UPDATED: UGA now one win away from SEC title game with 37-10 victory over Ole Miss



ATHENS — One win away.

That’s how far the Georgia Bulldogs are from returning to the SEC Championship game. They got one step closer to it Saturday with a harder-than-it-looked 37-10 win over Ole Miss on homecoming at Sanford Stadium.

To get all the way to the Georgia Dome — where they lost to LSU in the championship game a year ago — the Bulldogs will have to do what it has often had to do when it was in position to win a conference title. It will have to go through Auburn.

The No. 6 Bulldogs (8-1, 6-1 SEC) will repeat as SEC Eastern Division champions if they can beat their oldest rival next weekend in Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Tigers (2-7, 0-6), who won the national championship just two years ago, are still looking for their first conference win of season.

Because of what’s on the line next week Saturday on “The Plains,” Georgia’s postgame celebration was short-lived.

“I tried to start the minute the game was over,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “I told them right away they needed to get their minds right now; get your jaws set. Auburn’s a fierce rival. They don’t like Georgia and they’re going to play their tails off. Hopefully with what’s on the line they’ll respect that.”

Georgia’s players were listening.

“Auburn is all that’s on our minds,” said freshman tailback Todd Gurley, who recorded his sixth 100-yard rushing game of the season (117 on 18 carries). “Now it’s the biggest game. That’s the one we’ve got to have.”

Said senior receiver Tavarres King:“This league is insane; the athletes are all so good,”“Anybody can slip up on anybody any day. We won’t overlook anybody.”

Saturday provided a good lesson to that end as it took the Bulldogs a while to get going against Ole Miss (5-4, 2-3 SEC) Georgia actually trailed for all but the final three seconds of the first half. That’s when the game turned on a scintillating touchdown pass from Aaron Murray to King.

Georgia faced third-and-20 at its 40-yard line after Murray had been sacked on back-to-back plays. They were sack numbers four and five in the first half and it appeared the Bulldogs would be satisfied with trailing by three at the half.

They weren’t. Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo called for deep routes down each sideline. After pump-faking to the left side, which moved the Ole Miss safety, Murray evaded pressure and ran to the right. He found King running free behind Ole Miss cornerback inside the Rebels’ 20 and delivered a strike.

“I just threw my hand up and gave Murray a hooty-hoo and he saw me,” King said. “It was one of those plays where we just saw each other, our eyes connected and he made a great play.”

That and Marshall Morgan’s extra point gave the Bulldogs a 14-10 lead as it left the field for intermission. The Bulldogs did so with the knowledge it would receive the second-half kickoff. They took full advantage, scoring on their next two offensive possessions and that was pretty much that.

“It was good to get 14 points in a row; it was crucial,” Richt said. “I thought Ole Miss out-played us in the first half. We out-scored them but they out-played us.”

Murray also had a 66-yard touchdown pass to Marlon Brown earlier in the second quarter and was pretty much unstoppable from then until the Bulldogs took their foot off the gas in the fourth quarter. By then they led 30-10.

It was another huge day for Aaron Murray, who passed for 384 yards and 4 TDs, almost all of it coming in the second and third quarters. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

It was another huge day for Aaron Murray, who passed for 384 yards and 4 TDs, almost all of it coming in the second and third quarters. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

It was a nice rebound for Murray, who had three interceptions in last week’s win over Florida. The junior from Tampa finished the night with 384 yards and four touchdowns on 21-of-28 passing. Already the school record-holder, he now has 80 career TD passes, which is sixth in SEC history.

“I’m a little sore, but nothing that a good ice bath won’t take care of,” said Murray, who was hit several other times in addition to the sacks. “You always feel better after a big win like this.”

Murray didn’t want to waste much time talking about Saturday’s game. He was already focused on next week.

“It’s going to be a tough game,” he said. “It’s at their place. Anytime you play away, it’s always a challenge. It’s going to be a love environment and it’s a big-time rivalry game. We know they’re going to be ready to go and we to be, too.”

