UPDATED: After beating Auburn to win East, Bulldogs focus sights on bigger goals

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Georgia's Christian Robinson (45) and Devin Bowman (37) celebrate among their fans, who came to Auburn in large numbers in anticipation of clincing the SEC East. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Georgia's Christian Robinson (45) and Devin Bowman (37) celebrate among their fans, who came to Auburn in large numbers in anticipation of clincing the SEC East. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

AUBURN, Ala. – The Dogs are back in the Dome. But that’s not the end-goal this time around.

With a resounding 38-0 win over Auburn Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium, No. 5-ranked Georgia clinched a berth in the SEC Championship game for a second year in a row.

The Bulldogs (9-1, 7-1 SEC) closed out the conference season tied with Florida (9-1, 7-1) as SEC Eastern Division champions. But they will represent the East  in the Georgia Dome on Dec. 1 based on their 17-9 win over the Gators on Oct. 27. South Carolina (8-2, 6-2), which beat Georgia 35-7 on Oct. 6, finishes third in the East.

“This feels great,” senior safety Bacarri Rambo said. “This is what all the seniors and everybody that stayed out of the NFL came back for. We still haven’t finished. This is just a ticket to the Dome. Now we’ve got to go there and handle business.”

Said sophomore wideout Malcolm Mitchell: “This is everything we worked for. But, then again, we’ve got to remember getting there is not enough. We’ve got to win it. So we’ve still got a lot prepare for.”

Georgia lost to LSU 42-10 after leading 10-0 in the SEC title game last year. Coach Mark Richt was asked if he thought the Bulldogs might have a better shot this time around.

“We’ll just see,” he said. “I’m not going to predict what’s going to happen. I’ll just say we want to play better this time. Atlanta is not the end of the road, we hope.”

The Bulldogs will play Alabama in the SEC title game if the Crimson Tide can beat Auburn on Nov. 24. No. 1-ranked Bama (9-1, 6-1) was upset by No. 15 Texas A&M Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala. It will be the fifth time Georgia has played in the SEC Championship game since Mark Richt became its coach in 2001. The Bulldogs also won the SEC championship in 2005 and played in the title game in 2003 and 2011. The Bulldogs had never played in the title game before Richt’s arrival.

Richt said the Bulldogs “didn’t get caught up in” what was happening up the road in Tuscaloosa.

“We’re just very thankful to have the opportunity to go back to Atlanta,” Richt said in a room outside Georgia’s victorious locker room. “We’re excited about winning the East, there’s no doubt about that. Be we know there’s still a lot of work to be done.”

Georgia clinched this berth the same place it clinched its first one under Richt. It was the 10th anniversary of the game in which quarterback David Greene hit Michael Johnson with a fourth-quarter touchdown pass on fourth-and-14 in 2002. Georgia went on to win the overall SEC title that season.

Saturday was the 12th time the Bulldogs clinched an SEC title against Auburn, which they for the 116th time in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. It was Georgia’s sixth win in the last seven games in the series and ties it overall at 54-54-8.

“We’re not satisfied,” senior wide receiver Tavarres King said. “We know we’ve got bigger things ahead of us. We’re not going to look past Georgia Southern or Georgia Tech, but we know what lies ahead. We want to win that thing. Last year I think getting there was kind of our destiny. This year it’s win it. We want to be SEC champions and hopefully that’s what will happen.”

Murray quieted the crowd quickly. The Bulldogs’ junior completed his first 10 passes of the game and threw for 186 yards in the first half, with touchdown passes to three different receivers – Chris Conley, Malcolm Mitchell and King (who was wearing the No. 15 jersey of injured teammate Marlon Brown). The Bulldogs scored on their first four possessions of the game on drives of 76, 80, 64 and 90 yards. Including last year’s four-TD passing performance, Murray is 32-of-42 for 432 yards and 7 TDs the last two seasons against Auburn.

Georgia also got 100-yard rushing games and single touchdowns from freshman tailbacks Todd Gurley (11-116) and Keith Marshall (8-105). Marshall had a 62-yard scoring run in the third quarter.

Georgia’s defense did its part. They entered the fourth quarter having allowed just one touchdown and four field goals in the last three games. The Tigers had only 34 yards rushing on 19 carries and 153 total yards when the starters exited the game early in the fourth quarter.

Jarvis Jones added two sacks in the first half, giving him 10.5 on the season, 3.5 short of the school record. Safety Bacarri Rambo had an interception, giving him 15 for his career.

“We’re playing some good ball right now,” Jones said. “We’ve just got to keep doing it every week to be the best.

This year’s clincher was considerably easy for the Bulldogs. They kicked off to open the game, then scored on their first four offensive possessions to build a 28-0 first-half lead. Georgia didn’t punt until there was just 30 seconds remaining in the first half, and only then after tight end Arthur Lynch dropped what would have been a first-down catch.

