Dawgs Run Loose in EverBank

JACKSONVILLE - It wasn't too pretty, but Georgia escaped EverBank Field with its third consecutive victory over rival Florida.

The plethora of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties:

Offsetting unsportsmanlike conduct penalties were one of the major themes during Saturday's game.

Both teams were caught up in a scramble of unsportsmanlike penalty flags on at least three separate occasions. The Dawgs were just thankful each flag offset the other.

"It was tough, but seeing that a lot of them were offset helped us out a little bit," Ray Drew said. "That's just because of the intensity of the game. If you go out and you see someone you dislike, just hate with all your heart, it's going to be hard for you not to say something to them."

Richt has been around the game long enough to see games of this magnitude. It's not always a negative sign to see your players that fired up.

"These guys are competitors. It's a bitter rivalry," Richt said. "We wanted their blood pumping and we wanted them to be able to compete fiercely. It's just a highly competitive game."

Murray earns third win over rival Florida:

Tampa native Aaron Murray almost decided to play at Florida coming out of Plant High, but decided to win three games against the home school instead.

Saturday's 23-20 victory over the Gators earned Murray and teammates some bragging rights over Georgia squads of the past 20 years.

"Three in a row is awesome. It's a great feeling," Murray said. "This is just such a great game. It's a true blessing and it's a great feeling to win three in a row; something that hasn't happened in 24 years and hopefully next year we'll keep it up."

Not only did Georgia win, but it won in familiar fashion.

"We're used to it. We're used to playing in tight ball games," Murray said. "Every week it seems like something where it's coming down to the very last drive."

Jonathon Rumph's playing time:

Rumph played against Florida, and while his impact wasn't easily recognizable that doesn't make it any less significant.

The important area for Rumph now is seeing the field often. The junior transfer must adapt to the speed of conference play.

Garrison Smith dominates Florida's o-line:

Saying Smith played well against Florida would be an understatement.

Smith was ferocious in his final stand against Florida. The senior finished with nine tackles; just two less than team leader Ramik Wilson. Smith also notched 2.5 sacks for a loss of 12 yards.

"I'm in tears right now because that game means so much to me. I just wanted to win," Smith said. "These are tears of passion for this game. I'm just out there rallying the troops; offense and defense. I'm just glad to come out with a win."

Georgia's special teams made changes, improvements:

Georgia's special teams didn't have room for error during Saturday's matchup.

For starters, this week's ongoing battle for first team long snapper for punts ended in a victory for Nathan Theus. Theus, a Jacksonville native, started Saturday, but wasn't forced to snap a punt to Collin Barber until the second quarter. Some snaps were a little high, but didn't prove too costly for Georgia.

"Nate [Nathan] Theus did a great job going back in there as our punt snapper," Richt said. "I think he did a nice job."

That didn't keep Georgia's special teams from producing a scare, though. Barber's post-safety punt was taken back to the 50 yard line by Marcus Roberson in the third quarter.

On the other hand, Marshall Morgan's accuracy left no room for criticism. He hit on three of three field goal attempts with a long of 49. Also a Florida native, Morgan didn't seem to be feeling too much pressure on Saturday.

"It's just a great feeling, you know," Morgan said. "It's just really humbling. I can't wait to get back to Athens and talk to all my friends from Florida."

Morgan also contributed five of Georgia's kickoffs, averaging 52.8 yards per kick for a total of 264 yards. Georgia's strategy included more pooch kicks, which worked in its favor.

"We did a lot of different things on kickoff as you can see," Morgan said. "Trying to get it to different guys, play safe and play smart, but it worked."

Dawg Post Top Stories