The Bulldogs’ defense that was the story of the second half. They limited Ole Miss to just 55 yards after halftime and actually out-scored the Rebels’ 2-0 from the 11:45 mark of the second quarter on. That was thanks to a safety by linebacker Alec Ogletree, who also had an interception, a sack and led Georgia with 11 tackles. Ole Miss had three turnovers and managed just 46 yards on 29 rushes.

“It doesn’t get much better than that,” Ogletree said. “We made adjustments to shut them down. It was great.”

Momentum was either team’s to take in the first half. The two teams combined for four turnovers in five plays midway through the second quarter. The series began with Georgia’s Keith Marshall fumbling on a run around left end. The fumble was caused by Ole Miss linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche, a redshirt freshman from Grayson.

The Rebels took over at the Georgia 31, but gave the ball back on the very next play. It’d probably be more accurate to say the Bulldogs took it. After catching a pass deep in Georgia territory, Ole Miss receiver Vince Sanders was swarmed by Bulldogs. Safety Bacarri Rambo ripped the ball loose and cornerback Damian Swann scooped it up and returned it 53 yards to the Mississippi 30.

But the Bulldogs could only keep possession for one play. On the second, tailback Todd Gurley broke off right tackle for a 13-yard gain. But once again Nkemdiche forced the ball loose and the Rebels recovered at their own 12.

Then Ole Miss gave it right back again. Scrambling right under heavy pressure, the Ole Miss quarterback hurled a long pass high over the middle of the field. Linebacker Alec Ogletree rose high for the leaping interception and Georgia took over on offense again, this time at its own 49.

Ultimately the hot-potato exchange didn’t lead to anything. Georgia eventually went for a first down on fourth-and-two at the Ole Miss 43 and failed to complete a pass to Malcolm Mitchell. Then the Rebels had to punt the ball back on downs after the next possession, setting up the nine-play, 84-yard drive for the Bulldogs to take the lead.

Georgia found itself on its heels in the early going, falling behind 10-0 early in the second quarter on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Wallace to tight end Jamal Mosely.

The Rebels took the opening kickoff and quickly drove down to the Bulldogs’ 11-yard line, mainly on the merits of Wallace’s 51-yard pass to Ferbia Allen. Allen was left wide open running down the sideline after safety Shawn Williams dove for the interception but missed it.

But the Bulldogs’ bowed in the red zone and stopped Ole Miss for a six-yard loss on third down. The Rebels settled for a 34-yard field goal from Bryson Rose and a 3-0 lead less than three minutes into the game.

AJC’S FULL COVERAGE OF GEORGIA-OLE MISS GAME:

192 comments Add your comment

Tom1

November 3rd, 2012
7:15 pm

Great win dogs!!!

Bama Dawg

November 3rd, 2012
7:16 pm

So proud of my Dawgs!

Paul

November 3rd, 2012
7:17 pm

It’s great to be a Georgis Bulldawg.

Imma believer

November 3rd, 2012
7:17 pm

The offensive line was horrible the first half. Great win for the Dogs…lets go tomAuburn and punch the ticket.

SatillaDawg

November 3rd, 2012
7:22 pm

Sluggish start.

Fine finish.

Go DAWGS!

slydog

November 3rd, 2012
7:24 pm

I thought this game was extremely personal? hahhahahhahahahha. Good win for the Dawgs. Now let’s see some more consistency

Flash........AHHHHHH

November 3rd, 2012
7:25 pm

The defense has finally returned……but we were kind of soft in the 1st qrt….. watch the film get better, we got a lot of work to do before we punch the ticket to the big dance after beating lsu in the dome……im drinking the kool aid again, please dont make a fool out of me twice…..

Left Coast Dawg

November 3rd, 2012
7:25 pm

Curious how Florida fans feel about that Missouri game.

Left Coast Dawg

November 3rd, 2012
7:26 pm

….oh yeh, tell Coach Freeze to remember not to blink….lol

MaconKnight

November 3rd, 2012
7:29 pm

Great win Dawgs!!!! Offensive line was terrible in the first quarter but did rebound the rest of the game.
It seems like it took boo boo awhile to figure out how to attack them, and Murrary played a great game much better decision making good to see Zander get his first college touchdown, Defense again played lights outs that safety was the first in a very long time. Our Team Our time No regrets!!!!! GO DAWGS!!!!!

kerryb

November 3rd, 2012
7:33 pm

I love it. ND just fumbled on the inch line going in for a TD in OT

1969 Graduate

November 3rd, 2012
7:34 pm

Pass the Kool-Aid.

