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Converted Florida Gators punter Chas Henry, taking up kicking duties on the fly due to emergency, kicked the gamewinning overtime field goal against the Georgia Bulldogs. It was the second successful field goal of Henry’s college career, and came after he missed a pair in the Gators’ last game against the Mississippi St. Bulldogs.
The real question, of course: what happens when a punter finds himself the biggest hero in the first-ever overtime game in the history of the Southeast’s greatest sports rivalry? And yes this merits all those prepositional phrases. After making the kick, Henry skips around, trots about five yards, and settles on a hands-on-hips Superman pose as Gator teammates mob him, a sea of white and blue trailing him on a victory lap around the stadium.
What, no b-boy stance? No Heisman pose? Maybe an ice-dancing ritual involving a pirouette in Mark Richt’s direction, because I’m Chas Henry and I’m too cold to get iced, God bless? Next time, Chas, let’s remember to teach Jacksonville how to Dougie.
The fourth quarter of the Georgia-Florida game will go down as one of the better quarters in the series as both teams went back-and-forth as far as scoring. The Georgia Bulldogs got the scoring started with a Washaun Ealey 4-yard touchdown run to cut the Florida Gators lead t21-16. Florida was able to answer with a Chas Henry 34-yard field goal to put the Gators up by eight.
Florida had an answer for that, with a Trey Burton 51-yard touchdown run to put the Gators up once again. But Murray had another response for Florida with a 15-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Green to tie the game at 31 and that score stood going into overtime.
Georgia got possession first in overtime and it was not a good series because Murray threw his third interception of the game to Will Hill. That led to a Henry 37-yard field goal and the Gators come out on top in a thriller.
It's a disappointing loss for the Bulldogs, but they did everything they could to get back in the game and try to win after being down 21-7 at halftime. It goes to show turnovers can be the difference between a win and a loss, and for the Bulldogs, they committed too many turnovers and it came back to hurt them at the end.
For the first time in its history, the Georgia-Florida game went into overtime . . . and for the first time in his head-coaching career, Mark Richt lost an OT game. Aaron Murray got picked off by Will Hill on 3rd down in Georgia’s opening overtime possession (and the Dawgs just barely avoided losing the game on a pick-six when Hill turned it around and Tavarres King managed to tackle him just short of the goal line). In their ensuing possession, Florida only gained five yards, but that was all they needed to put Chas Henry in position for a successful 37-yard field goal.
Hell of a game. Hell of an ending. Hell of a lot of drinking Georgia fans will be doing tonight (myself included) to dull the sting of this one.
Both defenses appear to have punched their time cards for the day — after a thrilling Brandon Boykin kickoff return to the Florida 43, Georgia marched down the field and scored on 3rd-and-goal from the 15 as Aaron Murray launched one over the middle to A.J. Green. That was only Green’s fourth catch of the day — Florida’s pass defense, perhaps their team’s biggest strength this season, has been quite effective against Georgia’s top receiver today — but we’re still tied with 4:36 left to go.
Have we gotten ourselves into a last-team-scores-wins situation? Georgia only needed four plays to tie the game on their last drive; Florida only needed five to retake the lead, with the score coming on a 51-yard sprint from QB Trey Burton that’s by far Burton’s longest rush of the season. The drive only burned 1:44 off the clock, though, so Georgia can hold out hope of facing a tired Florida defense as they retake the field on offense with seven minutes and ten seconds left on the clock.
Georgia only needed four plays to answer Florida’s field goal, and appropriately enough, all four of them were propelled by the arm of Aaron Murray, who has battled back phenomenally from a lousy first half. Orson Charles caught a pass over the middle for 29 yards to get into the end zone, and then Murray took it in himself for the two-point conversion that tied the game. Florida gets it back with 9:14 left in the game.
Florida has been having more than its share of field-goal troubles lately due to Caleb Sturgis’ back injury — they missed a 42-yarder after being set up with prime position on Aaron Murray’s pick on the first play of the game — but punter Chas Henry hooked a 34-yarder just inside the uprights after a drive that started near midfield thanks to a 43-yard kickoff return from Chris Rainey. Georgia gets the ball back down 8 with 10:58 remaining.
Not a lot of scoring from both teams, but that is a good thing for Georgia as they defense came up with two key stops and the offense was able to get three points to cut the Florida Gators lead to 11.
