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

kerryb

November 3rd, 2013
11:24 am

Auburn can bring all they want too. They still won’t win just like they haven’t 6 out of the last 7.

kerryb

November 3rd, 2013
11:25 am

My guess is that we will beat the crap out of our sloppy seconds thief that we got rid of.

BoBoo

November 3rd, 2013
11:26 am

What happened to the UGA offense in the 2nd half?

This is the worst UGA team I’ve seen in 25 years, they are horrible.

Of course, 2 more losses to Auburn and Georgia Tech, so they finish out 7-5.

What a disaster.

Oldtimer

November 3rd, 2013
11:26 am

Auburn will take this defense to the woodshed. And our offense at half strength won’t be able to keep it close. Lets hope and pray they can play well and beat the Nerds at year end.

Datruf

November 3rd, 2013
11:27 am

Kerryb. You might be as stupid as bobo. I’m telling you i watch the games. 99% of his running plays are up the middle. You cant be that predictable playing with the big boys or every game will be close. We are not the team we could be because of Bobo.

Your inbred logic is that he’s so good— thats why nobody wants him.

I don’t argue with complete morons. Time for you to go flip burgers now. Bye bye.

BoBoo

November 3rd, 2013
11:28 am

Aaron Murray’s safety led to 10 points, and his backwards pass led to another 7 points.

Typically Aaron Murray game, 2 turnovers, team falls apart in 2nd half.

All form a 5th year Sr, really?

kerryb

November 3rd, 2013
11:29 am

Oldtimer
November 3rd, 2013
11:26 am

Auburn will take this defense to the woodshed. And our offense at half strength won’t be able to keep it close. Lets hope and pray they can play well and beat the Nerds at year end.

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They run the ball a lot and our defense is better at stopping that than the pass. Conley should be back by then and Gurley should be back to strength by then. Wooten, Conley, Bennett, and Gurley should be enough to beat the Barn.

Oldtimer

November 3rd, 2013
11:30 am

Kerrb, I pray you are right but fear you are drinking way too much Koolaid.

kerryb

November 3rd, 2013
11:30 am

This is the last time I will make a comment to the boob that calls himself Boboo. You are a moronic troll. Go away no one cares about your idiotic post.

kerryb

November 3rd, 2013
11:38 am

App state is 2-7 this season. They need to treat this week like a bye week and let Gurley just work on his conditioning the next 2 weeks.

BoBoo

November 3rd, 2013
11:39 am

Does UGA have a strength & conditioning coach?

Gurley looked winded after the 1st 2 series.

The team has been blanked 17-0 to end the last 2 games?

Out of shape.

SanFrancisoBay

November 3rd, 2013
11:39 am

If Aaron Murray loses to Auburn & GTech, he will finish the worst win % of any QB with 12 or more starts Mark Richt has coached in 26 years.

Aaron Murray, the biggest loser in 26 years.

SanFrancisoBay

November 3rd, 2013
11:46 am

A little surprised Richt didn’t turn to Hutson Mason to try and get the offense going after Murray went scoreless on every drive in the second half.

SanFrancisoBay

November 3rd, 2013
11:49 am

Is it true that Murray led the offense to 6 yards in the third quarter? Little surprising that Mark Richt stayed with the ineffective scoreless quarterback in the second half.

kerryb

November 3rd, 2013
11:51 am

SanFrancisoBay
November 3rd, 2013
11:39 am

If Aaron Murray loses to Auburn & GTech, he will finish the worst win % of any QB with 12 or more starts Mark Richt has coached in 26 years.

Aaron Murray, the biggest loser in 26 years.

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Throw out Murray’s RFr year (when he didn’t have A.J. Green for the first 4 games because of a stupid suspension) and what is his winning percentage? Answer: .750. That’s pretty good. Hate Murray bashers. They are usually idiots.

kerryb

November 3rd, 2013
11:52 am

SanFrancisoBay
November 3rd, 2013
11:46 am

A little surprised Richt didn’t turn to Hutson Mason to try and get the offense going after Murray went scoreless on every drive in the second half.

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Yea, makes a lot of sense. Turn to a guy that has only played in 3 games in 3 seasons to give you a spark in a big rival game. You’re football IQ is really low.

SanFrancisoBay

November 3rd, 2013
11:53 am

Agree with the guys above, how can a fifith year Senior quarterback:
1) give up a sack in the endzone instead of throwing the ball away leading to 10 points
2) throw BEHIND Lynch on a routine pass, that’s the only thing you can’t do on that play, throw in front, and even a drop is just an incompletion, throw behind, and boom, led to another quick 7 points.

