Georgia’s Mark Richt gets 100th career win in dramatic fashion over UT

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Mark Richt won his 100th career game as Georgia’s head coach at the same place he recorded his first signature victory.

The Bulldogs pulled out a 20-12 victory over Tennessee Saturday night before a sell-out crowd of 102,455 at Neyland Stadium, where Larry Munson introduced the world to the hobnail boot. And Georgia nearly made it as dramatic.

The outcome was uncertain until Tennessee quarterback Matt Sims was sacked on the game’s final play. But that did nothing to quell the postgame celebration, which was said to rival the one Georgia had here 10 years ago almost to the day.

“We’re happy,” Richt said well after the locker room had cleared. “We had a great celebration after the game and it was a lot of fun. I’m very humbled at the way the players and coaches responded to me. One hundred victories is kind of hard to believe. But they belong to everyone that has played here and coached. To win here is very difficult to do.”

Made even more difficult when you lose 46 yards on two downs.

That’s what happened to the Bulldogs when they were flagged for three holding penalties and a facemask early in the fourth quarter. At the time they were eyeing first-and-10 at the Tennessee 23 and contemplating going up by at least three more points, which would have put them ahead three scores. Instead, Georgia ended up facing second-and-56 at its own 33. Two plays later they punted back to the Vols on fourth-and-58.

“I hate that there was that much drama at the end,” Richt said, now able to laugh about it, “but that’s what happens when you get fourth-and-58.”

Nevertheless, the victory was the fourth in a row for the Bulldogs (4-2, 3-1 SEC), who suddenly find themselves tied with South Carolina for the SEC Eastern Division lead. It was Georgia’s first win at Neyland Stadium since 2005.

The Gamecocks face road tests at Mississippi state, Tennessee and Arkansas in their next three games. The Bulldogs will be back in Tennessee next week to face Vanderbilt (3-2, 1-2), then get an off week before traveling to Jacksonville to face Florida.

Tennessee falls to 3-2 and 0-2 in the SEC.

Georgia broke open the game with a pair of touchdown runs by Isaiah Crowell in the third quarter. The Bulldogs’ defense, which has played so well in recent weeks, made it stand up. Crowell finished with 58 yards on 18 carries.  Quarterback Aaron Murray was 15-of-25 passing for 227 yards.

“I expected it to be a war and it was,” Crowell said. “It was very physical, but we came out with the W and that’s all that matters.”

Crowell came out of the game with wrist and ankle injuries.”It’s all right,” the freshman from Columbus said. “It feels a lot better after a win. I’ll be ready to go next week.”

Georgia also lost dynamic freshman wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell in the game. Mitchell pulled a hamstring a 73-yard reception that turned out to be the most critical play in the game. He finished with three catches for 128 yards but could not play the game’s final 20 minutes.

“We don’t think he just blew it up,” Richt said of Mitchell. “He wanted to go back in. We’re hopeful he’ll be back by the Florida game. That’s what we hope.”

Tennessee lost starting quarterback Tyler Bray to a broken thumb in the fourth quarter.

Georgia’s defense was the main reason the Bulldogs were able to escape with victory. They held Tennessee to minus-20 yards rushing, recorded two sacks and kept the Vols’ quarterbacks under pressure throughout.

“I think the guys have gotten more confidence as we’ve gone along,” defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. “We’ve played a lot of players. We’ve had safeties playing linebacker, we’ve had linebackers playing outside and inside. We actually had Abry Jones playing outside [linebacker] some today, just because of where we are with our depth because of injuries. I’m real proud of the way they’re playing and their efforts.”

Georgia was able to overcome some sloppy play in the fourth quarter in which it was penalized five times for 48 yards after reaching the Tennessee 23-yard line. Instead of at least getting a field goal that would have forged a three-score lead, the Bulldogs had to punt the ball from their own 31 on fourth-and-58.

Tennessee scored on a one-yard sneak by Matt Sims with 2:45 to play. It was just the second touchdown Georgia’s defense had allowed in the last 16 quarters. But Shawn Williams blocked the ensuing point-after attempts and the Bulldogs took over at the Tennessee 35 after the Vols onside kick went out of bounds.