Florida opened the half with possession and drove the ball to the Georgia 27-yard line, but could do nothing with as they were stopped on fourth-and-12. They went for it because they were out of field goal range and it was too close to punt.
On the ensuing drive, the Georgia Bulldogs put together a 13-play, 65-yard drive which led to a Blair Walsh FG to cut the lead to 11. Florida went three-and-out on their next drive which led to Georgia to have possession to end the third quarter.
It's seems Georgia has calmed down and staring to play their game, they are keeping everything in front of them on defense and they did not turn the ball over on offense. Now the question is can they turn it up in the fourth quarter and continue to chip away the lead?
Has momentum shifted in the Bulldogs’ favor? After holding Florida to a three-and-out, the Dawgs went on a nicely executed drive that included a 30-yard pass to Tavarres King on third-and-long and culminated in a 4-yard Washaun Ealey TD run on the first play of the fourth quarter. Aaron Murray was picked on the two-point conversion attempt — his third of the day — but that still brings the Dawgs, who are playing with a newfound confidence, within a single score as the game hits the home stretch.
After stuffing Trey Burton on a 4th-and-12 (bwuh?), Georgia moved the ball down the field quite nicely, but Aaron Murray misfired to a fairly open A.J. Green in the end zone, so the Dawgs had to settle for a 28-yard Blair Walsh field goal. The drive had to have been a bit of a confidence-builder for the Dawgs, who ended the second quarter in poor fashion, but they’re still down by two scores and have just over 20 minutes of game time left to continue their comeback.
This is not the way the Georgia Bulldogs imagined this game would go. But then again, it has been like this the last two years. The one thing that has haunted the Bulldogs at the beginning of the season is turnovers, and it has come back to bite Georgia, as two turnovers by the Bulldogs turned into 14 points for the Florida Gators.
The first turnover came from Aaron Murray when he was sacked by Ahmad Black and as Murray was going down, he fumbled the ball and was recovered by Jelani Jenkins. That led to a Jeff Demps 2-yard touchdown run to put the Gators up 14-7.
The second turnover came on the next drive as Murray pass was intercepted by Will Hill. Florida wasted no time to put more points on the board as John Brantley threw a 40-yard to Demps which led to a Trey Burton 1-yard touchdown run to put the Gators up 21-7 before the half.
Georgia has not played a bad game, it's the turnovers that have put the Bulldogs in a hole. What they need to do is regroup, refocus and just play their game. If they can stop turning the ball over, they can get back in this game. But the players have to believe they can get back in the game because if they don't, it's going to be a long second half for Georgia.
Aaron Murray has notched his third turnover of the game — a pass attempt to Aron White that was tipped right into Will Hill’s breadbasket — and it didn’t take the Gators long to capitalize. A 40-yard pass to Jeff Demps was followed by a punch-in from Trey Burton, and Florida has opened up a two-touchdown lead. Georgia will have three and a half minutes remaining in the first half to respond.
Georgia appeared to have a nice little drive going midway through the second quarter — it even included a Carlton Thomas rush for 13 yards, his first carry of the game — but an Aaron Murray fumble, his second turnover of the afternoon, set Florida up at the UGA 29. From there it was a cavalcade of dysfunction, with Florida committing four penalties, but they converted a 3rd-and-19 to set up a 1st-and-goal, and Jeff Demps barreled in from the 2 to return the lead to the Gators.
While the passing game has just now clicked, the ground game has been doing just fine, thanks — Murray and running backs Caleb King and Washaun Ealey have combined for 74 rushing yards on 13 carries. King leads with five runs for 39 yards.
Things did not start off well for the Georgia Bulldogs as Aaron Murray's first pass of the game was picked off by Janoris Jenkins and that put the Gators in good position to put the first points on the board. However, the Florida Gators offense could do nothing with the turnover as Caleb Sturgis missed a 42-yard field goal and after the first two offensive series, the score remained at zero.
Georgia has had their opportunities to put points on the board, but Aaron Murray has struggled out of the gate. He went 0-for-5 passing along with the interception and the offense could not convert a third down. The running game did look solid as Caleb King and Washaun Ealey rushed for a combined 54 yards on nine carries.
The Bulldogs defense has played as good as you would like for them to play. Branden Smith picked off a John Brantley pass while Daryl Gamble and DeMarcus Dobbs each notched sacks. Let's see if they can keep this up in the second half.