2 quick turnovers by Murray, 17 easy points by Florida.

SanFrancisoBay

November 3rd, 2013
11:55 am

Why leave in a quarterback like Aaron Murray who’s scoreless and offense, even worse, making 2 catastrophic turnovers (safety and backwards pass) that led to a quick 17 points?

Any quarterback on the bench could have done better than that.

kerryb

November 3rd, 2013
11:59 am

SanFrancisoBay
November 3rd, 2013
11:53 am

Agree with the guys above, how can a fifith year Senior quarterback:
1) give up a sack in the endzone instead of throwing the ball away leading to 10 points
2) throw BEHIND Lynch on a routine pass, that’s the only thing you can’t do on that play, throw in front, and even a drop is just an incompletion, throw behind, and boom, led to another quick 7 points.

2 quick turnovers by Murray, 17 easy points by Florida.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Another dumb comment. Did you even see the sack play? Someone on the line obviously never touch the guy that blitz. He had absolutely no time to throw the ball. The guy was there as soon as he dropped back. That play should have never been called. They should have gave it to the RB to get some yards. It was Bobo calling one of those,” they think we are going to run but I’m throwing a bomb calls”. If you look at the throw back screen Murray threw that ball right to Lynch’s hands. He turned his head to look to run before catching the ball. That was Lynch’s fault.

SanFrancisoBay

November 3rd, 2013
11:59 am

Guarantee you Murray will figure out a way to make the game close against Appalachian State, and Murray has figured out that way, Hutson Mason won’t play, just like Murray did in the North Texas State game. Murray has Richt in his backpocket and knows how to stay on the filed.

After all, go up 30-3 on Florida, and Hutson Mason comes in, Murray wasn’t going to let that happen.

kerryb

November 3rd, 2013
12:00 pm

SanFrancisoBay
November 3rd, 2013
11:55 am

Why leave in a quarterback like Aaron Murray who’s scoreless and offense, even worse, making 2 catastrophic turnovers (safety and backwards pass) that led to a quick 17 points?

Any quarterback on the bench could have done better than that.

____________________________________________________________________

Why am I bothering to respond to a clown with San Francisco in his name that has no idea what he is commenting about?

SanFrancisoBay

November 3rd, 2013
12:01 pm

Must be nice to be Aaron Murray, play terrible commit 2 catastrophic turnovers leading to 17 points, score 0 points in the second half, and your coach won’t bench you.

kerryb

November 3rd, 2013
12:01 pm

SanFrancisoBay
November 3rd, 2013
11:59 am

Guarantee you Murray will figure out a way to make the game close against Appalachian State, and Murray has figured out that way, Hutson Mason won’t play, just like Murray did in the North Texas State game. Murray has Richt in his backpocket and knows how to stay on the filed.

After all, go up 30-3 on Florida, and Hutson Mason comes in, Murray wasn’t going to let that happen.

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DUDE, I CAN’T BELIEVE WHAT AN ABSOLUTE IDIOT YOU ARE!!!

Bulldawg35

November 3rd, 2013
12:26 pm

I’m happy for the win. It just drives me crazy for the lack of execution for four quarters…why can’t we just put it all together? Defense played well overall except for the 2 times we had them backed up inside their own 10 yard line…and we let them drive the length of the field. I really didn’t have a problem with the play action pass at our own end zone…lynch or gurley just didn’t block their DE. Bobo called a good game overall. If Wooten doesn’t bobble that pass…then we would of probably blew them out.

sigh

November 3rd, 2013
12:32 pm

Great win, but is it just me, or have the Dawgs been outscored 34-3 in the second half of the last two ball games????? What is (or is not) happening in the locker room at halftime??? Clearly the other teams are making adjustments………

sigh

November 3rd, 2013
12:37 pm

and that goes back to the UT game…..UGA scored 36 second half points against UT and Mizzou combined, so in the last four games, UGA has been outscored 75-39 in the second half…..

Bulldawg35

November 3rd, 2013
12:42 pm

I still think Grantham should be fired though. He can’t get us off the field on 3rd downs. The only good call he made yesterday was the big safety blitz by Corey Moore. I just don’t have the answers anymore and I don’t think the coaches have any answers either. I made the right decision by not going because I would of had a heart attack……we made the game more interesting than it had to be….that’s just georgia way!

dawgfan

November 3rd, 2013
1:00 pm

It’s even better to be Mark Richt. Never win a championship. Field a consistently mediocre and underachieving team every year. But still have a job and get contract extensions because a lot of fans think you’re a swell guy and make excuses for you.

