Georgia built an insurmountable 23-3 lead in the first half of Saturday's game against Florida, then held on through a furious Florida comeback for a 23-20 win in the annual neutral-site border rivalry game. Georgia's offense managed to milk the last eight minutes off the clock to cement the victory.
Georgia jumped on the Gators early, scoring two touchdowns in the game's first six minutes and building a 20-0 lead early in the second quarter. Francisco Velez got Florida on the scoreboard with a 31-yard field goal, but Georgia ended the first half with a field goal of its own and led 23-3 at the break.
Some Florida fans might have given up, but the Gators stormed back into the game. After recovering an Aaron Murray fumble deep in Georgia territory, the Gators got their first touchdown when Mack Brown ran into the end zone from five yards out, cutting the Bulldog lead to 13 points. After the teams exchanged punts and other pleasantries ...
... Georgia took over at their own 3-yard line. Murray was sacked on the first play, giving Florida a safety.
The free kick gave the Gators excellent field position, and it took Florida's offense just five plays to cover 50 yards for another score. Florida converted for two points, and suddenly the Gators were within three of Georgia with 14 minutes left to play.
The Gators got the ball back with 11:20 to play at their own 46-yard line. Florida's offense drove into Georgia territory, but a third-down sack by Corey Moore forced a Gator punt. Georgia got the ball with a three-point lead and 8:17 to go, and the bulldogs set about killing the clock. Georgia ran 10 times in their last 12 plays, with Aaron Murray completing two key passes for first downs to keep the drive moving. On third-and-7 at the Florida 37, Murray hit Rhett McGowan at the first down marker. Florida used its last two timeouts in an attempt to save some clock, and yet another altercation between the teams nearly nixed the Bulldogs' plan, but Georgia's offense successfully bled the last seconds out and took the victory:
Box Score Hero: Todd Gurley was Georgia's most important player Saturday, running 17 times for 100 yards and a touchdown. Gurley added 87 receiving yards and a score on three receptions.
Rankings Ramifications: Georgia, who entered the game outside the Top 25 for the second consecutive week, could reenter the polls with Saturday's win. Florida should drop from consideration for good.
But Did They Cover? Georgia entered Saturday's game as a 3 1/2-point favorite. Florida beat that spread.
Next Week's Schedule: Florida hosts Vanderbilt next Saturday, while Georgia takes on Appalachian State between the hedges.
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