“We knew we had to come in here and try to get on them early and try to put some points on the board,” said Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, who had completed 18-of-24 passes for 208 yards and 3 touchdowns when he left the game late in the third quarter” Trying to get their fans out of it was the biggest thing. When you play away games, if you can get the crowd out of the game that’s huge. We were able to do that early and make some big plays.”

The dynamics are decidedly different on The Plains. Just two years after winning a national championship, Auburn’s Gene Chizik is coaching amid multiple reports that he will be dismissed at season’s end.

The discontent is understandable. The Tigers fell to 2-8 for the first time in 60 years and dropped to 0-7 in SEC play, also for the the first time since 1952. The Tigers were 1-7 in league play under Terry Bowden in 1998 and 0-6 in Sonny Barfield’s last season in 1980.

“I don’t entertain those thoughts,” Chizik said of his tenure possibly being over. “I have only one quest . . . and that is getting our seniors ready to play their last game at home and trying to get a win.”

The mood could not have been more different in the visiting locker room. There the Bulldogs were daring to dream about winning the SEC championship three weeks hence. The All-American Jones was asked why he thinks it might be different this time.

“We’ve matured since last year,” he said. “I think we understand the game better. We got that feeling, that taste of the SEC last year. We know we’re capable of beating any team from the West. We’re focused and we’ve got goals. Last year our goal was to make it to the SEC. This year we’re looking past that. We don’t want to just get there. We want to win it.”

109 comments Add your comment

J Clay

November 10th, 2012
10:11 pm

Before all the haters get on here, congrats to Coach Richt and the team.

Ron O

November 10th, 2012
10:14 pm

Bama here we come with Jarvis football

The Auditor

November 10th, 2012
10:15 pm

I feel bad for Vad Lee in two weeks… Coach PJ will probably be pitching the idea that keeping it within 35 points would be a moral victory. Tech better be careful, because if they keep down this path, Georgia State is going to supplant them as the 2nd best team in the state. It’s great to be a Georgia Bulldawg!

dreamandWonder

November 10th, 2012
10:16 pm

Congrats Dawgs! Look out Tech. you’re next

Steve Spurrier

November 10th, 2012
10:17 pm

Only East Division games should count.

LDawg

November 10th, 2012
10:18 pm

The Bulldogs will play Alabama in the SEC title game if it can beat Auburn on Nov. 24. Huh? Didn’t we just beat them?

MA English 75

November 10th, 2012
10:18 pm

Amen!!! Go Dawgs!!!!!

Outer Banks Dawg

November 10th, 2012
10:18 pm

SEC East Champs!

Pj

November 10th, 2012
10:18 pm

Go you hairy Dawgs! Richt haters can shampoo my crotch

Sunbury Ga dawg

November 10th, 2012
10:19 pm

Hats off to you guys, Now lets win the state championship and beat Bama in the dome!

Jumbo B

November 10th, 2012
10:20 pm

Go Dawgs. You did the Bulldog Nation proud tonight.

Steve Spurrier

November 10th, 2012
10:20 pm

No wait. This year, only head-to-head games in the East Division should count. We beat UGA, so we should be champs.

back door johnny

November 10th, 2012
10:21 pm

Georgia southern is the second best team in the state thank you!

AJ

November 10th, 2012
10:21 pm

UGA just won the ONLY division in the NATION with 3 TOP 10 RANKED TEAMS.

If UGA beats ALABAMA, UGA HAS to get into the BCS Championship.

No way Notre Dame, with their 5 wins of 7 or LESS points, is better than UGA.

No way K St or Oregon, who play 1 top 5 ranked teams, where UGA plays 3 are better than UGA.

If LSU got in with 2 losses, Bama got in last year wiht 1 loss, it would be GROSSLY UNFAIR to keep UGA out, especially when UGA plays in the ONLY dvision with THREE TOP TEN RANKED TEAMS.

back door johnny

November 10th, 2012
10:22 pm

Where are the Bama trolls? hello…….hello…….

jlew

November 10th, 2012
10:24 pm

Solid overall performance! Go Dawgs!

Snoop

November 10th, 2012
10:26 pm

Great job, Dawgs! Think of what mght have been if it weren’t for Richt and Bobo…

AJ

November 10th, 2012
10:28 pm

uga AND k sT ARE THE only 2 TEAMS IN THE COUNTRY TO RANK IN THE TOP 20 IN SCORING OFFENSE, and SCORING DEFENSE.

Cornelius Washington's Neck Brace

November 10th, 2012
10:29 pm

How bout them Dawgs! Go to Hades all you Richt haters…..it’s not a perfect season but we have a chance to win the conference…..we still have the triple option practice game and then Georgia Tech which is actually the BIGGEST GAME of the season…..it’s been a good year….weak schedule but play the schedule we’re given.