The Gators’ first three drives produced a net of 12 yards, but the fourth went a little better, to say the least. Florida rumbled down the field and capped things off with a 20-yard run by newly reinstated Chris Rainey, and that put the Gators up 7-0 nineteen seconds into the second quarter. Brandon Boykin returned the ensuing kickoff to the 24, and Georgia will try to get something going from there.
Well, the game started off about as badly as it could have, as Janoris Jenkins jumped A.J. Green’s route and intercepted Aaron Murray on the game’s very first play from scrimmage. But the defense sacked up and threw the Gators for losses on two consecutive plays before Chas Henry (the Gators’ punter — Caleb Sturgis is out with a back injury) lined up for a 42-yard field goal. Which he missed. Disaster averted (for now), the Dawgs will start from their own 25.
It's almost game time and here are some last minute tidbits before kickoff.
-Almost everyone for Georgia made the trip except for linebacker Mike Gilliard who is suffering from a hamstring injury.
-Running back Washaun Ealey had his knee wrapped up and was warming up on the field. He will play but it looks like Caleb King will get the start.
-As far as the Florida roster goes, Chris Rainey will play and will split time between running back and wide receiver. Also Jeff Demps and Mike Gillelsee are 100 percent according to Florida head coach Urban Meyer, but kicker Caleb Sturgis is still out with a back injury.
-And for those of you who are expecting a uniform change from the Georgia Bulldogs, that probably won't happen, but the Florida Gators will wear their Nike Pro Combat uniforms which will be the first time this season they will dawn the new attire.
-And the last tidbit is former Bulldog and current Cleveland Browns receiver Mohamed Massaquoi is in Jacksonville for the game and will be on the sidelines to help the Bulldogs get a win. Massaquoi's team is off this week for those of you who were wondering why he's there when he has a game tomorrow.
A quick refresher on what today's Georgia Bulldogs game against the Florida Gators means for SEC East standings. Both teams trail South Carolina, and the 'Cocks hold a tiebreaker edge over the Bulldogs. That means if Georgia wins, they'll have to turn around and root for the Gators on Nov. 13, when Steve Spurrier heads to the Swamp. Unless you think Vandy can get it done on Nov. 6. Which you don't.
Either way, Georgia can afford zero more SEC losses from this morning on, a tall, strong, fast order that wears No. 2 on its navy-and-burnt-orange, Heisman-frontrunning jersey.
If Florida wins, the Dawgs are done, even if Tennessee manages to pull one out against the Gamecocks today, which isn't happening. A Gator win today means the winner of South Carolina vs. Florida likely wins the SEC East, assuming neither of those previously dismissed upsets happens. In this scenario, the Gamecocks can thus lock it up with two more SEC wins in general or a win over Florida.
(updated 10.24.2010 at 2:58 AM EDT)
|South Carolina Gamecocks||3||2||5||2|
|Louisiana||Sat 09/04||W 55 - 7|
|@ South Carolina||Sat 09/11||L 6 - 17|
|Arkansas||Sat 09/18||L 24 - 31|
|@ Mississippi St.||Sat 09/25||L 12 - 24|
|@ Colorado||Sat 10/02||L 27 - 29|
|Tennessee||Sat 10/09||W 41 - 14|
|Vanderbilt||Sat 10/16||W 43 - 0|
|@ Kentucky||Sat 10/23||W 44 - 31|
|Florida||Sat 10/30||3:30 PM EDT|
|Idaho St.||Sat 11/06||12:30 PM EDT|
|@ Auburn||Sat 11/13||TBA|
|Georgia Tech||Sat 11/27||TBA|
|Miami (Ohio)||Sat 09/04||W 34 - 12|
|South Florida||Sat 09/11||W 38 - 14|
|@ Tennessee||Sat 09/18||W 31 - 17|
|Kentucky||Sat 09/25||W 48 - 14|
|@ Alabama||Sat 10/02||L 6 - 31|
|LSU||Sat 10/09||L 29 - 33|
|Mississippi St.||Sat 10/16||L 7 - 10|
|@ Georgia||Sat 10/30||3:30 PM EDT|
|@ Vanderbilt||Sat 11/06||12:21 PM EDT|
|South Carolina||Sat 11/13||TBA|
|Appalachian St.||Sat 11/20||12:30 PM EST|
|@ Florida St.||Sat 11/27||TBA|
|Southern Miss.||Thu 09/02||W 41 - 13|
|Georgia||Sat 09/11||W 17 - 6|
|Furman||Sat 09/18||W 38 - 19|
|@ Auburn||Sat 09/25||L 27 - 35|
|Alabama||Sat 10/09||W 35 - 21|
|@ Kentucky||Sat 10/16||L 28 - 31|
|@ Vanderbilt||Sat 10/23||W 21 - 7|
|Tennessee||Sat 10/30||12:21 PM EDT|
|Arkansas||Sat 11/06||7:00 PM EDT|
|@ Florida||Sat 11/13||TBA|
|@ Clemson||Sat 11/27||TBA|
If you’re looking for a Georgia-Florida series history, click here.
