Notebook: Malcolm Mitchell repents for personal foul with 45-yard TD catch

Georgia's Malcolm Mitchell races 45 yards for a fourth-quarter TD just three plays after being yanked from the game by coach Mark Richt because of a taunting penalty. (AJC photo by Bob Andres)

Georgia's Malcolm Mitchell races 45 yards for a fourth-quarter TD just three plays after being yanked from the game by coach Mark Richt because of a taunting penalty. (AJC photo by Bob Andres)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Say this for Malcolm Mitchell: He sure knows how to make good after messing up.

Georgia’s sensational sophomore wideout was called for a personal foul/unsportsmanlike penalty midway through the fourth quarter of Saturday’s 17-9 win over Florida. That in itself was not unusual. The Bulldogs were flagged 14 times for 132 times against the Gators, several of those of the personal-foul variety.

But this one was particularly egregious. Mitchell had just caught a first-down pass at the Florida 35 with the game hanging in the balance. But Mitchell drew a flag for taunting Florida cornerback Louchiez Purifoy after the catch. So instead, the Bulldogs were backed up to the 50.

Georgia coach Mark Richt let Mitchell have it. After a few choice words, Richt pulled Mitchell out of the game.

“I wasn’t even sure what I did,” Mitchell would say later. “Coach Richt didn’t let me find out. He just threw me off the field.”

Richt claimed he couldn’t remember what he said to Mitchell on the sideline, though a mischievous grin indicated he really might.

“I said enough to make him think he might not ever get in the game again,” Richt said. “He started walking off, so I grabbed the back of his shoulder pads and said, ‘hey, Malcolm, I’m only going to take you out for one play.’”

Good decision. The Bulldogs threw an incompletion on the one play Mitchell was out. He came back in and caught a five-yard pass on second down, then shook Purifoy on what would have been a modest gain and turned it into a dynamic 45-yard touchdown.

The score put Georgia ahead 17-9 with 7:11 play and assured the Gators would need a touchdown and two-point conversion to tie.

“I’ll always remember being in the end zone and my team jumping all over me,” said Mitchell, who led the Bulldogs with 74 yards on 5 receptions. “That was the best feeling, just to know that everybody was so happy and excited off a play that, not just me, but Aaron (Murray), the O-line, the other receivers helped make. Artie Lynch came all the way across the field to make a block for me. It just felt good to getting all that love like that.”

Mitchell said he didn’t feel pressured to make a play after getting chastised by his head coach. He was quickly consoled by his teammates.

“A lot of players came up to me and said, ‘listen, you’re a good player. Just play your game and don’t get into arguments with them,’” Mitchell said. “I think I had been doing it the whole game; that’s just the first time that called me on it. The situation we were in, we really didn’t need that. Fortunately opportunity came right after that.

Gilliard responds on field

Linebacker Mike Gilliard was indirectly called out by Shawn Williams in Williams’ “soft defense” tirade on Monday night. Williams had said he thought inside linebackers Amarlo Herrera and Alec Ogletree should never come off the field because of the intensity with which they play. Gilliard said the next day he felt “disrespected” and “took it personally.”

But Saturday, Gilliard took it out on the Gators’ offense. And at the end of the night, he, Ogletree and Herrera each had six tackles. He also left without any hard feelings.

“I feel like Shawn knew what he was doing,” Gilliard said with a smile. “He definitely knows how to get under my skin. It definitely worked. Before the game, I was praying that if I have to die out here tonight, I’m going to die going 100 percent full speed. When I made my first tackle, I told Shawn, ‘it ain’t sweet out here,’ and we both had a good laugh

Gurley back in the end zone

Freshman running back Todd Gurley’s 10-yard touchdown run  gave the Bulldogs an early 7-0 advantage. It was Gurley’s team-leading 11th TD of the season, including 10 rushing and one on a kickoff return.

Gurley led the Bulldogs with 118 yards on a season-high 27 carries.

“He’s a horse, and we tried to ride the horse a little bit tonight,” Richt said. “Twenty-seven carries and no fumbles, that was big. We like our other backs, but this was one of those games where we really needed a big, strong back.”

Through eight games, Gurley now has 739 rushing yards

Still work to do

Although the win over Florida put Georgia in the most advantageous position to win the SEC East, UGA players were quick to note afterward that it ensured nothing.

To clinch a berth in the SEC title game Dec. 1 in the Georgia Dome, the Bulldogs must win their next two games against Ole Miss and Auburn. If Georgia loses either of those games and Florida beats Missouri, the Gators would go to the league title game.