With Tennessee out of timeouts, Georgia was able to run out clock before punting with 18 seconds remaining. The Vols took over at their own 20 and the game ended with Jarvis Jones sacking quarterback Matt Sims. Sims was in the game because starting quarterback Tyler Bray had been sidelined with a hand injury on the previous possession.

“We’re able to laugh about it now,” said quarterback Aaron Murray, who had 227 yards on 15-of-25 passing. “I wasn’t sure what we’d call on third-and-57, a take-off or what. We don’t want to do that. Our defense was playing great and we could have put it out of reach right there. We just have to learn from our mistakes.”

Georgia’s fortunes turned midway through the third quarter. Marlin Lane was awarded a touchdown on a 66-yard catch-and-run on third-and-long. But a protracted video review by officials determined that Lane’s knee was down on a tackle by linebacker Michael Gilliard at the Tennessee 47, three yards shy of a first down.

So instead of a touchdown, the Vols punted and Georgia took over at its own 7-yard line. Three plays later, the Bulldogs went ahead 20-6 on a 17-yard run by Crowell. The score was set up by Murray’s 73-yard strike to Mitchell on first down at Georgia’s 7.

“There was a discussion on what to do there,” Richt said. “There was that play or try to knock it out of there running the football. Mike [Bobo] wanted to throw that because he felt their coverage was going to give us the post. I said, ‘do it; throw Birmingham.’”

“I’ll be making sure Malcolm’s in the rehab room,” Murray joked. “That was the biggest play of the day. To get us down there to the 20 or so and then bunch it in right there changed the whole game right there.”

156 comments Add your comment

Blake Barnes

October 9th, 2011
12:36 am

STICKYYYYYYYYY

YellerSkeeters Are PeterEaters!

October 9th, 2011
12:41 am

Congrats to Richt … but this win should have come two (?) seasons ago! And, one of those wins should have been a National Championship (’08) when LSWho leapfrogged us in the BCS rankings to play OhioSt. — we got robbed that year! Hopefully the ship is being righted, but still leery of BooBoo calling the run-up-the-middle play on 3rd and long!

slydog

October 9th, 2011
12:45 am

Dramatic fashion? hhhmmm… Good showing by the Defense. Keep running the ball and play good defense and this season can be a success real easy like. Simple football.

P-Cola Dog

October 9th, 2011
12:45 am

That high flying offense was off the chart. unfortunately uga is an FBS team and not an FCS team. go dawgs.

Jesus hates Richt

October 9th, 2011
12:46 am

YellerSkeeter is absolutely correct! (Great screen name too — they are!). The North Avenue Nancy Boys are overrated, haven’t played anyone. If GaState could play Tech I know the Panthers would beat the “YellerSkeeters” (that’s funny)!

bwell

October 9th, 2011
1:02 am

How bout them dogs!!!!!!!!!!!

BoBo (a.k.a. Sit on a Lead OC)

October 9th, 2011
1:06 am

I’ll never understand it!

WI Dawg

October 9th, 2011
1:07 am

Good win Dawgs! Keep it rollin’ over Vandy!

irish dawg

October 9th, 2011
1:22 am

Good win Coach Richt, but those dooky pants need to go.

good job mark!

October 9th, 2011
1:37 am

critics cant beat wins!toatally irrelevant!

good job mark!

October 9th, 2011
1:38 am

vince dooley woulda never survived the ajc 30 years ago and barbara woulda hunted each of yall down and layed a smack downn on yall!