Dawg Sports, computer town’s finest Georgia Bulldogs community and perhaps the most literate college football blog, hates the Florida Gators. Being a literate and lengthy blog, you’d expect some keyboards to take a pounding this week, but good god. From vineyarddawg’s five-part top-25 reasons to hate Florida (parts one, two, three, four, and five) to what appears to be an impromptu Florida-hate poetry contest in which Shakespeare, Vonnegut, and Shel Silverstein get remixed, SB Nation’s Bulldogs community has done all it can here.
Elsewhere in [band fanfare] Gator hate:
Get The Picture unearths the finest tales of pregame merriment from a Gator message board, shares a little bit of gentle David Greenely X’s and O’s trash talk from David Greene, and toasts the crumbling of the Urban Empire’s coaching staff.
Hey Jenny Slater prepares for “the weirdest Cocktail Party ever” by threatening to run down the street naked with itself, but it’s Halloweekend in Jacksonville so that’s in play either way.
Line: The odds for this year's Cocktail Party vary only slightly depending on whom you ask; the general consensus seems to jibe with 5Dimes.com's line of Georgia -2.5, with an over/under of 47.5.
A few more expert picks to add to what Jason posted the other day: The Atlanta media -- or at least the folks at the Journal-Constitution -- seem divided over the Dawgs' prospects this weekend. Mark Bradley, reversing the prediction he made in the preseason, is now picking UGA to beat Florida, 24-17. Columnist and longtime student of the SEC Tony Barnhart concurs, picking Georgia to win by 4 and explaining thusly: "Great quarterbacks are defined by this game and Murray, the redshirt freshman from Tampa, puts his stamp on his first Georgia-Florida game by leading the Bulldogs to a victory." The dissent comes from Jeff Schultz, who points to Urban Meyer's 31-3 career record with more than a week to prepare and picks the Gators.
Elsewhere, ESPN.com's SEC blogger, Chris Low, says Georgia by 6: "The Gators' offensive problems were such that they weren't going to get fixed in a week . . . the fact is that Georgia's playing better football right now in all facets of the game." SI.com's Stewart Mandel, on the other hand, says Florida's "20-year hex" over the Dawgs will lift them to a 20-19 win. But Phil Steele, the dean of obsessive CFB number-crunchers, picks an equally close Georgia win with all of his computer evaluations pointing -- ever so slightly -- toward the Dawgs.
And now for some decidedly non-expert picks.
Best-case scenario: Aaron Murray plays with the same poise and coolheadedness he's exhibited over his first eight games and, despite Florida's dangerous secondary, continues to avoid game-killing interceptions. A suddenly punchless Gator passing game can't take enough advantage of Georgia's suspect pass defense to keep up, and the Dawgs cruise home on the legs of Caleb King and Washaun Ealey to win 34-23.
Worst-case scenario: The Dawgs succumb to the same case of acute tropical OBCS (Offensive Bed-Crapping Syndrome) they've suffered in four of their previous five matchups with Meyer's Gators -- the offensive line's supposed progress of late turns out to be a mirage once they have to face an actual defense, and Murray's confidence under center crumbles as a result. Meanwhile, Meyer's bye-week tweaks finally inject some life into his struggling offense, and the Gators' convincing 31-16 win makes it 18 wins in the last 21 Cocktail Parties.
My pick? Jason and most everyone else at SBN know I'm way too superstitious to ever throw out an exact score prediction here, though I will say this: If you trust in (or, alternatively, are intimidated by) Urban Meyer's bye-week black magic, not to mention the dark sway the Gators have held over the Dawgs for two decades, nobody's going to blame you for putting your money on Florida to win straight up. But if you've ever been sitting at a blackjack table in Vegas and felt a beam of light shine down on you that made you think you just had to hit on 17, take the Dawgs.
