turnover and penalty-filled, Mitchell helped send the Gators (7-1, 6-1) to their first loss of the season with his 45-yard touchdown off a short pass from Aaron Murray with 7:11 to play.

“How many of y’all honestly thought we were going to win?” Mitchell asked reporters after the game. “Let’s be real. We knew that. … We wanted to come out and show that we could fight.”

This is exactly where the Bulldogs (7-1, 5-1) were expected to be when the season began, but looked more and more unlikely when Georgia was routed by South Carolina three weeks ago.

Georgia rebounded and bagged the type of win that had eluded Richt’s teams in recent seasons.

The Bulldogs went ahead early on a 10-yard Todd Gurley touchdown and never trailed. The score was set up by a Damian Swann sack that was recovered by Jones.

“The defense had to show up today and we had something to prove,” linebacker Mike Gillard said.

Georgia limited the Gators to three Caleb Sturgis field goals.

“I think our guys were very serious about playing with intensity, playing with some physicality,” Richt said. “They were accused of some things that guys don’t like to be accused of and I think that probably helped motivate them.”

It was just the second win against a top-10 team in 11 tries for Georgia since the start of the 2008 season and keeps the Bulldogs still in the mix for the SEC championship and perhaps a trip to BCS title game.

A year after ringing up four sacks against Florida in his All-American season, Jones had a career-high 13 tackles, including four and a half for loss, three sacks, two fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles.  

With Georgia up by eight, Jones knocked the ball loose from Jordan Reed after a 13-yard catch to the Georgia 5. The ball went into the end zone and former Westside standout Sanders Commings recovered for a touchback with 2:05 to play.

“I definitely went for the strip,” Jones said. “If he scored it was going to be close and get kind of scary.”

Richt gave an earful to Mitchell, the sophomore receiver, after he was called for unsportsmanlike conduct after a 12-yard catch with Georgia clinging to a 10-9 lead.

Georgia had 14 penalties for 132 yards in the game (Florida had 10 for 95) including several personal fouls. Mitchell got his 15-yard penalty for being in a Florida player’s face after the play. That pushed Georgia back to the 50-yard line.

“I said enough to make him think that he may never get in the game again,” Richt said. “He started walking off and I grabbed the back of his shoulder pads and I said `Hey, Malcolm, I’m only going to take you out for one play. You’re going back in.’”

On the third play after the penalty on a third-and-5, Murray threw a short pass to Mitchell on the left side and he got past cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy and safety Matt Elam and two other Gators on the play.

“It was a big time play in a game where somebody needed to make a play on offense,” said Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo after a game in which Georgia outgained Florida 273-266.

Murray threw interceptions on three consecutive first-half possessions. His counterpart, Jeff Driskel (14 of 26 for 185 yards) threw a pair of interceptions and lost two fumbles in the game.

The Gators had six turnovers after entering the day with only four all season.

Richt lingered after the game for on the field to soak in the moment with Georgia fans.

It was Georgia’s first win over a top-five team since beating No. 5 Auburn 37-15 in 2006 and highest ranked win since a 34-3 win over No. 3 LSU in the 2005 SEC championship game.

All Georgia needs to do is beat Ole Miss at home and Auburn on the road in the next two games and they will play in the league title game Dec. 1.

“I did feel if we played our best, we’d have a good chance of winning,” Richt said. “I just hadn’t seen us play our best very much. That’s not good, but at this point we’re OK. We’ve still got a chance to win the East.”

BIG THINGS USUALLY COME FROM A VICTORY IN JACKSONVILLE

Georgia leads the series 49-40-2 after Saturday’s win. This is the first time since 1987-89 that the Bulldogs won more two in a row against the Florida Gators. A look at the past five years.

YEAR RESULT HOW SEASON ENDED FOR WINNER

2011 No. 22 Georgia 24, Florida 20 Reached SEC title game, lost to LSU

2010 Florida 34, Georgia 31 (OT) Finished 8-5 and won Outback Bowl

2009 No. 1 Florida 41, Georgia 17 Lost SEC title game to Alabama; won Sugar Bowl

2008 No. 5 Florida 49, No. 8 Georgia 10 Won SEC crown and BCS national championship

2007 No. 20 Georgia 42, No. 9 Florida 30 Won Sugar Bowl against Hawaii

Source: www.georgiadogs.com

NO. 12 GEORGIA 17, NO. 3 FLORIDA 9

Florida 0 6 0 3 – 9

Georgia 7 0 3 7 – 17

First Quarter

Geo–Gurley 10 run (Morgan kick), 12:02

Second Quarter

Fla–FG Sturgis 38, 7:05

Fla–FG Sturgis 22, 2:43

Third Quarter

Geo–FG Morgan 29, 8:34

Fourth Quarter

Fla–FG Sturgis 50, 9:41

Geo–Mitchell 45 pass from Murray (Morgan kick), 7:11

A–84,644

 FlaGeo
First downs1514
Rushes-yards41-8135-123
Passing185150
Comp-Att-Int15-28-212-24-3
Return Yards4123
Punts-Avg.3-46.75-37.2
Fumbles-Lost6-40-0
Penalties-Yards10-9514-132
Time of Possession33:4126:19

