Georgia will take an ugly win like this any time

Jarvis Jones had a monster game (three sacks, two forced fumbles) to lead Georgia. (Bob Andres/AJC)

Jarvis Jones had a monster game (three sacks, two forced fumbles) to lead Georgia. (Bob Andres/AJC)

Everybody is going to call it ugly. The quarterback was awful for most of the game. The opponent had six fumbles (four lost) and two interceptions. Two of the supposed best teams in the SEC swapped turnovers, penalties and dropped passes. If the late Sid Gillman was watching, he would’ve covered his eyes and screamed, “No! My eyes! My eyes!”

But does it matter?

Ugly is barely beating Kentucky after a bye week. Ugly is looking flawed against Buffalo and Florida Atlantic. Ugly is giving up 44 points to Tennessee. If beating the No. 2 team in the BCS — especially when it’s Florida — is considered ugly, it’s a canvas of ugly that the Bulldogs would wrap themselves in any day or night.

As Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, he of the three first-half interceptions, said Saturday night, “I know I’m going to get stressed out when I look at the film. But it’s still a great win.”

Georgia, drop-kicked at South Carolina three weeks ago, seemingly comatose in the SEC and again floundering in a season of high hopes, rode ugly back to respectability Saturday. The 17-9 win over Florida put the Bulldogs in control in the SEC East. They need only beat Ole Miss and Auburn to secure a berth in the conference championship — and in the process stomped on all those can’t-win-the-big-one claims.

Malcolm Mitchell danced into the end zone with a big touchdown after Aaron Murray's pass beat the blitz. (Bob Andres/AJC)

Malcolm Mitchell danced into the end zone with a big touchdown after Aaron Murray's pass beat the blitz. (Bob Andres/AJC)

The win had historical significance: It was the Dogs’ first time winning in consecutive years against Florida since 1988 and ’89. That’s long ago enough that the coach for that first game was Vince Dooley.

The game also had personal significance for Mark Richt. Battered for doing so poorly against top-10 teams (1-9 since 2008), the Georgia coach stayed on the field long after the game was over, going from one end of the stands to the other, celebrating with fans.

Winning this game last season, some believed, may have helped saved his job. Winning the game this season was even more significant because of the Gators’ stature.

Appropriately, it happened because of

Mark Richt was only 1-9 against top 10 teams since 2008 before the win. (AP photo)

Mark Richt was only 1-9 against top 10 teams since 2008 before Saturday.

defense, in general, and Jarvis Jones, in particular. Jones had three sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He knocked the ball loose from tight end Jordan Reed at the Dogs’ 18 with five minutes left, as Florida was moving in for a potential touchdown.

Jones’ amusing self-analysis: “I don’t know my stats, but I think I had a good game.”

The defense, whether motivated by external criticism or the internal slap from safety Shawn Williams, who called his team “soft,” had one of its better games of the season. Florida was held without a touchdown in a Georgia win for the first time since 1988.

Jones again: “I think what Shawn Williams did, he challenged us. Obviously we needed it. … Everybody was calling us names, calling us soft. ESPN, everybody on TV. Soft, soft, soft, soft, soft. As a man, you take it personal.”

Here’s a suggestion for Richt: Have one player call everybody a name every week. Couldn’t hurt.

Georgia led only 10-9 when Murray made amends for a mostly horrible night (12-of-24, three interceptions). On a third-and-5 from the Gators’ 45, he dropped back, beat blitzing safety Josh Evans and completing an 8-yard pass to Malcolm Mitchell. The receiver spun away from cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy and then cut across the field and ran to the end zone, giving the Dogs a 17-9 lead with seven minutes left.

The game’s only other touchdown — a 10-yard run by Todd Gurley — came early in the game following a Florida fumble. Of course. Florida had six fumbles (losing four) and six turnovers (Georgia three). The teams combined for six turnovers in the first half. They didn’t need marching bands — just the percussion section with the sounds of crashing cymbals with every bobble and misfire.

The Gators had only four turnovers in their first seven games. Yet quarterback Jeff Driskel fumbled on two of the first three plays of the game (Jones recovering the second). See, it doesn’t matter how ugly one team is if the other is worse.

Linebacker Jordan Jenkins said the team was inspired by a pregame speech by defensive end Cornelius Washington, who touched on all of the expected themes: no respect, big game, rival opponent.

“It was the craziest and wildest he’s ever been,” Jenkins said. “He was talking about how everybody was doubting us. He had us all pumped up and ready to go out there and knock some heads.”

Sometimes, that’s how games are won. The win is all anybody will remember.

By Jeff Schultz




844 comments Add your comment

Lilburn Dawg

October 27th, 2012
9:14 pm

I nominate Shawn Williams for MVP of this game. Seriously! Now………how many first downs did we get in the game……..if any?? Jeff, can you check the history and see if UGA has ever played a game where they did not get any first downs?

