Third straight win over Gators sweet for Dogs, no matter how close

Todd Gurley scores on a big first-quarter play for the Dogs. (Curtis Compton / AJC)

Todd Gurley scores on a big first-quarter play for the Dogs. (Curtis Compton / AJC)

The Dogs’ hard-fought, fractious 23-20 win Saturday over Florida in Jacksonville left UGA fans about as gassed as Todd Gurley, but that didn’t make Georgia’s third consecutive victory in the fabled series any less sweet.

Yes, the Bulldogs took their eyes off the prize for about a quarter and a half in the second half, just as surely as Artie Lynch took his eyes off the ball on that dropped screen pass that turned into a fumbled lateral and gave the Gators the big break they needed to get them back into the game.

And with the Gator players constantly trying to provoke Georgia players into dead-ball infractions, there’s no doubt that the Bulldogs lost composure for most of the dismal third quarter.

But in the end it was another big game that ended with Aaron Murray and the Bulldogs offense killing more than 8 minutes of clock with a scrappy fourth-quarter drive that preserved a win.

I don’t know if they still give game balls to heroes of a hallowed Bulldog victory, but if they do I’d say senior split end Rhett McGowan definitely deserves one for that clutch catch on a third-and-7 play on Georgia’s final clock-killing drive when he broke a tackle and fought hard to get the much-needed first down. McGowan caught another ball for a first down earlier on that drive and also had a big reception late in the first half to set up the Marshall Morgan field goal that wound up being the Georgia’s last points for the day and the margin of victory.

Another game ball ought to go to Corey Moore for the big sack he got on Florida quarterback Tyler Murphy on a third-and-12 safety blitz (the Dogs’ fourth sack of the day), forcing a Gators punt on a drive where they had looked ready to take control of the game.

And don’t forget tailback Gurley, returning to play after a month off with an injured ankle. A 73-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter left the great Georgia running back wiped out physically, but he gamely returned to the fray in the second half, and though he was obviously running on fumes, he still managed to gut out a third-down conversion by the tip of the football on that final Georgia drive thanks to his second effort. Gurley wound up the day with 100 yards on 17 carries and three receptions for another 87 yards that make him the Dogs’ leading receiver of the day in yardage.

Will Muschamp still hasn't been on the winning side in Jacksonville. (Curtis Compton / AJC)

Will Muschamp still hasn't been on the winning side in Jacksonville. (Curtis Compton / AJC)

So, despite a strong start by Georgia in the first half, the game ended up being a lot closer than it needed to be. But having predicted the Dogs would win by less than a touchdown, I can’t say I was particularly surprised (though perhaps a bit disappointed in the way the Gators managed to flip the momentum). That’s just the nature of Georgia-Florida games.

Bottom line: Will Muschamp is still 0-fer in this series. And Murray joins John Rauch and Buck Belue in the pantheon of Georgia quarterbacks with at least three wins over that hated Gators.

Really, Bulldog Nation, isn’t that reason enough to cheer these Dawgs?

Got something you want to discuss concerning the Dawgs? Or a question you want the Junkyard Blawg to tackle? Email me at  junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

200 comments Add your comment

DawgVoiceofReason

November 2nd, 2013
10:11 pm

Agreed. Bennett helped complement Gurley and kept/got the offense going.

CHDawg

November 2nd, 2013
10:13 pm

I thought Bobo called a solid game. Lynch would still be running if he had caught the screen. Lynch is a solid player, but his breakdowns this year have cost us dearly–dropped passes and missed blocks that wound up TDs for our opponents. Murray played very well, as usual. I wonder if the new hit on Murray is that he wins the big games, but loses to the little guys! He beat SC, LSU, and UF. D played pretty well.

SC Dog fan

November 2nd, 2013
10:14 pm

Happy to have the victory, but if that’s “sweet” then you can have it. Once again, they tried to give away a game as they did at Vanderbilt. I’ll stop there. Sheesh.

NCDawg

November 2nd, 2013
10:15 pm

Anybody ever heard of the defense making adjustments? UF has a REALLY GOOD defense. They made an adjustment to what we were doing to take away some of those throws. They also were jacked up after getting that huge break on the pass ruled a fumble. We had a bad series and punted. Amd forced a punt and low and behold we tried to be aggressive from the 5 ( hasn’t there been this outcry over us being too conservative?… you do remember that right? ) We wanted to try and hit a big play and wrest the momentum from them. But surprise! a really good defense sent a corner blitz and wham safety. And MORE momentum to the reptiles. Hmmm.. suddenly a couple runs don’t look so bad eh?

