Sept. 24, 2011
OXFORD, Miss. - The Georgia Bulldogs picked up its first Southeastern Conference win of the season as it knocked off the Ole Miss Rebels 27-13 on Saturday afternoon in front of 58,042 fans at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Miss. Georgia improved to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in conference play, while the Rebels dropped to 1-3 and 0-2 in the SEC. It was also Georgia's ninth-straight victory over the Rebels.
"Getting an SEC road victory is really important," head coach Mark Richt said. "The story of the game was the defense playing the way they did. Our offense moved the ball well and put points on the board early, but we held on and got the win. We have some things to work on, but we think we played pretty well."
The Bulldogs put up 475 yards of total offense, led by sophomore quarterback Aaron Murray who finished 17-of-26 for 268 yards and two touchdowns. Isaiah Crowell finished with 147 yards on 30 carries. It was the freshman's second 100-yard rushing performance against an SEC foe. Malcolm Mitchell led the Bulldogs in receiving with three catches for 93 yards, including a 69-yard strike that set up a Georgia touchdown in the second quarter. Orson Charles and Aron White each had a receiving touchdown for the Bulldogs.
Georgia's defense held Ole Miss to just 183 yards of offense. Ole Miss quarterbacks Zack Stoudt and Randall Mackey were a combined 12-of-30 for 149 yards and two interceptions. Donte Moncrief led the Rebels through the air, finishing with three catches for 68 yards and a touchdown, while Jeff Scott picked up 34 yards on eight rushes.
Georgia eased out to an early 10-0 lead after scoring on its first two possessions of the game. Blair Walsh connected on a 36-yard field goal that put Georgia on top 3-0. Georgia went 53 yards on seven plays on its next possession, which was capped off by a one-yard touchdown run by Murray.
The Bulldogs got the ball back with 10:01 remaining in the first half, but Ole Miss downed the punt at the Georgia one-yard line. Georgia worked itself out of the hole, using a 29-yard run by Crowell on third-and-nine to give to Bulldogs a fresh set of downs. Two plays later Murray found Mitchell over the middle for a 69-yard gain that put Georgia in the red zone for the third time. Charles hauled in a Murray pass in the end zone to extend the Bulldog lead to 17-0.
Ole Miss answered on the ensuing drive, going 80 yards on three plays. The Rebels got on the board as Mackey completed a 38-yard touchdown pass to Moncrief that cut Georgia's lead to 17-7.
A Bacarri Rambo interception set up a three-play, 53-yard scoring drive for the Bulldogs that put Georgia back up by 17 at 24-7. Murray found White twice on the drive, including a 35-yard touchdown grab that was followed by a Walsh extra point.
Ole Miss made it a two-possession game late in the first half when Nick Brassell returned a punt 68 yards to the end zone. A missed extra point made it a 24-13 game.
The offenses remained quiet throughout much of the second half until Walsh booted a 43-yard field goal that put Georgia up 27-13 with 4:16 left in the game.
Rambo grabbed his second interception of the afternoon with 2:48 remaining in the game that allowed the Bulldogs to run down the clock. Ole Miss got the ball back with under a minute to play, but Cornelius Washington ended the game with a sack of Mackey.
Georgia returns to Sanford Stadium next Saturday, Oct. 1, when it takes on Mississippi State. Kickoff is scheduled for noon and the game will be aired on Fox Sports South.