Old memes die hard.
On “SportsCenter” late Saturday night one of ESPN’s talking heads introduced a recap of the Dogs’ big win over the Gators by noting that “Florida has owned this series” since Steve Spurrier arrived in Gainesville.
That’s just the sort of glib commentary we’ve come to expect from the self-proclaimed Worldwide Leader in Sports. Yes, we all know the Gators dominated the Georgia Bulldogs during the Spurrier years, with the former Gator QB going 11-1 against the team he hates above all others.
We also know that during that span University of Florida fans developed an interesting amnesia about all the years that went before, acting as if modern football history began in 1990.
It’s understandable that folks in Gainesville like to cite the Gators winning 18 games against Georgia since that time, but it’s also completely arbitrary.
Why start with 1990? Why not start with 1964, when Vince Dooley arrived in Athens? Oh, yeah, he had a 17-7-1 record against the Gators, which they’d just as soon forget.
But the lazy media penchant for playing along with that Gatorized view of football history should have run its course by now. The Visor has been absent from Gainesville for more than a decade and is no more relevant to the discussion these days than Dooley is.
In the years since Spurrier left, the Georgia-Florida rivalry has become ultra competitive. The past nine years? Florida holds a slim 5-4 edge. Over the past six years, it’s dead even at 3-3.
So let’s put to rest this business of anyone “owning” the battle for the Okefenokee Oar, OK?
Unless, that is, we want to start the count with 2011, the Muschamp Era, during which Georgia has won two in a row, making Coach Boom 0-fer against his alma mater.
How’s that for being owned?
A few other thoughts and observations from the Dogs’ win over the Gators …
Jarvis Jones, named Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week for the second time this season, deserves all the plaudits he’s gotten after the Florida game, but let’s give a big woof also to Damian Swann, who forced the fumble that was recovered by Jones on the Gators’ third offensive play of the game, setting up the Dogs’ first score, and also intercepted a Jeff Driskel pass in the third quarter, leading to a Marshall Morgan field goal.
While we’re at it, let’s note that Mike Gilliard, who felt “disrespected” after Shawn Williams essentially called him out earlier in the week by saying Alec Ogletree and Amarlo Herrera should never come out of the game, responded nicely. Gilliard had six tackles against the Gators, which tied him with Williams, Ogletree and Herrera.
And how about forgotten man Zander Ogletree, who came in at fullback after Merritt Hall got hurt and not only did a good job blocking but caught a pass for a first down on Georgia’s first drive. …
There’s a fine line between inspired play and out of control, and the Dawgs crossed it too many times Saturday, drawing a ridiculous 14 penalties for 132 yards. The challenge for the Georgia coaching staff this week (particularly on defense) is to find a way to keep the players fired up for Ole Miss while getting the penalty situation in hand. …
Georgia hasn’t had very good luck with trick plays this season. Too often, they appear to be successfully completed only to be wiped out by a penalty, as was the case again Saturday with the onside kick. …
Malcolm Mitchell is back where he should be and that produced great results Saturday, with the erstwhile cornerback catching five passes, including the big one for a touchdown. Which prompted one of my favorite postgame quotes from Mark Richt, who shortly before that had pulled Mitchell after an unsportsmanlike conduct call. “I’m glad I put Malcolm back in the game,” said UGA’s master of understatement.
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg