Dawgs and Gators to fight for crazy SEC East

ATHENS – It's fitting in what has been a schizophrenic season for Georgia that the Bulldogs made maybe their most progress of the year during a bye week.

While Georgia rested this weekend, the active teams in the SEC's Eastern Division all performed just as the Bulldogs would have picked if they could. Heading into the eighth week of the year, five Eastern Division teams have two losses. The only outsider is Vanderbilt, which has three losses but which did Georgia's bidding by knocking off South Carolina on Saturday.

"It's a wild year isn't it?" Bulldogs head coach Richt said Sunday. "It's just a wild year."

Georgia (5-2, 3-2), which moved to No. 20 in the Associated Press poll, faces No. 9 Florida (5-2, 3-2) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Jacksonville, Fla. The Bulldogs and Gators are tied with South Carolina for first place in the division. Tennessee and Kentucky are one-half game behind.

"We kind of thought (it would be this kind of season) going into the year," Florida head coach Urban Meyer said. "There was no real team that stood out."

Four Eastern Division teams are ranked in the Top 25. No conference in the country has more. Georgia can win its topsy-turvy side of the SEC if it wins its remaining four conference games, and South Carolina and Tennessee each lose one league game, but Richt isn't interested in thinking ahead.

"You know, I'm taking this baby one at a time," he said. "I've quit worrying about all that other stuff. Let's worry about who we're going to play this week, and that's it. I'm done looking too far in the future this year."

Georgia, of course, has its hands full this week. Florida has won 15 of the last 17 games played in this series.

"A rivalry game needs to be more equal in who wins and who loses which it hasn't been lately," Richt said. "Florida has been dominating of late."

Gators quarterback Tim Tebow, who leads the SEC with 327 yards of total offense per game, suffered a bruised right, non-throwing shoulder in Florida's 45-37 win over Kentucky on Saturday. He will be limited this week in practice but will play against Georgia, Meyer said.

For Georgia, linebackers Brandon Miller (calf) and Marcus Washington (shoulder) each expect to play. Wide receiver Mikey Henderson (hamstring) will play unless he suffers a setback this week, and Richt is hopeful wide receiver A.J. Bryant (knee) will play.

Senior running back Thomas Brown (collarbone) will not return in time, Richt said.

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