Frankly

November 10th, 2012
10:33 pm

Steve Spurrier

November 10th, 2012
10:20 pm

No wait. This year, only head-to-head games in the East Division should count. We beat UGA, so we should be champs.
____________________________________________________

Coach Superior is always good for a laugh.

1969 Graduate

November 10th, 2012
10:33 pm

Congratulations to the team for winning, and for all the impressive improvements over the course of this season. Let’s keep improving, beat Alabama, etc., but let’s not overlook our remaining games. Beating Tech is never a given.

Congratulations also to Texas A & M. You guys have had a great first year in the SEC, and played extremely well. You’ve showed us what it takes to win over Alabama, too.

Go, Georgia Bulldogs!

AJ

November 10th, 2012
10:34 pm

LSU beat Auburn 12 to 10. Auburn is better than their record. And no, UNTIL UGA, shut them out.

UGA could have scored 60, but took Murray out, which was a nice gesture of sportsmanship.

Outer Banks Dawg

November 10th, 2012
10:35 pm

I am ready for the NCAA playoff. What’s amazing to me is that Texas A & M is playing like the hottest team in the country after 2 early losses in close games. They have no shot at any sort of title. Georgia playing good ball. I love it when we get a shot to win it at the Dome. Win that one, and Sugar falls from the sky. Tell me, Alabama can’t be beaten?

Dawglasville

November 10th, 2012
10:35 pm

Great win. Total team effort. Cool that King wore Marlon’s jersey. Good to see Samuel get some runs. LeMay is going to get a lot of work in practice over the next two weeks. What in the hell has happened to Van Gordor?

GB's Hamburgers

November 10th, 2012
10:36 pm

Murray threw behind receivers on the first three touchdowns, but they caught them anyway …. then he got on track and was very good. Good game all around. In garbage time it would be nice to see the other quarterbacks get a chance to run the offense. But instead they were used to shorten the game. We’re so conservative that we lose these opportunities to build depth. Can’t see a reason to keep playing the first team defense and then not even try to make first downs on offense. Richt chose not to embarrass them further but I keep remembering the 2010 game.

t rex

November 10th, 2012
10:36 pm

go you hairy dawgs—

Steve Spurrier

November 10th, 2012
10:36 pm

I forgot that UF beat us and that UGA beat UF – so what does that mean? Oh my head hurts…

AJ

November 10th, 2012
10:37 pm

When the playoffs get here, UGA will start stacking up Natl Champshp trophies, because the BIAS ANTI-UGA MEDIA won’t matter anymore.

Bitter dawgs fan

November 10th, 2012
10:38 pm

The trailer parks in –tusk-ur-looserville are uh burning

—Blhahahahahahahahaha—-what say you paul fne-bum

——-blahahahahahah——–johnny football—-hahahahahah

———–little used car salesman——hahahahahhahah

William Perry (The Fridge)

November 10th, 2012
10:38 pm

Any minute now those boys with those impressively low IQ’s will tell us what was wrong with CMR and Coach Bobo tonight.

Bitter dawgs fan

November 10th, 2012
10:39 pm

—roll tide—blahahahahahahahahahahahah

NCDawg

November 10th, 2012
10:43 pm

The Dawgs were on it early… I’ve never seen such a boring win. It was NO MAS from the second series on. Like the shutout. The score really doesn’t indicate how one sided this game was. Auburn cannot be digging getting dominated twp years in a row. Go Dawgs! Win out and beat Bama. Maybe something good will happen.

[...] is the original post: Bulldogs punch their ticket to Georgia Dome with resounding 38-0 win over Auburn ← Back to Home Tags: ala, arrival, bulldogs, coach, division, dome, focal, game, [...]

Roll Over Tide(HardTruth Soldier)

November 10th, 2012
10:48 pm

Roll Tide, Why you sooooooooooooooo quite tonight? Did your Day not turn out right? Bid man you been raising all that Hell, until you met Mr. Football Johnny Manzeil. Now you cower back into recluse mode, you were the prince, now your the Toad.Laughed at UGA, Funny when you thought we were a flop, tomorrow when the rankings come out we’ll be on top..of you Tide Roll, just remember Johnny and the Boys took your soul.

Outer Banks Dawg

November 10th, 2012
10:49 pm

It is unrealistic to think about a BCS title. Something crazy could happen, but I see Southern Cal beating Notre Dame the last week of the year. I can’t see anyone beating Oregon. Maybe Stanford, but I doubt it. Oregon runs Stanford and Oregon State outta the gym. K State looks great and has nobody left. So I’m betting on a KState vs Oregon title game. Georgia vs Alabama winner will go to the Sugar Bowl. I’d love to draw Notre Dame in that game and expose them.