Go, Dawgs.

kerryb

November 3rd, 2012
7:36 pm

ND is the luckiest team in America

Hairy Dawg

November 3rd, 2012
7:37 pm

I told you we table running all the way to Dome and BCS. We own East and it great to be a DAWG! Now we just coast through regular season and Cheese Dip sorry Awful Burn. He on his way to a firing that he deserves for cheating against us with $180K Clams Newton and Nick Farley trying beat most Christian in league of Coach Richt.

It great to be a Dawg and beat stuffing out a bad teams with D Good Dawgs.

Go Dawgs! Sick E’m!

NC Dawg

November 3rd, 2012
7:38 pm

let Russ(UGAIX) call the plays in 1st ouarter!

KBP

November 3rd, 2012
7:38 pm

Chip, harder than it looked? Ole Miss did nothing after 1st qtr. Great win Dawgs. Defense played great again. Stay focused and let’s show up in the Dome 11-1 and ready to gata.

Gorilla Biscuit

November 3rd, 2012
7:46 pm

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. Then eat the bee. ;)

G

November 3rd, 2012
7:46 pm

By late do you mean 2nd qtr? Stop writing for effect!!

Barkin'Dog

November 3rd, 2012
7:46 pm

That’s what Freeze gets for “pickin’ a fight with the Dawgs!” Never really in doubt… like next week’s game will be. Has Alabama really played any team as good as the Dawgs seem to be? Just wonderin’

DawgNole

November 3rd, 2012
7:47 pm

kerryb
November 3rd, 2012
7:33 pm

I love it. ND just fumbled on the inch line going in for a TD in OT
_____________________

Doesn’t matter, unfortunately. ND wins a close one in South Bend–almost every time.

FB

November 3rd, 2012
7:48 pm

Great win. Murray played with composure after getting smoked early due to poor protection. Some fan/idiots will still want Richt and Bobo fired.

Lonnie

November 3rd, 2012
7:48 pm

So right KDP. We looked great second half and defense did their thing all night!!!!

DawgNole

November 3rd, 2012
7:49 pm

Barkin’Dog
November 3rd, 2012
7:46 pm

Has Alabama really played any team as good as the Dawgs seem to be? Just wonderin’
____________________

They will tonight.

Brooksdawg

November 3rd, 2012
7:51 pm

4 quarters to ATLANTA… GATA in Jordan-Hare

kingdaddy

November 3rd, 2012
7:54 pm

Pass the tissues to lil stevie…

Watkinsvilldawg

November 3rd, 2012
7:55 pm

Watching Oregon for 1st time. They will end SEC run at BCS. I have never seen a better offense in college football. Absolutely crazy.

DawginLex

November 3rd, 2012
7:57 pm

We had more points and more yards and held them to fewer points and yards than Bama did.

We are capable if challenging anyone when motivated.

kingdaddy

November 3rd, 2012
7:58 pm

Damn, got to go help my sis move…

SatillaDawg

November 3rd, 2012
7:58 pm

Notre Dame pulls it out again at home.

L.A. BULLDAWG

November 3rd, 2012
7:58 pm

AARON MURRAY, HAS MOXIE! ‘BAMA, HERE WE COME!!!

michael

November 3rd, 2012
7:59 pm

The Dawgs beat Ole Miss worse than Bama did. Look it up!

kingdaddy

November 3rd, 2012
8:00 pm

Lex
Missed ya on the game-blog…

vampire bill

November 3rd, 2012
8:02 pm

I guess the bulldawg nation owes a lot to Shawn Williams who fired up his team with the callout. Big turnaround since getting smoked at SC. Who’d a thunk it? I’ve bashed the dawgs plenty and I’m still not a Mark Richt fan but GO DAWGS

FB

November 3rd, 2012
8:03 pm

Any word on Marlon Brown? That tackle was bush-league. Norte Dame should fall for that WEAK performance.