DawgVoiceofReason

November 2nd, 2013
10:18 pm

CHDawg,

Murray definitely deserves major credit for being one of only 3 UGA QBs to beat UF 3 times. For those who said he can’t win the big ones, he did what no UGA QB had done in 30 years. Give a Dawg credit where credit is due. And I don’t care that the last two UF games were not good statistically for him. In those two games and in this one he stepped up BIG TIME when we needed him to.

NCDawg

November 2nd, 2013
10:22 pm

It kind of looks like damned if you do, damned if you don’t for Coach Bobo. But as I have pointed out hundreds of times, some of you will never be satisfied. No matter what he does you will critique it, as if you could actually do a better job.

I’ve seen the word “delusional” thrown around on these blogs like dandelion fluff on a spring breeze ever since I started coming here. If you really want to know what is delusional then consider the concept that ANY of you could do a better job than Mike Bobo is textbook delusion.

JRW7

November 2nd, 2013
10:23 pm

We won, but we tried to give it away!

DawgVoiceofReason

November 2nd, 2013
10:26 pm

Also, no turnovers by Murray (although I don’t know if he takes the “official” blame for the so-called “lateral” fiasco). It was huge that he held on to the ball despite taking a big time blind side hit in the endzone. That proved to be the difference in the game.

NCDawg

November 2nd, 2013
10:28 pm

DawgVoiceofReason
November 2nd, 2013
10:18 pm

Uh oh you’d better stop sounding so rational… someone is liable to call you delusional here in a few moments… LOL

DawgVoiceofReason

November 2nd, 2013
10:32 pm

Morgan’s 3 field goals were also huge, while the UF kicker was one for three. Another difference in the game.

MelissaKnowsMore

November 2nd, 2013
10:32 pm

Bill: Perfect headline! And Murray shut up all the trolls….3rd QB in history w/ 3 wins vs Gators! Go Dawgs!

DawgVoiceofReason

November 2nd, 2013
10:36 pm

FSU has finished destroying Miami, as I thought they might. I’ve seen them play in person and they are very, very good. If it gets to that point, they will give Oregon or Alabama a great game.

NCDawg

November 2nd, 2013
10:36 pm

We need stop sounding so sane folks… we won but there is OH SO MUCH we should be complaining about. And don’t forget that EVERY mistake is because of BAD coaching. We have to point that out in EVERY post. Artie Lynch didn’t just drop that pass, he was COACHED how to drop that pass and told NOT to fall on the ball because it might be a ruled a fumble. Yeah..isn’t it obvious?

NCDawg

November 2nd, 2013
10:39 pm

Yes, there are people here that probably roll that thought a around a few times…

NCDawg

November 2nd, 2013
10:40 pm

Ok… I’m out… have great rest of your evenings folks…

MelissaKnowsMore

November 2nd, 2013
10:41 pm

DawgVoice…..Since you have seen them in person we now all know they are good. Thank you.

MelissaKnowsMore

November 2nd, 2013
10:44 pm

Good thing the OH SO MUCH COMPLAINER BOY hits the hay besides enjoying a Victory!

MelissaKnowsMore

November 2nd, 2013
10:55 pm

Night NC…when ya realize the games are played by 19 yr olds keep in touch with us .

Chuck-UGA

November 2nd, 2013
11:08 pm

Extremely poor execution on defense; continued problems (although no blocks) with special teams; lack of composure, focus and disciplined play. Nice to win, but truthfully Florida looked equally poor. I am afraid that Auburn is going to run all over Georgia (350+ is my prediction) and win something like 45-31. Hello Peach Bowl. A pathetic coaching job with or without the injuries by the Georgia staff AFTER the LSU game. It’s like they just clocked out and went on vacation.

RED DOG 77

November 2nd, 2013
11:09 pm

Me?…….. I absolutely loved the game today……….yea,yea,yea, D almost gave ‘er away again but…………….didn’t…………..that’s good enough for me………….You read it here first! ‘ol RED DOG believes it’s time for Todd Grantham to find a new job

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 2nd, 2013
11:11 pm

It was obvious that Michael Bennett & Todd Gurley are still recovering from their injuries and are not 100%. That said – their contribution made a big difference in the game. To bad Trey Matthews was not able to go but Corey Moore is getting better and made some good plays back there.

Not a pretty game and still making gaffes like the lateral that was not covered but at least the Special Teams didn’t make any major mistakes this week.

Defense on 1st down has been excellent – on 2nd pretty good and on 3rd miserable. It also appear that once a team gets inside the 30 yard line the run defense outside disappears for whatever reason. Just to many easy scores inside the red zone given up.

Good the 1st half – not so much in the second.