Imagine Oregon vs. SEC Champ and K State vs Notre Dame in the 4 team BCS playoff. Then we could be getting excited about the National Title.

‘Our Team, Our Time, No Regrets’. We can’t regret that fateful nite in Columbia, because we are playing for the SEC Championship, which we all know is far more significant than the BCS. :-)

Go Dawgs! This team makes me very proud to be a Dawg! Way to go coaches and players! Our program is headed in a great direction!

Anybody think we should hire Chizik and his defensive staff? Wait…. Um… Let me think… no

This defense always makes me think about Bad Bad Leroy Brown….:-)

Dawgpooh

November 10th, 2012
10:50 pm

Love to see the Dawgs line up against Oregon and see if they could stop that offensive juggernaut. Probably will never happen, but oh what a sweet game that would be.

Roll Tide with Pride!!!

November 10th, 2012
10:52 pm

Congrats on winning the SEC east and beating Auburn.
Our loss today hurts the SEC’s chances to make the bcs title game.
Sorry we let the conference down.
TAMU played great and congrats to them. They earned it.

As for our matchup, BAMA will win this one handily in the 4th. UGA’s Oline is not elite. Murray chokes in big games. Both Prostyle offenses and 3/4 defenses. Bama will win the trenches and have superior coaching.
Sorry Dawgs, just not happening.

Sec top 6
1. BAMA
2. LSU
3. TAMU
4. UGA
5. Usce/FLORIDA

Outer Banks Dawg

November 10th, 2012
10:54 pm

Baddest man in the whole damn town…. (#29, #18, #9, #36, #5)

HardTruth Soldier

November 10th, 2012
10:56 pm

Tide people, Georgia Fan here, D Day is coming, and your weakness has been exposed. Once you looked invincible, now you look well.. Human again. Your gonna play a team, that like, 2007 has crunk up and are in steam roll mode.Bama, our house, our rules. See you in December, and we won’t be passing out Christmas gifts, but we will pass out one thing……….PAINNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!

RedandBlackDAWG

November 10th, 2012
10:57 pm

teve Spurrier

November 10th, 2012
10:17 pm

Sounds like another case of bad heartburn from sour grapes to me. Once again your team is 3rd in the division, and the whole seasons games still count, in deciding who wins the conference title.

Lakedawg

November 10th, 2012
10:57 pm

Old blaqckout, crimson 75, roll tide, bc , big red and the rest of the gang are back home in lower bammer crying in their mooshine.

RedandBlackDAWG

November 10th, 2012
11:00 pm

Roll Tide with Pride!!!

November 10th, 2012
10:52 pm

That’s why fans of teams don’t play or decide the outcome of the games. The teams will decide the outcome, and as was proven today, “On Any Given Saturday”, one team can lose to another. You might want to wait until after the SECCG before you start celebrating.

Outer Banks Dawg

November 10th, 2012
11:01 pm

Dawgs will scorch Alabama secondary. Roll Tide… Your defense doesnt like having to play that up tempo style. Makes substituting difficult an neutralizes your depth advantage. Well that’s just our game… I’m your huckleberry. You got lucky last week, exposed today. we got the Blueprint… Good luck running the ball against our Front 7. I like our D just as much as yours, and I like our O better. This is the Dawgs SEC Championship year.

HardTruth Soldier

November 10th, 2012
11:03 pm

Roll Tide w/ Pride,
Texas A&M Feels pride, we feel disrespected, we coming for ya’ll and a wake up to shake up the BCS.

flo-ri-duh

November 10th, 2012
11:03 pm

UGA shut down their offense half way through the 3rd quarter or it would have been 58 – 0′ Personally I hop Auburn keeps Chizik and gives him an extension.

westtexasdawg

November 10th, 2012
11:08 pm

Thanks Roll. I think you should have made TAMU as no. 1. Rest we will see at the champ. game

UGA Dumbass

November 10th, 2012
11:09 pm

Is this Nick Fairely’s fault too? You bunch of whining babies. UGA my soldier boy.

drbasic1

November 10th, 2012
11:14 pm

@roll tide with pride

you put yourselves first after A&M just beat you…shows your bias…your top six are only a figment of your imagination…well at least you still have your fantasy……as for your jibberish about Bamas superior o line over the dawgs, well guess we shall see, but again, i think you are in your own little bubble of a fantasy world….good day

Hank Hill

November 10th, 2012
11:15 pm

Dogs are headed to the Dome, and the Aggies proved that Bama can be beaten.

Dawg Whisperer

November 10th, 2012
11:16 pm

Roll back the Tide is more like it. How is that A&M beat the Bammers a few hours ago but Alabama is better than them? Bammer has become Bummer and we can thank Johnny Football for exposing the Tide as nothing more than a big splash.