It’s the best job in the world.

Stuttgart Dawg

November 3rd, 2013
2:38 pm

Muschamp may be gone but he’d make a good DC for the Dawgs. GA’s D has improved but still gets caught out of position too often and can’t remember substitution packages. GA is a dangerous team with a lot of weapons but Auburn will not be as predictable as FL and will catch our guys out of position if we over pursue or try to go around blocks. Still not fundamentally sound. I appreciate the effort and always enjoy a win over the Cheese.

GATA

7576DAWG

November 3rd, 2013
3:21 pm

In fact , in the 1ST 4 games Georgia scored 90 points in the 1ST half and and 75 points in the 2nd half.
In the last 4 games without Gurley or without him at 100%, Georgia has scored 74 points in the 1ST half but only 33 points in the 2nd half.
74 points is not that bad of a drop off from 90 without a healthy Gurley and some of the Receivers but in the 2nd half to go from 75 to 33 points is not good. There are two reasons for such a drop off.
First: The 2ND and 3RD team players who are now playing because so many starters are injured get tired and can only go for 30 minutes.
Second: Bobo go to a conservative scheme to run out the clock.
I wish that Bobo would play aggressive for 60 minutes like he did against South Carolina and we wouldn’t have so much drama like we have had the last 4 games. Georgia played right into the hands of Vanderbilt s strengths when we didn’t stay aggressive. Our second and third team was better than Vanderbilt’s first team and if we had stayed aggressive we would have scored at least 14 more points. We let Florida get back in the game by not throwing the ball more with play action.

krazydawg

November 3rd, 2013
3:46 pm

Favorite play of the night when Douglas ran over a gator. Talk about getting ran over by a Mack truck. Defense looked good.

snapshot

November 3rd, 2013
4:01 pm

lets see, great win for the mutts but TECH outlasts Pitt. Go Tigers!!!!!!

LHardingDawg

November 3rd, 2013
4:30 pm

This whole 4th page of comments are probably the stupidest I’ve ever read on here. Talk about a bunch of idiots that know nothing about the game of football or coaching.

This team has beat 4 out of 6 of our misted hated rivals. If that beat Auburn and Tech, that will be 6 out of 6 rivals.

LHardingDawg

November 3rd, 2013
4:31 pm

embarrasseddawg

November 3rd, 2013
4:49 pm

The play that sums up our season yesterday was when FL was going for it on 4th down and we let 12 men get on the field after a timeout that gave them the 1st down! That was just stupid coaching and embarrassing!

hotDawg

November 3rd, 2013
5:01 pm

@embarrasseddawg Very true! That would have never happened at Bama! Saban would have bit someone’s head off and spit it out if it did! No excuse for that stupidity.

short memories

November 3rd, 2013
5:06 pm

Is it true Scott-Wesley is in charge of half-time refreshments?

mark

November 3rd, 2013
7:22 pm

Where is that little b#tch TampaGator now!?!?!?!?! lmfao

Love the dawgs

November 3rd, 2013
7:47 pm

Bill, you are very intelligent and have he pulse of the Georgia football program. Why do we have one of the best offensive coordinator in America and THE worst defensive coordinator in America? Something must change.

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 3rd, 2013
9:02 pm

So far I have detecting at least for different aliases for the same TROLL. Trying to carry on a conversation with this idiot is just what the TROLL wants. Ignore the TROLL – as the TROLL is boring and just a waste of time.

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 3rd, 2013
9:05 pm

Any “W” against the Reps is a good “W”.

Dr.Mike

November 3rd, 2013
9:19 pm

For goodness sake, after the way Aaron Murray gave up the 10 points on the safety error, then another 7 points on the backward throw attempt to his roommate that led to ANOTHER 7 points, 17 points total, and considering how UGA Qb’s like Nick Marshall, Mettenberger, and Logan Gray all transferred after Coach Richt LIED tot hem about fairness, and getting reps, if Hutson Mason continues to be BENCHED, would you blame him for transferring? And if Hutson Mason joins the ex-UGA Qb’s Marshall, Mettenberger, and Gray by transferring, where does that leave Mark Richt in 2014? Lemay? Bryce Ramsey? Bauta? I just don’t think Mark Richt is showing any BRAINS here by BENCHING Hutson Mason, especially considering how poorly Murray has played in his LAST 3 OUTINGS, it’s PUZZLING that Mark Richt is THROWING AWAY 2014 when there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING IN 2013 to play for? 2013 season is over, 3 losses, done. Mark Richt needs some BRAINS.