World's Largest Outdoor Gator Beating

October 27th, 2012
9:14 pm

UGLY IS GOOD

World's Largest Outdoor Gator Beating

October 27th, 2012
9:16 pm

Shawn ‘hit real hard’ Williams woke up the defense.

Swami SEZ

October 27th, 2012
9:16 pm

Dawgs will lose to either Ole Miss or Auburn… Bank on it. irs an ugaly coached team.

Robbie gill

October 27th, 2012
9:17 pm

reasonable dawg

October 27th, 2012
9:17 pm

A win is a win is a win! Enjoy and put all the whining aside for a little while. Nobody ever built a statue of a critic!!

DawgVoiceofReason

October 27th, 2012
9:18 pm

Lilburn Dawg,

I think you are confused. Of course we got first downs. Did u not see the drive where we scored with the pass to Malcome Mitchel?

Fools Gold

October 27th, 2012
9:18 pm

6 forced turnovers and only 17 points to show for it is ugaly!

Robbie gill

October 27th, 2012
9:18 pm

southdawg

October 27th, 2012
9:18 pm

EAT IT BITCHHHEEESSSS!!!!!

Dawg Tired

October 27th, 2012
9:19 pm

It’s a miracle. Probably return to normal next week.

kingdaddy

October 27th, 2012
9:20 pm

Jeff ,
thanks for all the hard work Lilly put’s in. She was right. Give her a pat on the head for me…

DawgVoiceofReason

October 27th, 2012
9:20 pm

Fool,

Read my post to you on Jeff’s “Live” blog. You need to get over it (whatever “it” is for you), dude.

Lilburn Dawg

October 27th, 2012
9:20 pm

DawgVoice…………..yeh, you are right………I guess we got one or two at the end. All I know if that the TV announcers kept saying during most of the game that we had not gotten any first downs. At one point we were 0 for 10 going for them on third down.

kerryb

October 27th, 2012
9:20 pm

Swami SEZ
October 27th, 2012
9:16 pm

Dawgs will lose to either Ole Miss or Auburn… Bank on it. irs an ugaly coached team.

______________________________________________________________________

You are a complete idiot. We will not lose to Ole Miss at home and Auburn is the worst team in the SEC. A&M is beating them the crap out of them 49-7 at Auburn. They are horrible. We will put 60 points on Auburn

Fools Gold

October 27th, 2012
9:20 pm

Man …… The Kool Aid Drinkers are coming out of the woodwork tonite!

World's Largest Outdoor Gator Beating

October 27th, 2012
9:20 pm

Florida is soft,
real soft.

ebbuga97

October 27th, 2012
9:21 pm

Jarvis for President … What a player…

Jimmy

October 27th, 2012
9:22 pm

Sorry, I will remember this game as the one that led to Richt’s eventual firing.

Watching Alabama…we are in for another butt whupin’ in the SECC game…
assuming we even get there.

This is not an isolated poor game.
Play like this against bama and we will be humilitated again on national TV.

At this point…I have no trust in the coaching staff.

I’ll take the win. I enjoyed it. Was screaming with joy when UF fumbled at the goal line.
I just can’t hope much for the future given Richt’s and Bobo’s poor coaching in big games.

World's Largest Outdoor Gator Beating

October 27th, 2012
9:22 pm

DAWGS 17
gators 9

Saint Herschels

October 27th, 2012
9:23 pm

“Beating the game”, Jeff? What the heck does that mean?

00mpa L00mpa Dawg

October 27th, 2012
9:23 pm

Murray still stinks…. he’s a dwarf!

DawgNole

October 27th, 2012
9:23 pm

Funny to see all these Dawg haters trying to rationalize and paint as a loss the UGA win over No. 2 in the nation! Dirtbags.

World's Largest Outdoor Gator Beating

October 27th, 2012
9:23 pm

muschamp that

kerryb

October 27th, 2012
9:23 pm

Jimmy=another complete idiot. Quit saying “we”, you are not “we”.

Jefferson Davis Hogg

October 27th, 2012
9:24 pm

The defence came out and played a full 60 minutes which was refreshing to see. Way too many penalty’s but at least the effort was there. I hope we don’t come out flat against an up and coming Ole Miss team which I’m most affraid of. Naysayer’s will say UF fumbled the game away but at least they all seemed to be forced fumbles which once again was refreshing to see. This is a definate step up! Now lets see if our coaches keep the team focused enough in the next 2 SEC games. Hat’s off to coach Shawn Williams and go Dawgs!