Texas Dawg

November 3rd, 2012
8:05 pm

Go Dawgs. Miss played a good first half. Great teams make the adjustments. That is what UGA did.
enough said

ZinoDawg

November 3rd, 2012
8:07 pm

Yeah Dawgs!!!!

GATA!!!!

CHDawg

November 3rd, 2012
8:08 pm

FB, I noticed that, too. I would be surprised if the SEC doesn’t suspend the guy for blatantly wrenching Brown’s knee after the whistle. I don’t know what he was thinking! Ole Miss played us hard, but after spotting them 10 we came back with 37 unanswered points…not bad.

tell me again

November 3rd, 2012
8:11 pm

We need to realize that we will not have the luxury of having a quarter to wake up against the SEC West champion – in one quarter of sleepwalking we will be behind by 21. Good game and nice adjustments at the half……Ole Miss played with a lot of moxie but they were out talented all the way around – when Murray is on he’s on – but when he’s not – scary – he just needs to be STEADY. Nice win – one more to go and that will be TWO SEC East championships in a row – who is it you want to fire?

Really?

November 3rd, 2012
8:15 pm

Nkemdiche made a statement today and it was Georgia made the right decision in not pandering to his crybaby ass.

Really?

November 3rd, 2012
8:18 pm

All the bama boys and texties have said all season the head to head common opponent comparison is the best way to measure teams. Hmmmmm who played better against ole miss?

Cornelius Washington's Neck Brace

November 3rd, 2012
8:26 pm

just win baby…..you have a chance to win a championship if you beat Auburn…..Georgia Sputhern will be practice for the Techies……no season is complete without beating the nerds.

Pug

November 3rd, 2012
8:26 pm

Great win for my Dawgs! The only person I have an issue with every game is John Theus. He can’t block and if anyone jumps offsides, it’s him.

Smitty

November 3rd, 2012
8:27 pm

Here we go!!!!

Watkinsvilldawg

November 3rd, 2012
8:37 pm

Hey Shame. Didn’t GT have to forfeit games because of cheating. It must suck to be bad and cheat.

Jerry Seinfeld

November 3rd, 2012
8:39 pm

“Gators will chomp on some leg *umpers this weekend. Trailer parks will burn, and message boards will burn hotter!!”

“You Dawg fans just have no idea how good Florida actually is. This is probably going to be ugly. I can’t even imagine the comments on this board next week. This is a very special Gator team having a very special season, and windy, weird weather is only going to favor their brutally physical style. Suggest you Dawg fans bring a change of clothes for the drive home.

Even Georgia Tech fans got a laugh in before the game:

“Oooooh man! It sure is gonna be fun watching Fla. stomp the dogs”

And this post before the Auburn game last year was priceless: That’s right. Knock those Dawgfucking pricks out of the SEC. This is Auburn Country. WAAARRRRR EAGLE HEY!!!!!! Btw piss on Boise State!”

DILLIGAF

November 3rd, 2012
8:41 pm

The shame of UGA:

“Mark Richt is the architect of this situation” “Unfortunately for UGA fans, he’s not remotely in the same league with the top coaches in the SEC.”

You must be proud of your ignorance of college football because you don’t know what you’re talking about. Not only is Richt one of the elite coaches in the SEC, he also is one of the elite coaches in college football and fourth best in the country in winning percentage among active coaches.

Now run along and jump on the sweat bee blog and gloat about your big win over a team with a linebacker at quarterback.

GATA!
UGA85′

Jerry Seinfeld

November 3rd, 2012
8:41 pm

So maybe you should think before you post. Because unless you are Alabama, talking trash before a game often makes you look like an ignorant fool.

bulldawg rental player

November 3rd, 2012
8:44 pm

who in Athens chose Theus over Vadal Alexander…Alexander is a BEAST NOW…Theus is a TURNSTILE NOW!!!!!!!

bulldawg rental player

November 3rd, 2012
8:45 pm

Kevin Minter is TWICE the LB rent-a-dawg Jones will ever be…

Jerry Seinfeld

November 3rd, 2012
8:46 pm

Because Richt is not one of the five best coaches in the country, we should all demand he be fired? Yeah, the team looks terrible right now. Go dawgs!