Sports Network - Home Record: Florida 3-1, Georgia 3-1. Away Record: Florida 1-2, Georgia 1-3. Neutral Record: Florida 0-0, Georgia 0-0. Conference Record: Florida 2-3, Georgia 3-3. Series Record: Georgia leads, 47-39-2.
It is hard to believe that Florida isn’t ranked, especially considering the fact that the team opened this season with four consecutive double-digit wins. Unfortunately, the Gators have suffered three straight defeats, including a 10-7 setback to Mississippi State on October 16th. Florida is now 2-3 in SEC action and has had two weeks to prepare for this week’s showdown.
Georgia has won its last three games, enabling the team to even its overall record at 4-4 and move to 3-3 in SEC action. Last weekend, the Bulldogs posted a 44-31 victory over Kentucky, the third straight game in which they topped the 40-point plateau. It should be pointed out that Georgia has yet to defeat one of the better teams in the conference, so there is still plenty of work to be done.
Although Georgia owns a 47-39-2 series advantage over Florida, the Gators have won the last two matchups.
Florida is generating 27.6 ppg and 329.0 total ypg this season, numbers that fall well shy of what has come to be expected from an Urban Meyer offense. The Gators have scored 22 offensive touchdowns to date, 16 of which have come via the ground attack. Jeff Demps paces Florida with 450 rushing yards, while Trey Burton has scored eight rushing touchdowns. As for the passing attack, John Brantley has completed 62 percent of his attempts for 1,266 yards and six touchdowns with only five interceptions, but he has done nothing to make fans of the program forget Tim Tebow. Deonte Thompson paces the receivers with 25 catches for 353 yards.
Against Mississippi State last time out, Florida finished with only seven points despite a respectable total of 361 total yards. The Gators turned the ball over twice and were 6-of-16 on third-down conversion attempts. Florida reached the red zone three times but came away with points only once. Brantley threw for 210 yards, but there was a glaring lack of big plays.
While the Florida offense has clearly struggled this season, especially in the last three games, the team’s defense has been strong, limiting foes to 18.7 ppg and 297.9 total ypg. The Gators are permitting just 3.8 yards per rushing attempt, and they have yielded a rather low total of 14 touchdowns to opposing offenses through seven games. Florida has intercepted 13 passes, overshadowing a low total of three fumble recoveries. Ahmad Black has been the squad’s top defender, as he has posted 60 total tackles while recording three interceptions.
The Gators managed to hold Mississippi State to 245 total yards, a stellar effort by the defense. After allowing 10 points to the Bulldogs in the first quarter, Florida blanked the Bulldogs the rest of the way, but Brantley and the offense failed to capitalize.
Georgia’s game against Kentucky last weekend turned into the Washaun Ealey show, as he rushed for 157 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries and set a school record with five touchdowns on the ground. Redshirt freshman quarterback Aaron Murray wasn’t asked to do much with his arm, but he did complete nine of the 12 passes he attempted for 113 yards with no interceptions. Star wideout A.J. Green recorded six catches for 86 yards, and Georgia lit up the scoreboard despite finishing with a modest total of 290 yards.
The Bulldogs are averaging 382.1 total ypg and 31.5 ppg, solid numbers for a talented team. Murray has been outstanding, especially considering his youth, as he has completed 62.7 percent of his passes for 1,766 yards and 12 touchdowns with only three interceptions. Green, who has only played in four games, has made 22 catches for 365 yards and four touchdowns. As for Ealey, he has 526 rushing yards and seven touchdowns to his credit.
There are both positives and negatives to point out regarding Georgia’s defensive effort against Kentucky last time out. The Bulldogs yielded 353 passing yards in that contest and four touchdowns through the air. On the other hard, they held the Wildcats to 70 rushing yards on 31 attempts and forced four turnovers, including three fumbles.
Opponents are generating 19.1 ppg and 306.8 total ypg against Georgia, which has been much better against the run than the pass. The Bulldogs are holding foes to 99.2 rushing ypg at a clip of only 2.9 yards per rushing attempt. Unfortunately, Georgia is yielding 14.7 yards per pass completion, and 12 passing scores have been permitted.