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING–Florida, Gillislee 22-77, Debose 1-6, Hines 1-4, Patton 1-0, T.Burton 3-(minus 2), Driskel 13-(minus 4). Georgia, Gurley 27-118, Marshall 4-4, Murray 2-3, Team 2-(minus 2)

PASSING–Florida, Driskel 14-26-2-185, T.Burton 1-1-0-0, Team 0-1-0-0. Georgia, Murray 12-24-3-150

RECEIVING–Florida, Reed 5-74, Dunbar 3-40, Gillislee 2-40, T.Burton 2-23, Joyer 1-6, M.Brown 1-2, Hines 1-0. Georgia, Mitchell 5-74, Brown 2-30, Gurley 2-23, Conley 1-10, Hall 1-10, Alex.Ogletree 1-3

Comments (19) Add comment
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justthefacts
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justthefacts 10/28/12 - 07:24 am
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Dawgs

Jones is a beast! How bout them Dawgs!!

YeCats
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YeCats 10/28/12 - 07:47 am
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......the undisciplined play

......the undisciplined play concerns me, but Go Dawgs! A real big win for this team! We'll take beating Fla, any day of the week! Sweeter is they being ranked #2.

I've never been a great chess player, but if we beat 'bama..............

GO DAWGS!

justthefacts
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justthefacts 10/28/12 - 08:26 am
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Emotional

Yecats, it's a very emotional game. As intense as it gets. Hard for these kids to control it. Both sides.

kiwiinamerica
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kiwiinamerica 10/28/12 - 09:14 am
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Enough to save Richt's job
Unpublished

Enough to save Richt's job for another year.

The shellacking they copped from South Carolina should have been enough to get him fired but this has probably given him yet another stay of execution.

YeCats
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YeCats 10/28/12 - 09:23 am
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Agreed

JTF, I was on the road, up in Tenn, and finally caught the 4th quarter on WSB. Howard's calls on Jarvis got me pretty fired up. I bet the stadium was in full meltdown. And the best part as always, when the Fla fans start loading the truck, :-)

Did the weather have any effect, during the game?

scgator
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scgator 10/28/12 - 10:19 am
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Even though my blood runs

Even though my blood runs blue and orange; my hat is off to Georgia for winning; my complaint though is the media, they treat readers like they have no clue. Yesterday's game was anything but SEC quality football. BOTH teams played like they did not possess a quarterback. Dawgs finally got some defense going to make some key plays; but please don't over dramatize a game where BOTH teams had multiple turnovers, penalties, and "high school football" mistakes; I remember one commentator saying at one point that the dawgs already had 11 penalties for over 90 yards.........even though I will always be a gator fan, I love the Ga-Fla rivalry every year. But, overall, the quality of this game did not even come close to a SEC game

Richt said. “I just hadn’t seen us play our best very much. That’s not good, but at this point we’re OK..........." Notice he said OK, he did not say playing their best. A win is a win; and the dawgs outlasted my gators, so it is in the record books.

scgator
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scgator 10/28/12 - 10:29 am
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The headline of this article

The headline of this article says........"Georgia controls the SEC East !!! BOTH teams played mediocre high school ball, and Georgia simply made less mistakes than Florida.............“It was a big time play in a game where somebody needed to make a play on offense,” said Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo after a game in which Georgia outgained Florida 273-266.

Murray threw interceptions on three consecutive first-half possessions. His counterpart, Jeff Driskel (14 of 26 for 185 yards) threw a pair of interceptions and lost two fumbles in the game.

The Gators had six turnovers after entering the day with only four all season.

Outgaining the Gators by 7 yards can hardly be referred to as "control", and BOTH teams had serious problems keeping the ball in their own hands.

I just wish that sportswriters would write it like it really was. Dawgs got the Gators this year, but it could hardly be called quality SEC play by any stretch of the imagination.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 10/28/12 - 11:15 am
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JTF

That game will go in the history books. It was a defensive battle of monumental proportions. Son of a gun, UGA could go all the way. It's possible. If things go well, they could play Alabama for the SEC Championship. If they lose they play the Big 12 runner-up..right? And then a big bowl game.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 10/28/12 - 12:38 pm
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scgator

UGA controls the SEC East. It is a fact. If they win their next two games they win the east. Not sure what your issue is with that. No, not a well played game. Who cares?
YeCats, very windy. No way to throw long. This compacted the area needed to defense. That helped both defenses.
River, all indications are the SEC Champ game will be UGA vs winner Ala/LSU. After that, who knows.

Jake
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Jake 10/28/12 - 01:57 pm
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Aaron Murray

When he was a freshman, I was looking forward to 3 more years of his great play and development. As a sophmore, I thought he made slight improvement. This year he appears to be average. Yesterday he was, at times, the best player Florida had. I was cringing every time he was throwing the ball.
This game belonged to, and was won, by the defense. If the Dawgs want to look halfway decent against Alabama or LSU (IF they get there) then their offense and the play of Murray has to improve.

Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 10/28/12 - 02:28 pm
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I'm hoping that LSU finds a

I'm hoping that LSU finds a way to beat Alabama, putting LSU in the SECC game. Much rather play LSU than Bama.
As far as this game, I was there (just got back home), and I focused so much on how badly Georgia played that I wasn't fully aware of all the miscues by Florida. I agree that our defense saved our fanny Saturday!! I just don't get what happens to Murray in these big games. I hold my breath whenever he throws the ball, and you can see why! And now we've got a kicker that I find myself holding my breath for also! If he had made that missed FG, there wouldn't have been as much drama at the end of the game. But, we won and that's what counts. And even though Will Muschamp played at Georgia, I don't think much of him. Did y'all see his psycho-moment went he chewed out one of his players on the sidelines....he was gritting him teeth and you could CLEARLY see him telling the kid "God D@*% you!!"! If you don't believe me, look up "Will Muschamp Screaming at Mr. Burton"....
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Will+Muschamp+screaming+at+M...

justthefacts
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justthefacts 10/28/12 - 02:41 pm
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Murray

64% completion, 2000 yrds, 17 touchdowns, 160 rating. It ain't great. But average? Tough crowd.

Jake
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Jake 10/28/12 - 03:13 pm
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Statistics

If you think Murray is stepping up and playing good against top tiered schools then good for you, I just don't see it. His South Carolina and Florida games say a lot. Anyone can look good against Kentucky and the other lower level schools that he has faced.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 10/28/12 - 03:29 pm
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Just sayin

SC and UF have probably two of the best defenses in the country. Again, didn't say he was great, but imo, average is a little harsh.

YeCats
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YeCats 10/28/12 - 04:18 pm
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Being windy (trop storm type)

Being windy (trop storm type) can explain passing woes. And kicking game too(FG).

I hope 'bama & us run the table. The Tide has looked like the only powerhouse team in the country, most of time. It would be another great challenge, and the kind we need.

Hope/glad all make/made it home safe! Great win, and so needed.

Jake
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Jake 10/28/12 - 05:05 pm
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Defense

After giving up 102 points in their last 3 games, I would hardly call South Carolina's defense one of the 2 best in the country. Notre Dame, Florida and Alabama, yes. USC, not hardly.
Murray needs to build on this victory against a top school to try and get some confidence. He looked very immature and intimidated yesterday.
Go Dawgs.

Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 10/28/12 - 08:32 pm
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I want to comment on the

I want to comment on the on-field discipline issue. I was at the game, and admit I felt the same way when we got all those penalties.
BUT...I just watched a replay of the game that I recorded, and most every penalty we received had a Gator "starting it". No, I'm not saying that gives someone a right to retaliate, but I am saying that the opponent can get a good hit in FIRST and not be seen by the ref..but the retaliatory swing does get seen. When you have a game with that much emotion, you're going to get both sides riled up! Great game though. Glad the Dawgs came out on top!

scgator
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scgator 10/28/12 - 09:33 pm
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"UGA controls the SEC East.

"UGA controls the SEC East. It is a fact. If they win their next two games they win the east. Not sure what your issue is with that." I don't have "any" issues with UGA or the SEC East; it is just that BOTH teams can play MUCH better ball than they showed this week !!! Even though I am a GATOR fan, it really doesn't matter to me who wins as long as the game is quality. My son, when he played high school ball used to get on to me for cheering on when a young player on the opposing team made a good play. For me, it is ALL about the quality of the players and not the score. I like seeing individuals do well. My REAL issue is biased media, who act like an 8 point win is "dominance and control"; the Dawgs got a win over the Gators, and that is fine. The fact that BOTH sides mad so many mistakes that it looked like high school ball is not enough reason for the media to exaggerate about. UGA is and ALWAYS has been a quality SEC program, and to see them playing and "accepting" less than their potential is cause for concern. As a UGA fan, you MUST admit that their talent level deserves better play than this past Saturday. They were the "better" team, but should have generated a score well up around 30+ points instead of only 17. As the UGA coach said..........."we were okay.........."; translates to "we got the job done, but it wasn't very pretty." BOTH Gators and Dawgs need a lot of work to be considered "Championship" teams again.

Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 10/28/12 - 10:48 pm
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scgator, I do understand

scgator, I do understand exactly what you're talking about. And that is exactly why so many Dawg fans were so upset about the loss to Carolina...not the loss itself, but the WAY that we lost. Seemingly no heart, no passion, no enthusiasm, and no display of the athletic ability that our team DOES have. Very frustrating. Of course, we're happy we beat Florida...even if it wasn't pretty. Hopefully our Georgia team found some of it's heart down in Jacksonville, and will start looking for the rest of it as the season progresses.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 10/29/12 - 07:54 am
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scgator

Well, no one has said it was pretty. No one has said UGA is any better than UF. The headline says, "UGA controls the SEC East". Again, they do.

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