The Bulldogs will have to settle for the biggest catch of Saturday's 31-24 win over Florida. Fred Gibson made a stabbing, one-handed grab on a pass from David Greene for a 15-yard touchdown that finally stopped the Gators' comeback momentum with 8:37 left in the game.
"I couldn't believe I caught it to tell you the truth," Gibson
"Greenie did a great job of throwing it where it needed to be, and I
just made a great catch."
Coach Mark Richt had an obstructed view of the play... and a very bad
feeling when Greene let go of the ball.
"I thought it was a certain interception when David threw it,"
said. "Then they said he caught it. I couldn't believe it."
Safety Cory Bailey was waiting for the ball to come to him when Gibson
grabbed it right in front of his eyes. Florida coach Ron Zook said
Bailey was playing too deep and should have come forward and hit Gibson.
Gibson, a senior who originally committed to Florida, agreed.
"I can't believe the safety didn't take the ball and go to the other
end," Gibson said. "I was looking at the ball, and the safety was
looking at me."
The drive came after Gibson had dropped a third down pass on the
previous drive that would have resulted in a first down and on the heels
of two drops by senior wide receiver Reggie Brown. After Gibson's drop,
Greene convened a meeting of the three seniors on the sideline.
"We said, 'Look, we're seniors. It's our job to make these plays. We
have to do it,'" Greene said. "We stepped up when we had to."
Greene and Brown started it off. Georgia took possession at its own
15-yard line after Florida had just scored to cut Georgia's lead to
24-21 and take every bit of the momentum.
The Bulldogs' first play on the ensuing drive looked like a busted
play. Greene expected a blitz and called a short route, but the Gators
dropped back into coverage, leaving Greene nowhere to throw the ball. He
scrambled to his left almost to the sideline before Brown came free
behind the Florida defense.
"Reggie ran a slant and he just kept on going," said Greene.
Greene found Brown for a 51-yard gain to get Georgia into Florida
territory. Five plays later, Gibson caught his scoring pass.
Until then, it had been a quiet night for Gibson. He and Brown each
had five catches. Brown outgained him 90 yards to 59.
Greene finished 15 of 23 for 255 yards, three touchdowns and no
"We talked a lot about our seniors playing the best games of their
lives," Richt said. "We felt like if they did, we'd have a pretty good
chance of winning."
Not a Huge Game, but a Huge Catch
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