In what figures to be a close game from start to finish, give the edge to Georgia, which is playing with far more confidence than Florida at the moment. The lack of big plays on offense is killing the Gators.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Georgia 28, Florida 24
Georgia Bulldogs fans hate their team's offense. Likewise do Florida Gators fans. The two have even been known to hold self-hate contests in public about the matter. The Orlando Sentinel has no solutions for Mark Richt, but it did put together a database of Florida Gators OC Steve Addazio's tendencies. You can click to fiddle with it yourself, or, if you're busy, you can go here to read a more digestible overview.
But for the fan with a little time to kill in the interest of really unearthing the kernel at the heart of Florida's offense, here are several carefully selected slides of game film.
As you can see, monitoring both sideline Dial-A-Downs in addition to the stadium's scoreboard down display will be paramount for Todd Grantham's crew. Nothing would be more disastrous than putting six Dawgs on Jeff Demps when the ball is actually destined for Trey Burton.
None of this is to propose the Dawgs have a significantly better offense than do the Gators, nor is it meant to presume Florida's offense will suck as forcefully as it has for most of the season. But film is film, and this is what Georgia has to work with.
In an SEC showdown involving a recently departed high-ranking University of Florida official, the red-helmeted Dawgs traveled to the Sunshine State in October 2010 to take on the disappointing Gators. In a surprisingly low-scoring and unsurprisingly difficult to watch ordeal, the Bulldogs rolled to an early lead, then held on as Florida used shotguns for stilts while walking through a roomful of hooks.
I'm saying they shot themselves in the feet.
Wrong Dawgs? Oh, they're always the wrong Dawgs when you're wearing blue and orange, baby *bark bark bark*.
Speaking of blue and orange.
They haven't won a game while wearing alternate duds since before last year's SEC Championship Game, when they went all-white errthing. And how'd that game go?
And what will the Gators break in on Saturday? These guys change clothes like the worst song on The Black Album.
A down year for the Georgia Bulldogs would suddenly feel not so down at all with a win over the also-down Florida Gators. Not only would it put the Dawgs in the center console right next to the driver’s seat in the SEC East, which is an incredibly annoying place for a bulldog to be, it would also give Georgia three wins over the Gators in the past seven years. Not quite a return to the days of Vince Dooley or Wally Butts, but at least a step in the right direction.
Do the hot Dawgs have a shot against the flailing Gators?
Dawg Sports thinks Georgia wins in the squeakiest of squeakers, but isn’t taking any chances. Team Speed Kills, our general SEC blog, isn’t on the record with a prediction yet, but its sidebar poll lists Florida as a more likely division winner than Georgia. EDSBS makes no score prediction, but dismisses the Gators chances upon discovering Steve Addazio’s playbook.
NBC Sports likes Mark Richt’s chances, picking Georgia to win by nine:
Getting the Gators offense, which ranks ninth in the SEC in both scoring (27.6 points per game) and total offense (329 yards per game), in gear versus the Bulldogs could prove to be quite challenging.
Georgia (4-4, 3-3) leads the SEC in rushing defense and has forced nine turnovers during its current three-game winning streak.
Walter Football aims even higher, going for a fourteen-point Georgia win. Three of CBS Sports’ five esteemed panelists roll with the Red and Black. Rivals disagrees, with three out of four going Gators.
What If Sports foresees Florida winning 27-24 after somehow being granted 13 extra seconds of time of possession.
What about the general public? About 65 percent of Yahoo! users also like Florida here, but the Dawgs opened as a 1.5-point Vegas favorite and are now they’re giving 2.5. This paragraph is the most confusing of all, unless it is reasonable to assume that Yahoo! users never gamble.
One of the bigger plot lines for the Georgia-Florida game is if Chris Rainey will play. According to the Gainesville Sun, Rainey is on target to make his return Saturday after being arrested on September 14 for aggravated stalking.
He was suspended by the team shortly after and made his return to the team October 10. He did not play right away because Florida head coach Urban Meyer said he had to meet certain requirements in order to return to the field. Here's what Meyer had to say about Rainey making his return:
There is no question Rainey will play, but the question is how much will he play and will he have an impact on the field? One thing for sure by they way the offense has looked over the last three games: they are going to need all the help they can get.
Georgia running back Washaun Ealey suffered an MCL sprain last week against Kentucky and head coach Mark Richt is uncertain if Ealey will start on Saturday against Florida. Here's what Richt had to say about Ealey's injury.
