UGA beats Ole Miss, and it’s back to Auburn for the clincher

Tavarres King takes it to the house -- and the band. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Tavarres King takes it to the house -- and the waiting Redcoat Band. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Athens — Back to Auburn, another SEC East title on the line. Back to Auburn, where Mark Richt’s Bulldogs clinched the SEC East and knocked the lid off Georgia football  in 2002. Back to Auburn, and then back to the SEC championship game.

“We wish we hadn’t lost to South Carolina, but they took it to us,” said Alec Ogletree, the splendid linebacker. “But we came out every week still playing like we were going to get to the (Georgia) Dome. And now we control our own destiny.”

Back to Auburn for the clincher, back after a difficult beginning to this post-Florida letdown game. Back, not incidentally, off the strength of a play not unlike 70x Takeoff, the play that spawned the David Greene-to-Michael Johnson that won at Auburn 10 years ago.

Inside the final 30 seconds of this first half, the clock ticking after consecutive sacks, Georgia trying not to burn its final timeout, Ole Miss trying to hold a 10-7 lead. Aaron Murray took the snap, pumped one way and looked another, just as Greene had done that cold day at Jordan-Hare, only this pass was complicated by an onrushing Rebel. Murray had to dodge to his right, and when he did he found Tavarres King running free down the right sideline, waving at his quarterback to throw the darn ball already.

And then the ball was in the air and soon in King’s hands. And then King was in the end zone and his team had taking a lasting lead and he was handing that football to some of the members of the assembled Redcoat Band.

“I tried to flick them the ball,” King said. “I thought they would like to see what it felt like to hold it.”

From there it was easy, these gifted Bulldogs winning 37-10 after spotting the visitors a 10-point lead. Usually it takes a while for Georgia to get going, but when it does it’s a sight to behold.

“We might not win by a lot,” said the freshman Todd Gurley, who gained 117 yards rushing. “But we get the win.”

They head now to Auburn, and the Tigers haven’t won a conference game this year. This victory wasn’t 10 minutes old before Richt was trying to turn his team’s gaze westward, telling the Bulldogs: “Get your minds right right now; get your jaw set. In seven days, we’ve got a chance to finish.”

This hasn’t been the easiest of seasons, but to look at Georgia’s record is to see a team in the position it figured to occupy. The rise of Florida complicated matters, but Georgia took care of the Gators, and now only one of Auburn’s worst-ever teams stands between the Bulldogs and another chance to win the SEC, something this program hasn’t managed since D.J. Shockley and Co. upset LSU in December 2005.

Maybe you’re recalling what happened last December, when Georgia led No. 1 LSU by 10 points only to lose by 32. Maybe you think this year’s title game will be a similar wipeout. But maybe you were among those who believed these Bulldogs would have no chance in Jacksonville. A team this talented will always, always have a chance.

Some will carp about this first half. Go ahead. Indeed, there was a moment late in the first quarter when Ole Miss had outgained the home side 100 yards to 16. But here was the yardage count after 60 minutes: Georgia 533, Ole Miss 234. That’s domination on a day when everyone knew the Bulldogs would be looking back to the Jacksonville and ahead to Auburn. Once they got their minds right and jaws set, however, it was set and match.

And that has become the Georgia Way. Said Todd Grantham, the defensive coordinator: “Even when we weren’t playing as well early in the season, we got better as the game went along.”

We can say the same of the season. Georgia is better than it was in September, loads better than on that dark night in Columbia and that strange evening in Lexington. This isn’t a perfect team, but when it’s in trouble it will fight long enough for Grantham and the offensive coordinator Mike Bobo to think of something. And when they do …

We move again to the first half, the Bulldogs down 10-0, facing third-and-1 at their 34. To fail to convert is to risk falling into a serious hole. The safe play would be to run it. Bobo had Murray fake a handoff and hide the ball and sling it long to the ridiculously open Marlon Brown for the touchdown that got Georgia going. “That call,” Richt said, “takes a little bit of nerve.”

The Bulldogs held their nerve this day, same as they’d done against Florida, and now they’re one game from the Dome. And back to Auburn they go, back to finish another lap of another drill.

Further reading: On Aaron Murray, the TO binge and those scoring Ogletrees.

By Mark Bradley

270 comments Add your comment

David

November 3rd, 2012
8:39 pm

Let’s hope AU can muster up a good game.

War Eagle.

Marco11

November 3rd, 2012
8:42 pm

Season Ticket Holder since 1986

November 3rd, 2012
8:45 pm

A very very satisfying wi for Dawgfans.. Now let’s go stick it to the Tiger/Plainsmen.

Rocking Ray

November 3rd, 2012
8:47 pm

Mark Richt is the greatest coach in UGA history. Fair weather fans hate him cause he don’t scream like Grantham–but he keeps this team composed and calls a great game. Long live Richt.

