Loss keeps Georgia winless in the SEC

Kerry Smith/AP Photo
Georgia's Kris Durham (left) is tackled by Mississippi State's K.J. Wright. Durham had four catches for 64 yards. The Bulldogs didn't score a TD until late in the fourth quarter Saturday night.

STARKVILLE, Miss. --- The cowbell is tolling on Georgia's season.

A 2010 that already looked desperate went into bleak territory Saturday night when Mississippi State became the latest Southeastern Conference team to dump Georgia, 24-12.

Georgia lost for the first time at Mississippi State since 1951 and fell to 0-3 in the SEC for the first time since 1993 on a night when it did not score a touchdown until less than two minutes remained.

Coach Mark Richt's team has lost three consecutive games for the first time in his 10 seasons in Athens.

"Definitely in a position that I've never been in as a coach or as a player that I can remember," Richt said. "Certainly not a good place to be, but we are where we are."

The only thing Georgia (1-3, 0-3) can cling to now as it heads to Colorado next Saturday is that star receiver A.J. Green is returning from a four-game suspension for selling a jersey for $1,000 to someone the NCAA classified as an agent.

"It's one of those things where you're not embarrassed to be a Georgia Bulldog, but you're embarrassed at the way we've been playing," said wide receiver Kris Durham, who had four catches for 64 yards.

Mississippi State (2-2, 1-2) never trailed and clinched the win when Chris Relf hit Arceto Clark on a 33-yard touchdown with 4:22 remaining, beating Branden Smith on the play. After holding Georgia on downs, Mississippi State added another touchdown on Vick Ballard's 1-yard run with 3:15 to play to make it 24-6.

"We've got to stay together and I've seen no signs of change in my mindset that we're a close-knit family," Richt said, "but we've also got to look within starting with me as to the things that have kept us having the success that we want. That's what we're going to do."

Georgia scored its lone touchdown on a 40-yard pass from Aaron Murray to Tavarres King with 1:27 to play. Murray was sacked on the two-point conversion try.

Georgia totaled only 113 yards rushing on 34 carries, getting 36 from Ealey on 10 attempts.

Murray rushed for 32 on seven carries while completing 18 of 31 passes for 274 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions.

Any chance the Bulldogs had of making noise in the SEC East is all but extinguished while the calendar still says September.

What's left for Georgia to play for now?

"Mess up somebody else's season," outside linebacker Justin Houston said.

Ealey fumbled inside the 5-yard line for the second time this season, this time in the first quarter.

Georgia outgained Mississippi State in yards (221-121), first downs (12-6) and time of possession (19:50-10:10) in the first half, but was held to a pair of Blair Walsh field goal from 25 and 35 yards.

The second field goal capped a 13-play, 80-yard drive that covered 6:57.

The drive included a spectacular 11-yard run by Murray, who cut back and then jumped to complete the run. He hit Durham on a pass across the middle that went for 31 yards, but lost 10 yards on a holding call on receiver Marlon Brown.

"We were undisciplined when we had chances and just let it slip out of our hands," Durham said.

Neither team scored in the second half until Mississippi State went on a 14 play, 54-yard drive that lasted 6:19 and ended with a 44-yard field goal by Sean Brauchle with 13:59 to play.

Brandon Boykin responded with a 39-yard kickoff return, his longest of the season, to get the ball to the Georgia 46.

Georgia drove into Mississippi State territory, but a pass to Durham over the middle inside the 20 came back on a holding penalty against Josh Davis.

Durham ran to the sideline and fell down in pain after stretching a nerve in his neck, but indicated the injury is not serious. He sounded more concerned about the state of his team than his own health.

"It's unfortunate," Durham said. "We're not where we wanted to be, but we could turn the season into a catastrophe if we don't stay together and continue to work hard."

Richt pleased with Dogs' work rate

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