Gators Get Huge OT Win in Jacksonville

After coming within yards of winning the game on a Will Hill interception return, it turned into a redemption story for field goal kicker Chas Henry. His overtime field goal gave the Gators a 34-31 victory over Georgia in the first overtime game in the history of the series.

"We've had some great victories around here," head coach Urban Meyer said on his post-game radio show. "I don't want to get over dramatic, but that was as good as we've had here."

After the first Florida drive of the game, it looked like more of the same for the field goal kicker. Janoris Jenkins intercepted Aaron Murray on the first play of the game to give Florida the ball on Georgia's 29-yard line. The offense couldn't punch it in, and Henry missed a 42-yard field goal. It was his fourth straight miss this season.

He would snap that streak with a 34-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.

The 37-yard kick in overtime went right down the middle of the uprights, and the celebration began. Henry ended up sitting on the shoulders of his Florida teammates while the team sang the fight song.

"Chas Henry is the perfect guy," Meyer said. "Here's a guy that's been beaten inside and out. He shouldn't be doing what he's doing (kicking field goals)."

The victory, which gave Florida their 18th win in the last 21 meetings against Georgia, came in Florida's victory overtime game since a 2005 victory over Vanderbilt.

The Florida offense sputtered out of the gates, putting up minus-8 yards in the first two drives of the game. The usual first quarter struggles were present, and it took until the fourth drive and the second quarter for the offense to break out.

Trey Burton fumbled on the first play of the drive, but Maurice Hurt recovered it for a five-yard gain that would loom large.

John Brantley went 4-for-4 for 41 yards on the drive, with three completions going to Burton for 29 yards. Chris Rainey ran 20 yards up the middle to give the Gators an early 7-0 lead. The 91-yard drive was Florida's longest of the season.

The offensive changes came in tempo and personnel. The Gators ran a no-huddle for a majority of the first half and had little time between the end of one play and the snap of the next. Meyer credited Florida wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni for the new offense.

"We're committed to this tempo thing we're going to do," Meyer said. "We're committed to being balanced."

They also split snaps at quarterback, this time three ways. John Brantley went 16-for-25 and threw for 193 yards and an interception. Jordan Reed ran the ball three times for 19 yards in the first half, but he didn't see any snaps at quarterback in the second half.

Burton was the difference. He ran the ball 17 times for 110 yards and two touchdowns. The big run came on a 51-yard touchdown rush that gave the Gators a 31-24 lead in the fourth quarter, even though Georgia would tie it up on a 15-yard touchdown reception by A.J. Green that would send the game to overtime.

"I hope he's gone," Meyer said of the draft-eligible junior. "I hope he decides to leave for the pros."

The 51-yard rush for Burton is the longest of his career, with the previous being 19 yards.

Florida put up 450 yards of offense, with 231 coming on the ground. Chris Rainey touched the ball 18 times on offense for 93 yards and a touchdown.

The success of the Florida offense gave the Gators a 21-7 lead going into the half. When they came back out for the second half, the pace of the offense slowed down. Georgia jumped on Florida's vulnerability and outscored the Gators 24-10 in the second half.

Georgia tried to impose their will on the ground in the first half. Washaun Ealey had five carries for 24 yards in the first three Georgia drives, but when the Bulldogs need a conversion, they couldn't get it through the air. Murray started the game 0-4 with the interception.

Murray hit Tavarres King on a 63-yard touchdown with 12:22 remaining in the second quarter, tying the game. The touchdown was Murray's first completion of the game.

The Georgia run game wasn't overly successful in the first half because Murray wasn't throwing the ball well enough to keep the defense honest. Without the long touchdown, Murray is 4-13 for 60 yards and two interceptions.

Georgia stopped the Florida offense after their score that tied it at seven and drove down the field with the momentum. That changed with 8:00 to go in the second quarter. Murray sold a play-action fake and turned around to see Ahmad Black blitzing. He was sacked and lost the football in the process. Jelani Jenkins picked the ball up and added a 13-yard return, giving the Gators the ball at the Georgia 29-yard line.

Four penalties tried to slow the drive down, including a holding on Deonte Thompson, two false starts by Maurice Hurt, false start by Jordan Reed.

"It's not the appropriate time to be critical, but we had stupid penalties," Meyer said. "They cost us a lot of yards."

Thompson redeemed himself by making a 21-yard catch on 3rd-and-19 to convert and give the Gators the ball at the two-yard line. Thompson went over Georgia cornerback Sanders Cummings to make the play.

Jeff Demps punched it in from the two-yard line on the next play, giving Florida a 14-7 advantage.

Georgia tried to answer before the half, but all they did was allow Florida to pad the lead.

Murray threw a pass over the middle that went through the hands of tight end Aaron White. The ball fell into Will Hill's hands, and he added a 13-yard return, giving Florida the ball at Georgia's 41- yard line.

Brantley sold a play-action fake and hit Demps deep for a 40-yard reception that put the Gators down at the one-yard line. Burton punched the ball into the end zone on the next play, moving Florida's advantage to 21-7.

After Henry's fourth-quarter field goal gave the Gators an eight-point lead, the Florida defense looked gassed. The first two Georgia drives combined for 21 plays and nine points. The lack of energy showed.

It didn't take a long drive for the Bulldogs to get in the end zone this time.

In fact, it only took four plays for Georgia to drive 74 yards, ending on a 29-yard touchdown reception for Orson Charles. Murray then ran the ball up the middle, converting for two points and tying the game at 24.

The Bulldogs have turned the ball over 12 times in the last three games against Florida. In those same three games, Florida only has one turnover, and it came on a Brantley pass that was intercepted by Branden Smith in the first quarter.

The Georgia starting quarterback has thrown three interceptions in the last three games against the Gators. Matthew Stafford (2008), Joe Cox (2009) and Murray (2010) have struggled against the Gators.

Florida will travel to Nashville to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores on November 6. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:21 EST.
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