Congrats on getting a “W” Dawgs. We will take it but still much work to be done.

bluetick

November 2nd, 2013
11:11 pm

RED: u drunk? Calling Todd out for wrong game!!! Go to sleep! Defense under Todd helped us win this game!

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 2nd, 2013
11:15 pm

Marshall Morgan is making his field goals and extra points – something to build on. Second half reminded me of the Vandybilt game…. gag.

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 2nd, 2013
11:18 pm

Still not getting the ball down the field … maybe when they have both Bennett & Conley that will change. Evidently Rumph will be redshirted.

Hairy Dawg

November 2nd, 2013
11:19 pm

It was great day to mash the Gaytors and Judas Muschump. I bet he gets a firing for early Christmas present when FSU lays woodshed to toothless overgrown saladmanders.

Dawgs got history on our side now in owning Gaytors cause we got more talents that get better Christain coaching. We run Jax and Florida cause that orange blue Gainesville is stinkys. It was about time Gaytors got the Zooking they deserves from hiring Judas.

Let the Big Dawg eat some fried and barbecues Gaytor tail.

Go Dawgs! Sick E’m#

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 3rd, 2013
12:18 am

**** Primary reason UGA won *** >>>> M U S C H U M P

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 3rd, 2013
12:20 am

Whose on the HOTSEAT now? M U S C H U M P ! ! ! !

*** Why he will get one more season – injuries

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 3rd, 2013
12:25 am

It appears that the Seminoles are by far the class of the ACC – very impressive.

Tigras / Pachyderms next week for the SEC WEST. ….. with Aubarn the dark horse.

Mizz-who? destroyed the Vowels and their 1st time starter freshman QB.

Silly Bloggers

November 3rd, 2013
12:28 am

I know NCDawg will have issues but we stink. UF was so pumped up. we scored nothing in the 2nd half… we won in spite of our incompetence. I’m not a big donor, but $8k to $10k a year. I’m at the game and just watched the replay. Embarrassing. Special Teams…. no preparation for opening games… lousy defense… when we win, it is in spite of ourselves. I HATE Richt and the coaching staff. Hate all you want with Troll comments but we were are a broken program. wanted Richt gone in 2009 and want him gone now. him and Tebow can go do a mission together.

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 3rd, 2013
12:52 am

Why was Gurley so upset at Dante Fowler (DE Reptiles)? Nothing like getting gouged in your eyes while being on the bottom of a pile. Obvious on replay but announcers made no comment. That Skank Fowler should have been kicked out of the game – instead the blind ref flagged Gurley with a personal foul. Could that have been the same blind ref that kicked Ray drew out of the Vandybilt game and tried to do the same against Ramik Wilson – basically handing the game to Vandybilt?

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 3rd, 2013
12:54 am

Sissy Blogger – I got a better idea – why don’t you go?

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 3rd, 2013
12:57 am

Appalachian State – Finally a cupcake? Not so fast my friend…. they did upset Michigan 3-4 years ago back when they were still a decent team.

Ohio State has the #157th most difficult schedule in the nation….. talk about cupcakes!!!

NoAxeToGrind

November 3rd, 2013
5:36 am

Georgia will never win any championship of consequence as long as Mark Richt is the head coach.

short memories

November 3rd, 2013
6:52 am

What a pathetic season when a 3 point victory over a 500 football team is one of our big highlights It is amazing how often Bobo repeats history of going into a shell. I am an embarrassed, disgusted bulldog. I am sure the kool-aiders will be talking up Appalachian State to lower expectations. These have really been a lot of wasted years for Georgia football.

ALB-dawg

November 3rd, 2013
7:09 am

I have to say this one more time. When you’re moving the ball and things are clicking, don’t change the game plan. 17 points up in the first half is no time to start milking the clock. It was like they were worried Murray would throw an INT or someone would fumble and UF would get momentum. Instead, they went way conservative, going three and out and letting UF have long sustained drives, consequently giving them momentum. No one needs to milk the clock unless they are ahead by four scores in the fourth Quarter. Spurrier certainly would have hung 50-60 points on the Dawgs, and I don’t think Muschamp would played nice, either.

On the bright side, one of my UF buddies was whining about how the refs gave the game to UGA…. Aaaah just like old times.

ALB-dawg

November 3rd, 2013
7:10 am

BTW: Props to Bennett, as well. Another welcomed return.

Lambert Dawg

November 3rd, 2013
7:31 am

Nick Saban,

What a joke college football is becoming. Are you kidding me? Nick Saban is going to be featured on 60 Minutes. If this is not a NCAA recruiting violation what is? This man is an active coach. 18 and 19 year old kids are impressionable. If the NCAA is going to allow programs like 60 minutes and espn to give Saban and the Alabama program this kind of promotion they really do need to fold up their tents. There is a reason a commercial on these networks cost millions of dollars.