RED DOG 77

October 9th, 2011
1:41 am

What controversial play? the Tenneessee player was clearly down, and it wasn’t his knee! you could see his butt bump-off the turf in the re-play. I want to know one thing. Where are all the Mark Richt, Mike Bobo haters? After all, it was Bobo who got Richt’s permission to throw the post to Mitchell for a 73 yd. gain……….and we were backed up inside our own 10………That play, DOG fans was the turning point of the game…………….Don’t you BULLDOG…..er….a… Mark Richt haters think it is only fair to point out the good with the bad? Coach Mark Richt far out-classed a very bright Derick Dooley in this one and in doing so won his 100th game as BULLDOG coach. The rest of the season seems to be set, though we may not win out, I don’t see any melt-downs. The University of Georgia should finish the season with a respectable win loss record and another top 5 recruiting class…….BULLDOG NATION take note at this win tonight, it is the begining of another major up-surge for our beloved DAWGS……….Coach Mark Richt has learned alot over the last few years, Me? I see us winning the National Championship before we trend down again……..After all, we are The University of Georgia BULLDOGS……………RED

AFDawg

October 9th, 2011
1:56 am

CONGRATS to the Dawgs and Coach Richt on his 100th victory! I’m really happy for Caoch Richt. I think the coaches, the players, and all the fans are giving the glory to God for this one. Praise God.

Agusta Dawg

October 9th, 2011
2:49 am

Let all the negative comments come from all the fake UGA fans about what the coaching staff did wrong this game..Great win for UGA in a tuff environment. GO DAWGS!!!

nash

October 9th, 2011
3:41 am

BREAKING NEWS!!!!! after being kidnapped Saturday after noon Tn Wr DaRick Rodgers was released and, informed that he would not have to suffer the same fate until next year in Athens. When asked to give a description of his kid nappers Rogers could only say they where wearing red and, black jerseys numbered 1, 2, and, 8 and, could be heard saying GO DAWGS for the beater part of the night.

Thomas Brown

October 9th, 2011
3:41 am

Malcolm Mitchell – Valdosta – hamstring 6 games into the season. Great Strength and Conditioning. Man. My favorite player by a wide margin. On-pace to have over 1,000 yards receiving. He didn’t even Start vs South Carolina. Why do we keep throwing to anyone else other than Orson Charles, whom we threw 1 pass all-night long. Orson will be much better used next season in the NFL. Malcolm Mitchell has 2 more years after this one before he goes to the NFL, where he will be properly and professionally conditioned. We absolutely have to sit Malcolm for the Vandie game. No margin for error on that with the off-week after Vandie.
Worst Officiated football game I have ever watched :
Officials: Referee: Hubert Owens; Umpire: Russ Pulley; Linesman: Al Matthews; Line judge: Terry Walters; Back judge: Stan Murray; Field judge: Greg Thomas; Side judge: Chris Jamison
Isaiah Crowell made the 2 touchdown runs, and took some big hits. He got beat-up and got back out there and made the difference.
Ray Drew hit the field.
David Andrews and Hunter Long, OL recruits Dream Team, have both sort of hit the field too, much like Ray Drew. All 3 just a waste of their year of eligibility.
Amarlo Herrera did not start in two (2) games. Truly amazing.
Cornelius Washington was not missed on this night, not against this cupcake.
Next cupcake – 5th in a Row, is Vandie.
11-3 still looks about right; it had better be with this soft-easy schedule. South Carolina won again and played a different quarterback in so-doing. There is no way we should have lost to South Carolina. Thanks a lot Aaron Murray – who threw behind receivers and overthrew wide open receivers for touchdowns all night long vs that lousy defense.

Alabama, Auburn, Miami, BCS NC Mark Richt era
119-16 Boise State
114-26 Oklahoma
110-24 Texas 1 National Championship
109-25 Southern California on field 1 BCS NC vacated
108-29 Louisiana State 2 National Championships
106-22 Ohio State on field 1 National Championship
104-35 Virginia Tech
102-29 Texas Christian
102-34 Florida 2 National Championships
100-36 Georgia Bulldogs

heeldawg

October 9th, 2011
5:33 am

This is one of the most oddly-written stories I have ever seen. It’s repetitive and convoluted, like it was cobbled together from a bunch of different snippets and details.

The bottom line? The Dawgs were clearly the better team. Before halftime, it felt like the Dawgs were letting an inferior team hang around. After halftime, the outcome never really seemed in doubt–even when the yellow-flag-fest kept us from going up 23-6 (or worse).