BY THE NUMBERS
Florida's offense: Averaging 186.9 yards per game passing (82nd nationally), 142.1 yards rushing (74th).
Georgia's defense: Allowing 207.5 yards per game passing (57th), 99.3 yards rushing (12th).
REASONS TO BE EXCITED
You thought Georgia's offense was a mess without A.J. Green? Florida has all their playmakers on the field and they still can't get out of their own way, posting the worst numbers the Gators have seen since Urban Meyer's first year in Gainesville. One of the primary problems seems to be that they're trying to cram the square peg of John Brantley into the round hole left by Tim Tebow, but Brantley just doesn't have Tebow's wheels (he's got 35 rushes on the season for a net -52 yards) or his passing ability, at least at the moment. Really, none of Florida's playmakers have been put to anywhere near their best use by the current game plan, which is the reason offensive coordinator Steve Addazio might be the most despised man in Gainesville right now.
REASONS TO BE WORRIED
They haven't been put to their best use, but there's no denying there's still plenty of talent on this offense, particularly at running back. Jeff Demps, still the Gators' leading rusher despite nursing a bum wheel the past few weeks, has had a bye week to heal up and stands to be a big part of the game plan on Saturday; despite Urban Meyer's transparent misdirection tactics, expect Chris Rainey, suspended from team activities since the "Time to die" text-message incident a few weeks ago, to return as well. Meyer has a history of using these bye weeks to draw up new wrinkles for the game plan, particularly when his back is up against the wall to whatever extent, so there are bound to be at least a few surprises in store for the Dawgs -- one of which might be Trey Burton, who established himself as an intriguing change-of-pace option at QB (and, potentially, the Tim Tebow that Brantley just can't ever be) after shredding Kentucky for five rushing TDs a month ago. With Georgia currently giving up third-down conversions by the bucketload -- albeit mostly via the pass -- they just can't take anything for granted no matter how rickety the Gator offense appears.
Georgia LB Akeem Dent vs. Florida RB Jeff Demps. Dent has emerged as one of the most ferocious linebackers in the country -- he's currently second in the SEC in tackles with 77, and has also notched 2.5 sacks -- and is a big part of the reason why Georgia's run defense has improved so dramatically over the past month. Of course, another big part of that improvement involves Georgia having the good fortune to go up against mediocre running games for three straight weeks. Florida's ground game is statistically mediocre as well, but Demps has still managed to average 6.5 yards per carry, and he stands to be a focal point of whatever trickery Urban Meyer cooked up over the Gators' bye week. Demps has been a versatile (if underused) component in the passing game, which should worry a Georgia defensive unit that has been flat miserable on third-down conversions this year.
BY THE NUMBERS
Georgia's offense: Averaging 228.4 yards per game passing (55th nationally), 153.8 yards rushing (58th).
Florida's defense: Allowing 166.6 yards per game passing (13th), 131.3 yards rushing (41st).
REASONS TO BE EXCITED
With QB Aaron Murray continuing to be his usual mistake-free self, the offensive line beginning to gel, and Washaun Ealey seeming to have gotten his head screwed on straight in terms of both running technique and not fumbling, this offense is operating at its highest level since 2008. With A.J. Green on hand to stretch opposing defenses and the TEs and fullbacks getting to play a bigger role in the passing game, the Gators will have plenty of threats to worry about both on the ground and through the air. The return of suspended RB Caleb King, too, will offer fresh legs and another dimension in the rushing attack.
REASONS TO BE WORRIED
It's one thing to crack the 40-point mark against teams like Tennessee, Vandy and Kentucky. Florida probably presents the toughest defensive obstacle this offense has seen all season, particularly against the pass, as their secondary was the one defensive unit that managed not to get gutted in the NFL draft. Only two teams, Alabama and LSU, have managed to go over 20 points against the Gators this year, and both fielded elite defenses that gave their offensive teammates considerable help by forcing turnovers. That's something Georgia's gotten better at this year, obviously, but they can't count on a second straight opponent handing the game away early in a flurry of fumbles.