Dr.Mike

November 3rd, 2013
9:31 pm

Mark Richt has lost his integrity. His word is no longer good. He will tell any Qb a BAG FULL OF LIES to get them to stay, IN CASE AARON MURRAY, HIS CLASS FAVORITE, gets injured, that’s the ONLY way Hutson Mason will ever see the field.

He just LIES, LIES LIES. Told Hutson Mason, Mett, and Gray, they’d all get a fair shot over Spirng, all beatout Murray, NONE GOT THE STARTING JOB.

Then he LIES to Gray about how much he’s gonna use him as a WIDE RECEIVER to get him to STICK AROUND, IN CAS EMURRAY GETS HURT, and then throws Gray 10 passes in a season.

Then he LIES to Hutson Mason. Promises Hutson he’s going to see a LOT OF ACTION in 2013. Hutson hasn’t thrown a pass and I think he’s only been on the field to take a knee???Are you KIDDING ME?

tmc

November 3rd, 2013
9:50 pm

Let’s be real clear here. The University of Florida football team sucks.

It was only because the UGA coaches and players allowed UF back in the game with turnovers, stupid play and stupid play calls to go along with a bad defense.
Florida couldn’t muster any offense against anyone else on their schedule. Georgia makes them look like the 2000 Rams (greatest show on turf).
I realized toward the end of this game that I was done supporting coach Mark Richt to continue coaching this team.
-I’m tired of seeing the same thing happen in big game after big game.
-i’m tired of backing off a team and allowing them back in a game.
-i’m tired of fullback up the middle on 3rd and less than 1. (way, way to predictable)
-i’m tired of the thug mentality and stupid penalty, especially every year against Florida.
-i’m tired of watching a coaching staff accept mental mistakes that either let a team back in a game or keep us from coming all the way back in a game.
-i’m tired of seeing players break rules (and the law) and it affecting the team on the field.
-And most importantly, i’m tired of a coach who is reactive vs. proactive.
CMR is reactive and doesn’t prepare his team for every situation in a big game.
The great coaches are proactive in this regard and do not accept anything less from their players actions.

I knew this was the game i was fed up with CMR because this came after a win.
I like coach Richt as a person, but 13 years of the same ‘ol same ‘ol…
i don’t see it changing and that is why a coaching change is needed.

ConspiracyGuy

November 3rd, 2013
10:22 pm

Hear this one? Some accuse Aaron Murray of intentionally committing errors to keep games close as some sort of gambling angle. These folks think Murray’s being paid off if the final score stays close. I don’t personally know if this is true or not, but whether Murray is accidentally, or intentionally committing all these mistakes and errors, why is he still starting games?

Top Row Dawg

November 3rd, 2013
10:35 pm

Flat Tire Doesn’t live in JACKSONVILLE!!!! Stuff it sucker.

maconexpress

November 3rd, 2013
10:44 pm

“Some accuse Aaron Murray of intentionally committing errors to keep games close as some sort of gambling angle”

I hope for Aaron’s sake it’s not true. Everything that you do has repercussions. It comes back to you one way or another. Galatians 6:7,8

DawginLex

November 4th, 2013
9:02 am

Flat tire never disappoints

Always blames the coaches

Sometimes, a player has to actually execute what he is on scholarship to do.

Lynch changed the game by dropping the lateral. Period end of discussion

That is Bobo’s fault?

You really are clueless

Castle pine canine

November 4th, 2013
10:38 am

I can’t believe I have toe remind everyone, but the play tha let the Mighty Gators be Mighty (for a quarter) was not a run up the middle, but a well devised throw back screen! It just wasn’t executed by a senior TE who would not be the one we would expect to blow it! I don’t like the play style either, but they did have a big play in mind, it just didn’t work, I don’t want to hear any more about Corey Moore either

cmr

November 6th, 2013
10:13 am

Shout out to my boy Muschump for giving us the ball at midfield with a minute left in the first half……any good coach would have punted there, but he is a moron.

PS..How was my hair and makeup/tan on tv yall???