I’m sorry to hear about Tyler Bray’s thumb. The game was all over but the shoutin’ when he was injured. And while Simms did well last night in relief, it was the emergence of Bray that seemed to make UT a decent team at the end of last season.

yearofthedawg

October 9th, 2011
6:16 am

Thomas Brown was a much better player than he is a poster.

Brooksdawg

October 9th, 2011
6:48 am

??? Just how can you go to the re-play booth on the first fumble—and come back to say “ruling on the field is confirmed, Tennessee recovered the fumble” when it was clear Herrerra was holding the ball? Say the whistle blew but, Tenn recovered the ball? What a joke that was! Congrats Richt on your 100th win–

Firemarshall Bill

October 9th, 2011
7:06 am

I swear watchin this coachin staff is just messin with my sobriety. Yeah I know they did some good things, but they always find a way to do something stupid to negate it. Was there no other running back in 50 effing states bigger than Carlton Thomas? Are you kidding me? And where the hell was our blitz package? Bray had time to make a go-dam omelet back there. Geez…..where’s the tenacity to absolutely put teams away? No….that would be too easy. Richt likes to let them hang around and make people throw sh!t at the TV.

layinlow

October 9th, 2011
7:09 am

Good win. But I’m still not going to change my mind about Richt because we beat a terrible UT team. In fact Dooley and his coaches are more incompetent than Richt’s staff. That 4th quarter was embarrassing and shows how unprepared and undisciplined this team can still be. All I will say is Richt got darn lucky with this SEC schedule or he would be toast. He will win just enough to keep his job and UGA will never win a national championship under his stewardship so congrats Richt fans you will probably get your wish. But the fans who desire greatness will be left to hope for another day.

Palm City Dawg

October 9th, 2011
7:39 am

JUNKYARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thomas Brown

October 9th, 2011
7:43 am

He is beating cupcakes, only.

Still is 3-10 vs teams who finished in the AP Poll Top 25
Still is 17-26 vs teams who finished in the AP Poll Top 25
Still has 10 losses to teams not finishing in the AP Poll Top 25
All he did was make himself 100 wins with none of the 100 meaningful

And, why is that ?

Because the 3 times he did beat a team who finished in the Top 10 he lost 4 games, 3 games and 4 games; and because 2002 found only 1 other SEC team finishing in the Coaches’ Poll Top 25 – a 4 loss Auburn, while losing 2002 to a team who did not end up in any Top 25 Poll at all going 0-11 on 3rd down conversions for the game. And because 2005 he ended up not # 1 of all SEC teams in the final polls, but the # 3 SEC team 2005. 2007 LSU did not benefit from BCS hosing Mark Richt when they beat 2 teams finishing AP Poll Top 10 while he beat none – adding in as always the loss to a 6-6 South Carolina team not even in a bowl game and the blow-out loss to the vols an avg at best team 2007. Thank goodness Isaiah Crowell willed himself back in the game, utterly beat-up to win the game for us, NOT Aaron Murray.

Rodster

October 9th, 2011
7:57 am

Great job Dawgs. 100 wins in 10 1/2 years, actually that is very good.

Doogsga

October 9th, 2011
8:02 am

Does the 3-4 defense account for an opposing team’s tightend? We made that kid look like a king. Otherwise, great win. GATA!

Tim

October 9th, 2011
8:17 am

Wake me up when we beat a ranked team.

Pew Pew

October 9th, 2011
8:18 am

Georgia sucks.

bart

October 9th, 2011
8:21 am

I agree 100% with layinlow and Thomas Brown. I don’t see greatness under this head coach,

Joey

October 9th, 2011
8:32 am

Chip, it wouldn’t have been so dramatic, if Murray hadn’t kept missing the deep balls to wide-open WRs. He missed at least 4.

Big Wally Butts

October 9th, 2011
8:34 am

Thomas Brown makes my head hurt.

Joey

October 9th, 2011
8:39 am

Fair and Balanced

October 9th, 2011
8:40 am

Ga hasn’t beaten anybody who has beaten anybody. I still predict 8 – 4 but let’s hope we can do better. It’s up to the coaching. Still have not played 4 qtrs of good football.

