JACKSONVILLE, Fla — It’s Saturday in Jacksonville and it’s time for the biggest game of the Georgia season.
There is nothing quite like the Georgia-Florida game in Jacksonville, Florida. Half of the stadium is in red and black, and the other half in orange and blue.
The Bulldogs come into today’s game on a five-game winning streak and are tied with South Carolina for the SEC East lead.
A couple injury notes before kickoff. UGA WR Malcolm Mitchell did not make the trip, neither did WR Israel Troupe. The loss of Mitchell and Troupe means Georgia will be playing with four scholarship receivers.
Georgia will also be without Shawn Williams and Kwame Geathers for the first half, after being suspended by the SEC following the Vanderbilt game two weeks ago.
On the Florida side, John Brantley participated in the stretch period a couple hours before the game, but did not participate in team warm-ups. It is unknown if he will start or not.
For live updates of today’s game, follow me on Twitter @Mike_Reiter
1st Quarter: News, Stats and Analysis
-Florida won the toss and elected to receive. On the first play, John Brantley completed a 72-yard catch-and-run screen to HB Jeff Demps. Brantley threw three straight incompletions with the ball on the Georgia 21 yard-line, but Brad Phillips missed a 38-yard field goal attempt.
Florida put the first points up on the board with a 31-yard pass on 4th-and-19 from Brantley to TE Jordan Reed. Following that drive, a Murray pass deflected off the helmet of Crowell and was intercepted by Florida and the Gators had the ball on the Bulldogs 12. After a couple of sacks and a penalty, Florida lost 26 yards, and punted from their own 38.
QB Aaron Murray is 5-7, 44 yards, and 1 interception. Freshman RB Isaiah Crowell has six rushing attempts for 34 yards.
WR Marlon Brown has stepped up nicely and has two big receptions for 22 yards so far. The first was a 3rd-and-5 to extend a drive, another was a 15 yard reception on 2nd-and-18 following a holding penalty.
Florida QB John Brantley is 6-for-12, 164 yards and one touchdown. Reed has 1 reception for 31 yards and a touchdown. Jeff Demps has one reception for 72 yards.
The Gators have a total of -27 rushing yards. Granted, that number is skewed because sacks count as rushing yards lost. In terms of actual running plays, Florida has -5 yards rushing. Demps is the leading rusher with 2 yards on 1 carry.
Time of possession was about even with Florida holding the ball for 7:33.
2nd Quarter: News, Stats and Analysis
After a less than stellar first quarter of the game for Georgia, the Bulldogs came out in the second quarter with more fight in them.
Georgia finished a 12-play, 67 yard drive to open the second quarter that resulted in a Blair Walsh 32 yard field goal. The score was 7-3, but it didn’t stay like that for long. Jeff Demps returned the next kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown to make it 14-3. The Gators would
After a three-and-out for Georgia, the Gators drove down and Brad Phillips made a 43-yard field to make it 17-3. Georgia then took the ball 61 yards on 15 plays, but the drive ended on a 33-yard missed field goal attempt by Blair Walsh.
On the next drive, Florida had it 3rd-and-22 from their own 8, Chris Rainey rushed the ball 17 yards, but UGA ILB Alec Ogletree forced a fumble and it was recovered by Bacarri Rambo.
With the ball at the Florida 25, the Bulldogs weren’t able to get a first down, and with the problems with Walsh, the Bulldogs decided to go for a fourth and five.
And that’s when the Georgia season might have changed.
Aaron Murray connected on a 20-yard pass to Michael Bennett, and the Bulldogs cut the Gators lead in half.
The score is 17-10 Florida, but keep in mind, Georgia was down 21-7 at the half last year, and outscored the Gators 24-10 in the second half to force the game into overtime.
Aaron Murray is 9-for-17, 88 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Isaiah Crowell has 49 rushing yards on 11 carries. Richard Samuel has rushed for 15 yards on four carries.
Murray has spread the wealth of his receptions evenly amongst the receivers. Michael Bennett, Chris Conley, Marlon Brown and Orson Charles each have two receptions. Bennett caught the lone touchdown of the game for the Bulldogs so far on a 20-yard pass from Murray on fourth-and-5.
The second half is about to begin of what might be the most important second half Mark Richt has ever coached at Georgia.
3rd Quarter: News, Stats and Analysis
The two teams exchanged punts to start the second half, but after Florida started their second drive inside their own 10 yard line, Jarvis Jones made another outstanding defensive play.
The redshirt Sophomore forced a fumble, and the Bulldogs had the ball at the Gators 18. Initially, the call on the field was that the runner was down by contact, but it was overturned by replay.
After getting the ball, the Georgia offense stalled again, but with the way Blair Walsh has been playing, the Bulldogs went for it again on fourth down. Aaron Murray connected with Tavarres King and the game is all tied up at 17.
Another theme of the day is the inept play of the Georgia special teams. Florida returned the next kickoff for 63 yards, the Gators offense stalled, and behind the leg of Brad Phillips, Florida leads 20-17.
Aaron Murray is 14-for-28, 151 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Crowell has rushed for 67 yards on 15 carries, but is currently out with an injury. His return is questionable.
Orson Charles is the leading receiver with 4 receptions for 31 yards. Tavarres King has three receptions for 44 yards and a touchdown.
Florida QB John Brantley is 11-for-27, 235 yard and one touchdown. The Georgia defense has played well against Brantley, and has recorded five sacks. In somewhat of a skewed statistic, the Florida Gators have -26 rushing yards.
Onto the fourth quarter we go…