I take nothing away from Saban as a coach but if he wants to be on tv and commentate he should retire.

AFDawg

November 3rd, 2013
7:35 am

Bill, I only came on here real quick to say I didn’t read your column. I never do because it is always a bunch of mindless rambling BS. I can’t believe your stories are included with the real journalists. Go start your own blog somewhere that everybody can ignore. You have a gift for stating the obvious or being about as far off center as you can possibly be. Your game analysis is normally attrocious.

dawgfan

November 3rd, 2013
7:38 am

Is anyone else growing a little tired of all the big celebration out of our players after every win? Good grief they act like they won the Super Bowl whenever they beat anybody outside of Vandy or Kentucky. Quite frankly, it’s embarassing. We look like a bunch of bush league amateurs. Act like you’ve been there before

Dawg Walker

November 3rd, 2013
7:45 am

Ya’ll missed the fact that it was two different kickers that missed field goals for Florida – the 47 yard one was Hardin (that came from Atlanta). The “sunshine” kick offs by Marshall had little hang time allowing them the chance for returns – not supposed to be the case when you are doing that. We still need a special teams coach that understands what is supposed to be done on kickoffs rather than a linebacker coach putting his 4th string linebackers out there so they get to be on the travel team.

Elemenno P.

November 3rd, 2013
7:59 am

I must admit I’m somewhat surprised by some of the comments of my fellow UGA fans. We won the game. Period.

Someone posted we won because UF kickers missed 2 field goals. Okay, let’s change those 2 plays and give UF 6 more points. Now let me change 2 plays. Wooten doesn’t drop the TD pass (+4 points for UGA) and Lynch doesn’t drop the screen pass (-7 points for IF).

Couldashouldawoulda……..I’d rather win a game like yesterday than to endure another loss like Vandy.

Law Dawg

November 3rd, 2013
8:02 am

Another indication of Georgia’s pathetic coaching is that our players are never lined up and ready to play the next play. Our offense has to stand up and look at the sideline and we have to use timeouts when the play clock is about to expire. The defense never looks ready for the next play and nobody seems to know who is on special teams this week. We actually got a penalty for too many players on the field immediately after a timeout. What gives?

Sinclair dawg

November 3rd, 2013
8:10 am

I wonder if UF made adjustments that caused UGA to become so conservative in the 2d half. While I’m not happy with how UGA offense in the 2d half, at least they drove the ball when they had to. I’ll reserve judgment on the coaches and the season until after the Auburn game in a few weeks.

By the way, while watching the FSU game, I saw that Sony Michel was there. I hope he is not reconsidering his commitment to UGA. Hate to lose another RB commit (ala Derrick Henry)!

dawgfan

November 3rd, 2013
8:15 am

Since when is doing an interview with a media organization a recruiting violation?

You Mark Richt Kool Aid guzzlers become more and more pathetic and more and more delusional with each passing day.

Unbelievable.

Pago Pago Dawg

November 3rd, 2013
8:16 am

N. ILL called, they’ve invited UGA up next year for HC, well..actually a lot of MAC teams have called. Sad.

Apopka, FL Dawg

November 3rd, 2013
8:17 am

Defenses do make adjustments against us with success. Why? Because everyone knows that at some point we basically abandon the passing game and go to a running scared game plan. They put in their run defense and key on our backs. We then begin our 3 and out offensive game plan and try to HOLD ON. Nothing complicated about that.

dawgfan

November 3rd, 2013
8:19 am

Elemenno, I’m a little surprised by the comments of the Kool Aid crowd. Before yesterday they basically claimed that a win over an injury riddled team is not a real win. Vandy and Mizzou should have asterisks by their W’s. Now we’re the ones that have beaten an injury riddled team and “a win is a win.”

It certainly seems like they are talking out of both sides of their mouths to me.

Apopka, FL Dawg

November 3rd, 2013
8:26 am

The screen pass/lateral to Lynch was a great call by Bobo and as someone else commented, if he caught the ball he would still be running. I don’t believe I saw the Dawgs try that play again. Maybe I’m mistaken. I would have called that play again at some point. But, I’m not an expert like Bobo.

harvey

November 3rd, 2013
8:28 am

Dang, you bunch of drunks haven’t sobbered up yet: A better game could have been played by simply getting the injured players from both teams together.

Apopka, FL Dawg

November 3rd, 2013
8:31 am

Bobo is such a great OC I think some Div III team should hire him as their head coach. PLEASE!!!