LakelandDawg

October 9th, 2011
8:52 am

If UGA won every game by 50 points and won a national title there would still be some of you idiots complaining abut some little facet. They would complain if you hung them with a new rope.
Be happy that we are 4-2 and looking good for the East title.

Dawgfan in FL

October 9th, 2011
9:05 am

Hate to break it to you Thomas Brown, but one of the biggest plays of the game was Murray’s pass to Mitchell. I know that you’d love to pretend that the ball somehow appeared in Mitchell’s hands, but the fact is that Murray hit him in stride. Bottom line is for you and the rest of the haters…you’ve already made up your mind that Richt needs to go and Murray needs to be replaced, so no matter what they do right, you’ll only focus on the negative. Congrats! Great way to approach life! The best part is, that as the Dawgs continue to win, Richt stays, Murray plays, and you get to sulk cause you’re not getting your way…HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

YellerSkeeters Are PeterEaters! is an idiot.

October 9th, 2011
9:15 am

That’s all

Strange Murphy

October 9th, 2011
9:17 am

All ya’ll prove that Dawg fans are the dumbest in college football. Keep it up!

same ole dawg

October 9th, 2011
9:25 am

I guess that I will never understand how a guy that played football as long as Richt can never get fired up at a game. I love to watch Saban, Muschamp & now Dabo is my new hero. I love to see a football coach that shows he loves the game & coaching. Maybe he sat on the bench so long that his personality developed this way. Anyway, our offense plays like his pesonality. Defense plays with a little more fire than in past, I guess because DC shows some emotion. We need Erk to coach our offensive line. Who is our line coach? Has anyone ever seen them get chewed out ever? We have the biggest line in college & NFL. We should be romping the down the field like a triple option offense. I’m glad for the win, but we still look same & are allowed to drop guard when we get a lead. Our players never feel the urgency in keeping the pressure on a down opponent. Watch Bama when they get the lead. They turn up the pressure & that is when Sabban chews people out. Announcers stated that Richt used pro style practice system last year & we weren’t in shape. Booboo stated earlier that “Crowell would be good when he got in shape”. Top recruit states that he likes UGA because he can share time w/ other back & lengthen pro career. All of our linemen go pro, but do nothing at UGA. R they saving themselves. Get some linemen like Boise that want to be a Dawg & not worry about pro. Why does Crowell hurt his finger or something on every other play & then come out? Announcer states that he should come out of ballgame at end of game & then I flip channel & see Au is down by 24 w/ 3 min left & Dyer is still carrying the ball . Spurrier doesn’t pull no 21. We’ll never any better than we are now & Richt will never win a NC because the SEC will never be down like it was in early decade. He won’t even win another SEC & will only have a chance if Au doesn’t move over & UF & Tenn programs completely fall apart. I’m sick of this guy. Our games are so boring to watch & a win is such a letdown. Heck, I am getting where I dread the games. I went the Miss St game & didn’t even go to the stadium & now that I think about it, was much happier after the game. Signed, Love the Dawgs since the 60s but sick of Richt, yaakkkk.

Mr. Dawg

October 9th, 2011
9:27 am

The bad news for Ole Miss, MSU and Tennesse is that the Georgia Bulldogs are apparently not a cupcake team. . Congratulations to Mark Richt on 100 wins. As an alum and proud fan it’s nice to wake up this morning and cheer – .”It’s great, to be, a GEORGIA BULLDOG! It’s great, to be, a GEORGIA BULLDOG! It’s great, to be, a GEORGIA BULLDOG! It’s great, to be, a GEORGIA BULLDOG! …

Thomas Brown, Seek Help!

October 9th, 2011
9:28 am

Thomas Brown, I woke up this morning and the score was still 20-12. We win on the road and you are still complaining. I thought I told you on Friday to get some sleep, regroup, refocus and then seek help. You obviously haven’t done so.

same ole dawg = Thomas Brown

October 9th, 2011
9:31 am

Pick a new team to pull for. The trade school over on North Avenue is 6-0 and could use a few more fans.