“We’ve just got to keep winning. This isn’t it,” quarterback Aaron Murray said. “This win doesn’t mean we’re going to the SEC Championship game. We still have two SEC games to go, four games left in this regular season. We want to finish off strong and get back to Atlanta.”

“I know we have our work cut out for us,” Richt said. “We haven’t won the East yet, but we’re in control of it.”

Another Rambo pick

Senior Bacarri Rambo moved in to a tie for second in Georgia history with 14 career interceptions. He got his first of the year to end the first half, thwarting a Gators scoring attempt by picking off the pass in the end zone.

“It killed their momentum they had created,” Richt said.

“It was just my time to step up and make a play,” Rambo said.

Rambo is third in school history in interception return yards with 259. He left the game briefly in the third quarter with a  leg injury but returned in the fourth.

Turnover numbers

Putting Saturday’s turnovers in context:

  • Florida had committed only four all season before committing six against Georgia.
  • Murray had thrown only four interceptions in 199 passes this season before throwing three in eight passes in the first half against Florida.

Zander Ogletree spotting

Starting fullback Merritt Hall suffered an ankle injury on the second offensive play of the game for Georgia and did not return to the game. His status for Ole Miss is unknown.

Hall was replaced in the game by third-strong fullback Zander Ogletree, who hadn’t played all year until a few plays last week against Kentucky. On Ogletree’s first play in, he caught a 10-yard pass for a first down at the Florida 10, setting up a scoring run for Gurley in which Olgetree was the lead blocker. Ogltree caught one other pass for three yards.

The Bulldogs were already without one fullback for Saturday’s game. Freshman Quayvon Hicks suffered a concussion in practice on Tuesday and did not travel to Jacksonville. Senior Richard Samuel was also available to play.

Pregame skirmish

Referees had to separate players and coaches during a brief skirmish shortly before kickoff. In the middle of the fray was Florida strength coach Jeff Dillman.

Dillman was captured in a screen shot that made its way to shoving a Georgia player. The player was indistinguishable from the grainy photos that were circulating. Moments after the run-in, Georgia players and coaches had to restrain Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham from going after Dillman.

Garrison Smith steps in

Junior Garrison Smith got the start at defensive end for the Bulldogs and led all down-linemen with 5 tackles. It was his second start of the season and fifth of Smith’s career.

Smith was filling in for injured starter Abry Jones. Jones had ankle surgery Tuesday as a result of an injury suffered in the first quarter against Kentucky. He’s is expected to be out six to eight weeks.

Georgia also moved outside linebacker Cornelius Washington down onto the line and played Jordan Jenkins at outside linebacker opposite of Jarvis Jones.

Dooley in the house

Former Georgia coach and athletic director Vince Dooley was attending his 56th Georgia-Florida on Saturday. He said he missed only one since 1956, and that was the year after his retirement from UGA when he was doing TV for ESPN.Dooley, who has been retired as the Bulldogs athletic director since 2004, said he comes to watch what has always been one of his favorite games and to attend the many functions that surround it.

This week, Dooley served as co-honorary starter, “whatever that is,” for a golf tournament up on Jekyll

Island, for a couple of book signings, and to attend the annual Georgia-Florida Hall of Fame dinner. Charley Whittemore, who played wide receiver and was an assistant coach and assistant athletic director for Dooley, was inducted this year.

“I usually have a player or two that are in it and I always like to be there for them,” Dooley said.

Dooley was 17-7-1 against the Gators as Georgia’s head coach and spent 15 years as the school’s AD after retiring from coaching. So how did he end up coming here 56 times?

“For eight straight years I came here to scout Georgia for Auburn,” said Dooley, who has been to the last eight as a retiree. “It was always my favorite game to scout. I’d go to the Georgia-Florida breakfast and everything they had. It was fun.”

Dooley was understandably distracted before this year’s Georgia-Florida game. He was watching his son Derek Dooley coach Tennessee against South Carolina. Dooley was squirming and kicking his legs under the desk of his second-row, press box seat as he watched the action on a small television. The Vols lost another heart-breaker, 38-35.

“He just needs to win some games,” Dooley said.