Georgia QB Aaron Murray vs. Florida [insert defensive back here]. In the Bulldogs' three wins against Florida over the past two decades -- and yes, it hurt just as much for me to write that phrase as it hurt you to read it -- they've scored 37, 31, and 42 points. The Dawgs' offense has to click for them to have any hope of winning, and most of that burden rests on the quarterback. Murray has played with poise and confidence in multiple hostile environments this season, but Florida is tied for fifth in the nation with 13 interceptions and will likely be blanketing A.J. Green all afternoon. The three teams that have beaten Florida this year didn't ask much of their QBs because they could ask their defenses to win the game for them; Georgia probably isn't going to have that option.
The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party — no, Mike Adams may not like me calling it that, but to hell with what he thinks — has been a tradition for Bulldogs, Gators, and the good people of Jacksonville, Florida, for more than a century. The first game was played there in 1915, and after a couple decades of bouncing around from city to city, it returned to Jax for the 1933 game and has stayed there ever since (save for a home-and-home in 1994-95 while the former Gator Bowl was effectively rebuilt into Jacksonville Municipal Stadium).
Georgia leads the overall series, 46-39-2. If you’ve deduced that the Dawgs had to have been pretty dominant in the rivalry’s early years to still be ahead even after Florida’s confounding dominance over the past two decades, you’d be right — Georgia won 23 of the first 29 meetings, not counting a 1904 game in Macon in which Georgia played a Gator squad that technically predated the founding of the modern U of F (and beat them 52-0). The first “official” meeting took place Nov. 6, 1915, in Jacksonville, with Georgia winning 37-0.
Florida began to exert some dominance in the 1950s and ‘60s, winning 13 of the next 19, but after that it was another long period of Dawg domination, as Georgia legends such as Vince Dooley and Herschel Walker powered the Dawgs to a 15-4 record in Jacksonville from 1971 to Dooley’s farewell season in 1989. Since then . . . well, you’re probably familiar with the story. Steve Spurrier’s return to the Swamp set in motion a period of dominance all but unprecedented in the rivalry, and one that continued through the regimes of Ron Zook and Urban Meyer; Georgia has won only three of the last 20 games, with the average outcome being a two-touchdown Gator victory.
Mark Richt owns two of those wins and seven of the losses. The first five were at least competitive; the last two haven’t been, with 2008’s 49-10 beatdown falling just one point short of matching the worst blowout Georgia has ever suffered at Florida’s hands.
Mere numbers, however, can in no way do justice to the white-hot hatred harbored toward the Gators by Bulldog Nation. As far as that goes, you can overeducate yourself over at Dawgsports.
The Georgia Bulldogs looked to do something different going into their contest against the Florida Gators last year. Head coach Mark Richt thought the players would be more motivated with a change of uniform, so the team wore balck helmets and black pants along with the white jerseys.
That was the only good thing (well, if you want to call that a good thing) to come out of the game last year as Florida dominated the Bulldogs 41-17.
It was a relatively close game in the second quarter as Georgia was only down 17-10 late in the second quarter. But right before the half, Mr. Everything himself TIm Tebow ran for a 23-yard touchdown with less than two minutes left in the half and that put the Gators on top 24-10 going in to the half and the Gators never looked back.
It was a game where Tebow broke Herschel Walker's SEC career rushing touchdown record and Georgia fell to 4-4 for the first time since 1996.
Here is video highlights of the game from last year. Hopefully, Georgia won't come out as flat as they had the last two years, but it's something about Jacksonville that freaks the Bulldogs out.
Florida Gators WR Chris Rainey will return to action against the Georgia Bulldogs on Oct. 30, the Gators' next game. Rainey missed Florida's last five games after sort of being kicked off the team due to his arrest for stalking a woman, infamously sending her a text message reading "time to die." The charge was eventually declared a misdemeanor.
Florida fans SMH so heartily they've found themselves agreeing with Gregg Doyel and approximating Rainey's return with the retention of despised offensive coordinator Steve Addazio.
Maybe Urban Meyer wanted to throw Dawgs fans a bone, giving them something to mock in return for the Damon Evans red panty deluge sure to clog Jacksonville's streets. Maybe the whole light-hearted incident was due to Rainey's concussion acting up on him. Maybe this really is the last act of a desperate man who's seen his championship program lose three regular season games in a row for the first time since before Steve Spurrier invented sports.
In two career games against Georgia, Rainey has carried the ball ten times for 22 yards. This is Meyer's offense we're talking about so, yes, the WR carries the ball, as do both of the QBs. Bear with us.
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