World's Largest Outdoor Gator Beating

October 27th, 2012
9:24 pm

Florida is smoke and mirrors, fools gold.

kingdaddy

October 27th, 2012
9:24 pm

I hate it for all the haters. I understand there’s a run on Midol at the Drug-Stores, lol…

10-2 is a good year! Right?

October 27th, 2012
9:25 pm

“Battered for doing so poorly against top 10 teams (1-9 since 2008), the Georgia coach stayed on the field long after the game was over, going from one end of the stands to the other, celebrating with fans”

That is pathetic and says everything about Richt. The players want to climb the stands, fine. You don’t need to go seek congratulations from the fan base every time you beat Florida like you just won the Super Bowl. Act like you expected to win. Celebrate the win in the locker room with your staff and players and get ready for Ole Miss.

Man, I like Dan Mullen. Too bad Tennessee will get him.

Junior Samples

October 27th, 2012
9:25 pm

How ’bout dem jackets! May be time to fry fish.

Jed

October 27th, 2012
9:25 pm

“Sometimes, that’s how games are won. The win is all anybody will remember.”

Yep.

@Schultz, 6th graf, “long.”

ccatlanta

October 27th, 2012
9:25 pm

Lilburn Dawg, Georgia had 14 first downs, Florida had 15.

Bill O'Rielly

October 27th, 2012
9:25 pm

Stop drinking the Kool Aid dawg fans……. YOU LOST TO SOUTH CAROLINA for the third straight year!

Moorman

October 27th, 2012
9:26 pm

One of the biggest wins in georgia history, not just mark richt’s career, but the whole history of georgia football, because, like you said jeff, its the national perception of the program as being under achievers for a long time…..

kerryb

October 27th, 2012
9:26 pm

A&M 56 Auburn 14. Yea, Auburn is going to beat us.

World's Largest Outdoor Gator Beating

October 27th, 2012
9:26 pm

# 2 Florida gets 3 field goals, some offense.

FB

October 27th, 2012
9:27 pm

Anybody negative after beating FL is not a fan. Against TN, Auburn, GT and FL we are 7-0!!!!

Get well soon Marcus L.

kerryb

October 27th, 2012
9:27 pm

Bill O’Rielly
October 27th, 2012
9:25 pm

Stop drinking the Kool Aid dawg fans……. YOU LOST TO SOUTH CAROLINA for the third straight year!

____________________________________________________________________

So what? We will be back to around where we were in the polls and going back to Atlanta so did it hurt us. No.

Same ole Richt

October 27th, 2012
9:28 pm

BAMA is gonna thump the dawgs!

Larry Thompson

October 27th, 2012
9:28 pm

Thank God for our defense. Please fire Mike Bobo on Monday morning if not Sunday night! My 10 year old daughter who was been watching football for less than three months knew what he was going to run. FIRE MIKE BOBO!

World's Largest Outdoor Gator Beating

October 27th, 2012
9:28 pm

Florida and South Carolina stink.

The Factor

October 27th, 2012
9:29 pm

Great Win.! Malcomb M needs to grow up. But great win !

World's Largest Outdoor Gator Beating

October 27th, 2012
9:29 pm

LSU IS GONNA THUMP THE TIDE

clelldawgdmd

October 27th, 2012
9:29 pm

Jarvis Jones for President!!!!!!!!!!!

10-2 is a good year! Right?

October 27th, 2012
9:29 pm

Not to mention he gets paid millions per year to win games like this. Bout time Georgia started getting a return on the investment.

DawgNole

October 27th, 2012
9:30 pm

Schultz: “If beating the No. 2 team in the BCS – especially when it’s Florida – is considered ugly, it’s a canvas of ugly that the Bulldogs would wrap themselves in any day or night.”
___________________

Hell yeah!

kerryb

October 27th, 2012
9:30 pm

There is 1:44 left in the 3rd qt at Auburn and half the crowd is already gone.

World's Largest Outdoor Gator Beating

October 27th, 2012
9:31 pm

Enter your 0-2 muschamp vs Dawgs comments here

Jimmy

October 27th, 2012
9:31 pm

Hey, I’ve been part of the Bulldog nation for 45 years.
Been watching since I was a kid.

I’ve never once called for a coach’s job…until the SC game this year.

It is not about hate.

If you support this coaching staff…you are the hater.

You hate our players and our school.
You want to see out kids keep having their dreams crushed
Because our coaching staff fails in preparing them for the games that matter.

Richt may prepare them to be “men”.
But he does not prepare them to play championship football.
I love the team.
Just tired of being disappointed.

Richt must go.

kingdaddy

October 27th, 2012
9:31 pm

A lot of the same idiots that said Fla. was going to blow UGA out, are now saying the same thing about Bama. Some fools never learn. Feels good to beat a #2 team from the SEC on the road. Yeap, feels mighty good. Almost makes up for the SC meltdown…