Georgia Bulldogs Move To No. 2 In The Nation After A 42-7 Win Over Florida

Dawgs Have Three Games Remaining Before SEC Tournament

Sunday, October 29, 2017 - by special report
Led by their seniors, Georgia's defensive line dominated the Gators on Saturday.
Led by their seniors, Georgia's defensive line dominated the Gators on Saturday.
- photo by USGAAA

The second-ranked Georgia Bulldogs overwhelmed the Florida Gators 42-7 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville on Saturday, improving to 8-0 for just the eighth time in school history.

 

Georgia moved up to No. 2 (highest ranking since 2008) and took two first-place votes from No. 1 Alabama In the AP college football poll.

 

Every team in the Top 10, except for idle Alabama, changed positions in the poll released Sunday following Ohio State's come-from-behind win over Penn State, and Iowa State's win over TCU.

 

The first College Football Playoff rankings will be released on Tuesday.

 

Georgia tabbed its fifth conference win, while Florida dropped to 3-4 on the season, and 3-3 in the SEC.

 

The Bulldogs' 35-point advantage marks the most extensive margin of victory over the Gators since 1982.  At a place that had derailed title hopes before, Georgia’s season just keeps chugging along after taking down the Gators before 84,107 at EverBank Field.

It was Georgia’s most lopsided victory against the Gators since 44-0 in 1982.
 
"I thought we came out with a good demeanor and a good attitude," head coach Kirby Smart said. "Had a great work week last week, and I thought the kids came out with a good focus. Their focus was on the task at hand, which was playing the best they could play, and not getting distracted by streaks or letting the past affect the present."  
 
Georgia's defensive ambush held Florida scoreless until its first touchdown in the final minutes of the game. In the first quarter, Georgia surrendered only two first downs to the Florida offense.  Senior outside linebacker Lorenzo Cartersteered the Georgia defense with nine tackles, followed by junior inside linebacker Roquan Smith with eight.
 
Prior to the game, Florida was tied for third in the nation in allowing only four rushing touchdowns, which the Georgia offense matched on Saturday with four rushing touchdowns of their own, combining for 279 yards. Senior running backs Sony Michel and Nick Chubb led with 137 yards and 77 yards, respectively, while freshman quarterback Jake Frommneeded only four completions on seven passes, including three to freshman running back D'Andre Swift.

 

In the first quarter, the Bulldog defense held Florida to three-and-out on its first possession, setting up a four-play, 53-yard march into the Gator end zone a minute and a half into the game. Fromm completed his first pass toSwift for 39 yards, and Chubb combined for 14 yards on three carries, featuring a six-yard rushing touchdown.

 

On Florida's second drive, senior safety Dominick Sanders snagged his 15th career interception from a tipped Feleipe Franks pass to place Georgia on the Florida 29-yard line. Two plays later, an airborne senior wide receiver Javon Wims extended above Florida cornerback Marco Wilson to secure a 17-yard touchdown pass from Fromm for the 14-0 advantage.
 
On the first play of Georgia's third offensive possession, Michel exploded for a 74-yard touchdown run, sealing a 21-0 Georgia margin that carried into the half.
 
In the third quarter, Georgia returned to the end zone with 6:43 remaining in the frame, as Michel finalized a five-yard, 76-yard drive with a 45-yard rushing touchdown. Fromm led the Bulldogs down the field with a 13-yard rush and an 18-yard connection to Swift.
 
Less than a minute later, a Georgia duo of defensive backs, sophomore Tyrique McGhee and redshirt sophomore J.R. Reed, enveloped Franks on the Florida three-yard line, forcing a fumble as Reed scooped the ball for a three-yard touchdown return.

 

Fifth-year senior outside linebacker Davin Bellamy punctuated the Georgia defensive touchdown with his own “Gator Chomp” after safety Reed’s touchdown.

“They beat us for three years straight,” Bellamy said. “I just felt like that was the perfect time to do it and also we heard and we saw the things that were being said through social media all week. … We came out here and we talked with our helmets.”

After another defensive stop, Georgia closed the third quarter leading 35-0.
 
In the fourth quarter, the Georgia defense held Florida to a three-play, 23-second Florida drive, allowing the Bulldog offensive streak to continue. Following runs from sophomore tailback Brian Herrien and sophomore running back Elijah Holyfield, Fromm found Swift for a 27-yard pass, and Holyfield capped the 42-0 score with a 39-yard rushing touchdown.

 

Florida barely extended its NCAA record streak of 368 straight games without being shutout when Mark Thompson scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 2:42 to go when Georgia’s backups were in the game.

Georgia won for just the seventh time in the last 28 meetings with the Gators, with four of those wins since 2011, but coach Kirby Smart said his staff told the players “the present affects the present. The past doesn’t affect the present. Anything that’s happened here before, what does that have to do with this team? It has nothing to do with this team.”

Still, he said beating the Gators is “special for our fan base who is starving for some success against Florida.”

Up next, Georgia returns to Sanford Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 4 to play host to South Carolina at 3:30 p.m. The game will be aired on CBS. 



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