Herschel Talker

November 3rd, 2012
8:49 pm

FIRE MARK RICHT!!!

JD

November 3rd, 2012
8:53 pm

Solid win…go dawgs…go Trojans….go cowboys…roll tide….Almost Pitt

Rocking Ray

November 3rd, 2012
8:53 pm

If the powers that be listened to folks like Herschel Talker UGA would be a Vandy or Kentucky. UGA is a winning program–lots of thanks go to Coach Richt. If he wins the rest of the games he will be the SEC coach of the year–hands down.

To Tell the Truth

November 3rd, 2012
8:54 pm

Hope War Eagles can shock GA as they will get slaughtered by AL!!!!

wILL JC

November 3rd, 2012
8:56 pm

how bout then dawgs I hope mark richt stays our coach forever no one represents our university better

How bout then dawgs no coach represents UGA like Mark Richt!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Papa Smurf

November 3rd, 2012
8:57 pm

Might not be playing Alabama, but meeting LSU in a rematch.

Rick James

November 3rd, 2012
9:00 pm

Where’s GTBob telling us that we dont deserve the BCS ranking and that Georgia has not beaten a good team and that Bobo should fired blah blah blaah…He has all of the answers for Georgia but only excuses for Tech..

Beeeeg Boy

November 3rd, 2012
9:02 pm

Only 533 yards!! Fire Bobo!

Humphrey

November 3rd, 2012
9:03 pm

No way in hell Auburn beats UGA. UGA will finish strong and finish the season 11-1 to play the winner of Bama/LSU. I know people are going to say all week that UGA will be on “upset alert” and root for Auburn, but face it…no chance in hell UGA loses to Auburn. End of story. Go Dawgs!

Lets be real

November 3rd, 2012
9:05 pm

There are only 2 relevant teams in the SEC. And.. they are not in the East!

ZinoDawg

November 3rd, 2012
9:08 pm

Dawgs will crush the War Turkeys.

Bama? Not likely.

Hap Hines

November 3rd, 2012
9:09 pm

Good job Dogs!!! They should run the table from here.

Dawg1

November 3rd, 2012
9:11 pm

Nice game…

They got it done…

With all do respect for Rocking Ray – SEC Coach of the Year will likely be Kevin Sumlin @ Texas A&M.

Truth is – unless they collapse – the guy deserves it..

Auburn will show up – if you don’t believe it – check the LSU score…

DawgNole

November 3rd, 2012
9:12 pm

Humphrey
November 3rd, 2012
9:03 pm

No way in hell Auburn beats UGA. UGA will finish strong and finish the season 11-1 to play the winner of Bama/LSU. I know people are going to say all week that UGA will be on “upset alert” and root for Auburn, but face it…no chance in hell UGA loses to Auburn. End of story. Go Dawgs!
____________________

I say we will be on “upset alert”; no question about it. But I sure as hell am not rooting for Auburn! What is it about that you don’t understand? Duh.

Ryder

November 3rd, 2012
9:17 pm

Humphrey, by “people” you mean ESPN, who really doesn’t want UGA to run the table.

HPDawg

November 3rd, 2012
9:20 pm

Thank you and congrats to Coach Mark Richt, coaches and players! One more hurdle between you and Atlanta! GATA!!!

Highly Respected Southern Troll

November 3rd, 2012
9:20 pm

Until Florida gets it turned-around (I figure Muschamp gets two more years, tops), the winner of the LSU-Alabama game will be the SEC Champion.

yearofthedawg

November 3rd, 2012
9:20 pm

Some people have sad lives and way too much time on their hands.

Mark2

November 3rd, 2012
9:22 pm

Richard Samuel keep your head up. You ran hard and gave what you could , when you got the chance. Something good is going to happen for you. Bank on it. You are a DGD.

Brent

November 3rd, 2012
9:33 pm

I second that Mark2. Samuel is a DGD and deserves all the good fortune in the world. Good win Dawgs…let’s clinch it next week!

ATinSAV

November 3rd, 2012
9:42 pm

All of you not so well respected trolls talking about Bama/Lsu winner is going to be SEC champ for the next few years do realize that LSU has ALREADY lost to an East team that Already lost to Georgia. Just thought you might want to know since you know very little about SEC football. Now go and crawl back under that rock you a home.

Really?

November 3rd, 2012
9:43 pm

Lets (sic) be real

Everything you post is moronic drivel. You get beaten up a LOT don’t you? Maybe if you join facebook you can finally get some friends. I’ve never been to that site but I hear they embrace losers.

DILLIGAF

November 3rd, 2012
9:45 pm

I agree with Mark2 and Brent, salute to a Damn Good Dawg, Richard Samuel IV. One of my favorite player. I just don’t understand how he hasn’t found more time on the field this year in some capacity.

I don’t know about ya’ll but after clinching a trip to the SEC big dance, I can’t wait to see the Dawgs rub some salt into the sweat bees’ wounds from their abysmal season.