JDawg1785

October 9th, 2011
9:39 am

Great win, Dawgs! Keep ‘em coming!

Destin Dawg

October 9th, 2011
9:43 am

Congrats to Mark Richt… please call the plays.. and let Bo Bo coach Q.B.’s… Grantham’s got your back on Defense… we need another R.B. to step up… and spell Crowell… Come on Malcome !!! Zander Ogletree ?? Figgens ?? Run the ball !! Go Dawgs !!!!!

Destin Dawg

October 9th, 2011
9:46 am

same old dawg.. Spurrier should have pulled Lattimore.. injuries happen… no need to run the score way up… 3 T.D.’s is enough !!

tell me again

October 9th, 2011
9:59 am

Same Ol Dawg……if you’re so sick of the Dawgs why don’t you go grab a six pack and fall asleep in a deer stand somewhere on Saturdays? Playing on the road at Tennesse is one of the most difficult SEC venues to play and win in….the last two times we went up there we arguably had better teams and got blown up – this time we win and supposed fans like you STILL are Bit***n and moaning. We opened the season with two of the better teams in the country and have since won 4 straight – two of those were SEC road games with a third road game coming up. What do you want? Yes, the schedule favors us this year but Florida had a couple of years where they began AND ended the year with REAL cupcakes. As for Crowell – he’s a true freshman! Last year Lattimore was toast in the second half of the season as he got beat up as a true freshman – these kids need time to build up – he was playing in high school this time ,last year for pete’s sake – geez, be realsitic. I agree with you that we seem to get off the accelerator when we get a lead and that drives me crazy too but overall – 4 wins in a row and tied for the lead in the SEC east???????? What is there to complain about!!!! We haven’t even seen Boo Malcolm hit the field yet and I think Crowell is doing GREAT being a freshman and bearing the load lke he is! Four wins in a row is a GOOD THING! GO DAWGS!

Jborodawg

October 9th, 2011
10:03 am

“Pollyanna” masquerading as “Thomas Brown”…always finding the negative, right along with “layinlow”. Please change your “allegiance” to some other team. It’s one thing to point out areas that need improvement; but to constantly call for the heads of CMR and CMB is just negativity in the extreme. Heck, we’re right up there total yards and PPG. Someone even blamed CMR for Mitchell’s hammy. Amazin’.

I submit that it’s not so much CMB’s play-calling as it is the players not executing sometimes. EG Murray’s long-ball accuracy needs a lot of improvement, as do the WRs needing to improve their route-running and catching. CMB calls some good plays but the players need to execute.

“…need to throw more to O.Charles…” Well, if he’d get open I’m sure we would. Or, if he is open, it’s up to Murray to recognize it.

We just went up to Knoxville and beat the #1 rated QB and his team. I was quite proud of the Dawgs coming out ready to play in the 3rd qtr. That’s improvement. Just keep on improving and we can beat Vandy. Yes, we better take Vandy seriously.

Cmon man

October 9th, 2011
10:05 am

Thomas brown here you go complaining again! Uga won a tough sec game on the road and you still find a reason to complain. Enjoy the victory and stop the damn crying and talking about what happened last year.

duke

October 9th, 2011
10:14 am

thomas brown and the rest of the haters, get a new team and a life. good job coach richt and all the coaches and players.

GT Joe

October 9th, 2011
10:16 am

Bobo is a genius. 2nd and 60, draw. 3rd and 60, draw. LOL.

flo-ri-duh

October 9th, 2011
10:16 am

The offense is still erratic but the defense is coming on and Walsh made his field goals. Don’t sleep on the ‘Dores. They played Bama tough for half the game. With our WR super star out the game will low scoring. Proud of the Dawgs.

Dawg Fan

October 9th, 2011
10:26 am

I still don’t understand the running plays when we’re “x and 21, wait 31, wait 41, wait 51″. We might not have gotten the first down but the surest way to fail is not to try.

And don’t give me that crap about an interception – we threw it plenty when we were on our side of the field….

Bobo is a loser!