Will Muschamp is now 0-6 in the Georgia-Florida game, 0-4 as a Georgia player and 0-2 as Florida’s coach. … Jarvis Jones’ three sacks boosted his total to 22 in less than two seasons. That ranks seventh on the UGA career list. . . . Sophomore cornerback Damian Swann had a sack, an interception and a caused fumble. . . . Marshall Morgan missed a 37-yard field goal in the third quarter. He hooked it left. It was just his second miss in seven attempts this season… . Georgia’s captains on Saturday were quarterback Aaron Murray, free safety Connor Norman, junior guard Chris Burnette and senior outside linebacker Cornelius Washington. Both Norman and Murray wear the number 11. Norman recovered Kentucky’s onsides kick attempt in the fourth quarter to earn the nod as special teams captain… . Florida sports communications’ office reported 687 credentialed media were covering Saturday’s game at Everbank Field. . . . The loss was Florida’s first of the season, marking the first time since 1966 that Georgia spoiled a perfect Gators record. … Georgia improved to 51-5 under Richt when it has a 100-yard rusher.

97 comments Add your comment

[...] Malcolm Mitchell repents for flag with 45-yard TD catch [...]


October 27th, 2012
11:18 pm

I’m happy now…Beating Florida helps…Now get the personal fouls under control….but keep up the intensity. Defense….way to go out and win that game!

[...] more here: Notebook: Malcolm Mitchell repents for personal foul on 45-yard TD catch ← Back to Home Tags: catch, dawgs, florida, louchiez, malcolm, mike, mike gilliard, [...]


October 27th, 2012
11:23 pm

I was glad to see Richt and Grantham get on some rear end when the players did dumb stuff. Patronizing doesn’t work. Great team effort.


October 27th, 2012
11:25 pm

I am happy tonight!

Asheville Dawg

October 27th, 2012
11:27 pm

Now if the defense can only keep up its intensity Coach Grantham.

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Dawg Fud

October 27th, 2012
11:38 pm

This team is very undisciplined. Shocker.

Penalties are the only element of consistency during Mark Richt’s tenure.

Too much running mouths, lack of focus.

Watch Bama. They treat games like a business meeting. We treat them like a fraternity party.


October 27th, 2012
11:39 pm

Who else was yelling “Don’t celebrate. Don’t celebrate” at the tv after MM scored? I went for screaming GO GO GO to that in about 3 seconds. Luckily Mitchel heard me both times.


October 27th, 2012
11:48 pm

The world is back in alignment for another year. Great effort Team…JJ hope you are completely well by SECCG! Take off the next 3 or 4 if needed!!!!

Mad Dog One

October 27th, 2012
11:50 pm

Da@# good article Chip,Da@# good game. Now a win over Old Miss & that other team in ALA the one without a rent-a-qb this year. GO DOGS & GATA


October 28th, 2012
12:01 am

Unless your not a UGA fan, don’t and I repeat don’t say anything negative tonight. We didn’t play our best game on offense because we played the #2 team in the country with an amazing defense. We also won the game. So shut up and support the Dawgs and stop expecting a perfect game. Everybody complained because we haven’t beat anybody highly ranked in years. Today we beat UF in the biggest game of the year, and for the 2nd yr in a row. So shut up haters.


October 28th, 2012
12:03 am

We play in the toughest conference, nobody really thought we’d go undefeated right? I mean we got our loss of out the way now lets finish.


October 28th, 2012
12:13 am


October 28th, 2012
12:18 am

It was a great win. But Ogletree missed a bunch of tackles. Including the last one. And if Grantham truly was going after Dilman, he should be fired. No wonder there is such a lack of discipline.


October 28th, 2012
12:50 am

DAWGS win, pass me some more crow, congratulations CMR! Go DAWGS!


October 28th, 2012
12:56 am

Every single Gator out there can suck it.

Hairy Dawg

October 28th, 2012
1:03 am

Grantham should go after this dbc fellow and take him out.

Henry D.

October 28th, 2012
1:29 am

How many tackles did Ogletree whif on today? He also missed an interception that hit him right between the numbers. I keep hearing what a great linebacker he is but I don’t see it translate on the field.

GB's Hamburgers

October 28th, 2012
1:35 am

It took a player to get the team amped up. Richt said he “hoped” they would continue to play with that intensity …. as if motivation is not part of his job description. The defense played real hard-nosed SEC football and delivered a physical beating to the Gators. So It’s clear what they can do …. when they are not phoning it in. The offense was 1 of 10 on third downs, had 3 picks, and was typically undisciplined. So half the team played well and that rarely results in a win. But we’ll take it …. hat’s off to the defense. They made it look like assault and battery.


October 28th, 2012
1:36 am

I don’t condone Coach Grantham going after anyone, but I understand it when a grown man, a coach for God’s sake, has the nerve to PUSH a player on our team. HE is the one who should be fired. duh!!!


October 28th, 2012
1:49 am

Ogletree is exceptional….you must need some specs….i seen him miss a tackle tonight but they all do. One game dont make or break a player….Ogletree made some plays too. For all you know he had an injury he was playing with. bottomline is Ogletree is probably the best linebacker on the team overall…..and he moved there from safety! Certainly best athlete on the D. Ogletree is All-American type player. That Swann isnt looking too bad either, hes gonna be a great one.

Both UF and UGA are 7-1. But UF would much rather be in UGA’s shoes now….Its better to be a Dawg than a Gator isnt it?!

Defense CAUSED 6 turnovers baby! UF didnt just turn the ball over, UGA pressured, hit and stripped them turnovers! its not like UF just had bad game! The UGA D took it to them!!


October 28th, 2012
1:50 am

If you don’t see it, your a moron….check his stats there skippy….


October 28th, 2012
1:55 am

This is a rivalry game, if you don’t think smack talk happens in football, all levels, then you never played a down in your life…i even expected more personal fouls today than there were..Whiners find something to whine about regardless….bunch of mamby pambys!


October 28th, 2012
1:59 am

Support your coach GB….he will be around a few more years after this win. BTW…you dont have to act like Muschamp to win it all. Many other championship coaches were cool and calm. How many BIG games did the Dawgs win in the first 8 ears of Richts career? MANY YOU thought they would lose! You think they was gonna beat Boise or LSU last year? Me neither. I hoped but ouldnt have bet on it. SC athome this year? Not after seeig that crowd and how intense their D was feeding off of it. Sc game was a fluke they got all them point early too. SO…..leave Richt alone s the point. He IS the best coach in UGA histoy and WILL win the NC soon. Most coahces dont win one i their first 15 years coaching….took even mighty lord Saban 11 years. 12th year. Get on board and support your coach…..

BTW…personally I think Grantham hd somethign to do with Shawn Williams speaking out….I think it was his idea or he knew about it beforehand….Im sure he had tried everythign to get the boys fired up and the players had too but nothing was working so….it came to that andyeah, I think Grantham had prior knowledge and it may have even been his idea….Williams might have went further than he expected but I think he knew….regardless, it worked andwhatever it takes. Players got to do their thing and keep ON EACH OTHER! NO SLACKERS AND NO SLACKING…..they were knocking heads in practice this week! and it tranferred into the game! BETTER do it agains this week. LEARN boys! Knocking teammates out this week liek the FB…..and how many UF players had to leave the game! Jsut get better defense and NEVER go back to not having that FIRE!!

Otis My Man

October 28th, 2012
2:27 am

Finally! Bitter Sweet for a true UGA Fan because his is the team we all thought would show up for the 2012 Season! Great Win and we are 7-1 and controll our destiny in the SEC. Lets just stay humble, play football & win the SEC Championship and the Win the BCS against Notre Dame once again!!!


October 28th, 2012
2:46 am

Go You Hairy Dawgs! Can’t make the remaining games. The rest of my season tickets are on Ebay, auction 181009605685. See you all at the SECCG!


October 28th, 2012
3:01 am

I must admit and make a confession. I was one of those people saying “There is no way in HELL this team would beat Florida after what I saw against Kentucky. I was wrong!!! Now where in the world has this defense been. Grantham made some great decisions tonight and the DEFENSE came to make a statement and I believe it was loud and clear.
Again Great Job Dawgs!!
Last thing, I would like to take a minute to pray for Lattimore because that was a gruesome leg injury he sustained today.


October 28th, 2012
4:04 am

Great win for the Dawgs. I agree, now is not the time to be negative. UGA just beat the #2 team in the nation. I’ve been saying this is a bottom line profession. Well, bottom line: UGA just won.


October 28th, 2012
5:06 am

i beg to differ with the “first time the dawgs have beaten an undefeated florida team since 1966″. they beat undefeated and #1 florida 24-3 in 1985. but, more importantly, they beat their rear ends today!!! GO DAWGS!!! sic’em!


October 28th, 2012
6:11 am

Ferocious, unrelenting D. That’s what we’ve been looking for; keep it up!

O looked horrible. If that’s the best QB UGA’s got, that’s too bad. Three years and he still looks like a glassy-eyed true freshman in the big games. Seems like he just doesn’t have the mental make-up to perform in the big moments. Wonder if all that psyche mumbo-jumbo he studies has messed up his head?

Coaches were ready for this one and even Richt looked like he has an edge to him. Man, that was something to see!

The lizards set the tone for this game when they, coaches and players alike, crossed onto UGA’s side as the teams took the field, spoiling for some pre-game action. That’s okay, that was pretty much the peak of their performance, so it all worked out.