GATA!
UGA85′

Highly Respected Southern Troll

November 3rd, 2012
9:46 pm

LSU lost to a team that Georgia beat 17-9. They also beat a team that Georgia lost to 35-7.

Jefferson Davis Hogg

November 3rd, 2012
9:51 pm

Thrilled about the Dawgs win today but in watching Bama tonight, I don’t see it happening for us in the SEC championship game…

BubbaGolf

November 3rd, 2012
9:53 pm

A.J. McCarron looking like Joe Willy at LSU…not going to be your night Tigers…

Rick James

November 3rd, 2012
9:54 pm

@Lets be real

There are only 2 relevant teams in the SEC. And.. they are not in the East!
————————————————————————————————–
Do you mean like there’s only one relevant division one college football team in the state of Georgia and its in Athens?

BubbaGolf

November 3rd, 2012
9:54 pm

Good 2nd Half today. GO DAWGS!

Rick James

November 3rd, 2012
9:57 pm

@Chef Boyardee
Jawja is overrated. Undisciplined bunch of thugs on defense that feel the need to dance after every tackle. Sloppy, unimaginative offense quarterbacked by a Smurf, that throws Hail Mary’s when the going gets tough. Guess what? You may ” jump the turnstile” into the conference championship game, but Bama will beat you like Ike Turner.
—————————————————————————————————————————-
If anyone knows about being beaten like Ike Turner its a Tech fan..

ShowmeYurTD's

November 3rd, 2012
10:03 pm

We’ll run the table from hear on out, Ga Southern best team we play ’til we play bama in the dome…go dawgs

WillieB

November 3rd, 2012
10:03 pm

Richt is our man. He is our new Dooley. All u guys who want a new coach look at tenn or ark. Is that what u want? I want a program that is relevant every year and is coached by a good man. There’s only so many Sabins. And I’ll be honest I don’t want him. I love our coach. Sure the dawgs piss me off, but Richt is our man. All u haters – go pull for tech!

phil

November 3rd, 2012
10:05 pm

If we get there, what Alabama will do to us is criminal in most states…..

Give up now.

phil

November 3rd, 2012
10:06 pm

Fire Richt now!!

End the mediocrity!

Schadenfreude

November 3rd, 2012
10:08 pm

Yes, phil, because upsets never happen in college football and Alabama will win every game they play until the end of time…come on may, it’s college football…anything can happen. Sure, Alabama will probably win, but you don’t know. It’s not hopeless.

DILLIGAF

November 3rd, 2012
10:09 pm

After the beat down at the hands of the Tarheels next week, GT might actually have a puncher’s chance aginst Duke as I hear that their mascot, Blue Devil will be taking over kicking duties. Good luck, savor the win before the brutal dismantling that you will recieve the following week. Oh, it’s gonna be ugly you can bet on it.

GATA!
UGA85′

Drinking Kool-Aid

November 3rd, 2012
10:10 pm

So if Georgia does manage to win out, what has to happen for UGA to get to the title game?

short memories

November 3rd, 2012
10:12 pm

superior athletes won out. Lets hope incompetent coaching doesn’t get them beat. Murray was terrible at first but then when the pressure was off he was much better. why can’t he handle pressure

[...] the rest here: UGA beats Ole Miss, and it’s back to Auburn for the clincher ← Back to Home Tags: athens, auburn, david, destiny, difficult, east, florida, [...]

[...] Bradley column: UGA beats Ole Miss, and ite’s back to Auburn for the clincher [...]

DawgNole

November 3rd, 2012
10:25 pm

phil
November 3rd, 2012
10:06 pm

Fire Richt now!!
End the mediocrity!
_____________________

Oh phil, you silly-azz BullDawg fan, quit fooling all these bloggers.

DawgNole

November 3rd, 2012
10:27 pm

Drinking Kool-Aid
November 3rd, 2012
10:10 pm

So if Georgia does manage to win out, what has to happen for UGA to get to the title game?
___________________

If the Dawgs “manage” to win out, they will have beaten No. 1 AND No. 2. That SHOULD be enough to get them to the title game.

DawgNole

November 3rd, 2012
10:36 pm

Kiffen’s USC team has given up 62 points tonight–so far. Couldn’t happen to a nicer slimeball.

[...] Bradley column: UGA beats Ole Miss, and ite’s back to Auburn for the clincher [...]

[...] Bradley column: UGA beats Ole Miss, and ite’s back to Auburn for the clincher [...]

megamicro

November 3rd, 2012
10:47 pm

they are playing big boy football down in Baton Rouge. No way UGA hangs with either team. Too soft, too much finesse out of Athens.

7-19 Against End of Season Ranked Teams Since '05

November 3rd, 2012
10:48 pm

This season will end like last, unfortunately this Dawg team will get their clocks cleaned by Alabama.

Been there, done that…..