Okay, UGA. Your future is back in your hands. Whatcha’ gonna do with it?

Bitter running back

October 28th, 2012
6:22 am

Congrats for the dawg nation—PRIDE—-Its a great thang





October 28th, 2012
6:30 am

Gonna get their butts kicked by AL. Murray will stink up the place as he always does in the big ones.


October 28th, 2012
6:57 am

Congratulations to all positive thinking Dawg fans who believed in our coaches and players.

Jim's cousin

October 28th, 2012
7:00 am

That’s right Jim, you tell ‘em!! Now get back here in bed with me!!


October 28th, 2012
7:09 am

Not many opposing players get the respect that Lattimore gets, he plays the game the way it is suppose to be played at his position and I think the best back in the college game before his previous knee injury. He will be missed by all true football fans. DAWGS defense also played the gaytors the way it is suppose to be played. Football is a team game and this game truly showed that. Our D did its thing in a huge way and gave our offense enough time to make a play and we did. Murray overcame a shaky start and got it done in crunch time. This is a huge huge win people, to be savored for some time to come. We have a great chance to take care of business, It is why we play the games not just talk about it. IT’S GREAT TO BE A GEORGIA BULLDAWG!!! It always is and is always better than being a florida gaytor.


October 28th, 2012
7:30 am

Great win. Sloppy but nice to win against Florida. Did anyone watch the MSU vs Alabama game? Alabama is a disciplined team. Hardly any celebration until after the game. They’re playing like an NFL team. Wish our coaching staff can learn from that before we play them in the SECCG.


October 28th, 2012
7:45 am

Great win….enjoy it Dawgs!!! Now, every player with a stupid unsportsmanlike penalty for running his mouth needed to be at the stadium at 6:00 this morning running the steps!!! Just let your play do your talking…geez.


October 28th, 2012
8:06 am

Hurray for Grantham going after Dillman for pushing a UGA player. Irk Russell would be proud of him, and you can bet that Irk would have done the same thing.


October 28th, 2012
8:22 am

Dawg Fud: SHUT UP AND ENJOY THE WIN, YOU DO NOT KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EMOTION AND DISCLIPLINE! Yes, we did get some stupid penalities, you seem to more on the Bama wagon, so go get on their bus and join all the other front runners; for me, I will stick with my Dawgs and support them, stupid penalities and all!


October 28th, 2012
8:38 am

Lattimore’s injury was truly one of the most heart-breaking moments I’ve ever had in my many yrs as a college football fan. My heart sunk into my stomach for the kid. He is very humble, played the game the rt way & this very well may have been his last football game. Reminded me a lot of the Willis Magahee injury but only worse. I pray for this guy & hope he can rehab his way back onto the field & get a shot at his dream of playing in the NFL.

Yellow fuzz

October 28th, 2012
8:51 am

When was the last time georgia tech beat a #2 ranked team


October 28th, 2012
9:04 am

When was the last time Georgia Tech beat ANYONE?

Silver Fox

October 28th, 2012
9:08 am

It was last night Yellow Fuzz… you suffer from ADD?

Double Secret Probation

October 28th, 2012
9:27 am

Graduated UGA in 1987. I am a season ticket holder and have been for the past 15 years. My parents also graduated UGA and took me to games my entire childhood. I will say that I am pleasantly surprised by our win last night. the defense played this game the way I expected them to play every game this season. They are the reason we won the game. The only question I have is where has that defense been all year?
The offensive line was better than I expected as well and Gurley is just a great back who has a very bright future. That said, I was shocked at how poorly our starting QB played. Perhaps it is time to take the quasi-red shirt off of Hutson Mason.
I want UGA to play at the level ur defense did last night every week. That is what championship caliber teams do.Good win last night, but let’s see it become the norm and not the exception.


October 28th, 2012
9:30 am

Hey 53 and a half brain: Your mama needs bail money when you get off your morning McDonald’s shift.


October 28th, 2012
9:33 am

Henry D. Re your 1:29 posting – I think a senior team leader is a lot more aware of who helps win games than you are.

Columbia SC Dawg

October 28th, 2012
9:38 am

dbc … you are a pussy. I hope Grantham goes after you candyass.


October 28th, 2012
9:41 am

A real fan would celebrate the win, not talk about everything they did wrong . Go Dawgs great win.


October 28th, 2012
9:51 am

It’s amazing, just last year, the Dawg fans were trying to fire Coach Mark Richt. You guys need to realize you can’t win them all every year and quit whinning when you have an off season. Enjoy the ride this year; it will not last forever.