Georgia vs. Florida - Game Notes
Oct. 22, 2012
Game 8: #12 Georgia (6-1, 4-1 SEC) vs. #3 Florida (7-0, 6-0 SEC)
Jacksonville Welcomes Georgia-Florida Game
The Georgia-Florida game is one of the more unique rivalry games in the nation, and it has its own Hall of Fame. This year's class includes David Greene (QB, 2001-04) and Charles Whittemore (SE, 1968-70; assist. coach 1978-90) for the Bulldogs and John Williams (FB, 1982-85) and Doug Dickey (QB, 1951-53; head coach, 1970-78) for Florida. It features a 50-50 ticket split. The city of Jacksonville estimates the general revenue generated by the game is between $25-30 million. The series has been played in Jacksonville annually since 1933 with the exception of two years. In 1994-95, the game moved on campus while the Gator Bowl transformed into Alltel Stadium for the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars. The facility is now known as EverBank Field. The largest crowd in the series here came in 2004 when 84,753 saw Georgia post a 31-24 win.
Georgia has the series lead at 48-40-2 with the first meeting in 1904. The Bulldogs won the 1904 game in Macon 52-0. Meanwhile, Florida has the series at 47-40-2, claiming the first meeting with the Bulldogs only came in 1915 because the Gators didn't compete at the varsity level until 1906. In Jacksonville, the Bulldogs hold a 41-37-1 lead. However, the last time Georgia won two straight in the series came when it had a three-year stretch of success from 1987-89. Since then, the Gators have won 18 of the past 22 meetings.
No Open Date
This year, both teams were in action before meeting in Jacksonville. Last year marked the first time in the history of the series that both Georgia and Florida had a bye before the big game at EverBank Field. The Gators have had an open date in the series 20 times including 15 of the past 19 years. Florida is 15-5 in these games. Meanwhile, Georgia is 4-3 when it has two weeks to prepare for the Gators.
Last Five Meetings
2011: #22 Georgia d. Florida 24-20: Richard Samuel's four-yard touchdown run with 13:18 left capped a Bulldog comeback to compliment a solid defensive effort. Georgia trailed 17-3 at one point and scored twice on fourth down plays. The Bulldogs limited the Gators to 32 yards of offense in the second half and registered six sacks on the day, four by Jarvis Jones. UF's Jeff Demps had a 99-yard kickoff return for a TD.
2010: Florida d. Georgia 34-31 (OT): Chas Henry made a 37-yard field goal to lift the Gators past the Bulldogs in the first overtime game in the series. Will Hill intercepted Aaron Murray's pass on Georgia's possession in the extra period.
2009: #1 Florida d. Georgia 41-17: Tim Tebow tossed a pair of touchdown passes to Riley Cooper and gained 85 yards on the ground with two TDs to pace the top-ranked Gators. Also, Florida's defense collected four interceptions including a pick-six by Brandon Spikes.
2008: #5 Florida d. #8 Georgia 49-10: Tim Tebow ran for three touchdowns and was 10-of-13 for 154 yards and two more scores to lead Florida to a victory in the top 10 showdown. Florida's defense tallied three interceptions including an 88-yarder for a touchdown by Joe Haden.
2007: #20 Georgia d. #9 Florida 42-30: Knowshon Moreno scampered for a career-high 188 yards and three touchdowns as the Bulldogs upset the Gators. Florida's Tim Tebow, who was sacked six times, accounted for three touchdowns. It was the most points by the Bulldogs in the series since a 44-0 win in 1982.
Another Bulldog Named To AFCA Good Works
Junior QB Aaron Murray was recently named to the Allstate AFCA Good Works team, which honors 11 FBS players nationwide for their outstanding community service record. The Bulldogs have now had three members on the AFCA team in the last four years.
Freshmen On The Field
Georgia is in the top six teams nationally as far as how many true freshmen have played in 2012. The Bulldogs are tied for sixth with 13 true freshmen who have taken the field this year. Georgia has also had nine redshirt freshmen see their first action in 2012.
Red Zone Touchdowns
The Bulldogs have scored 21 TDs (13 rushing, 8 passing) in 27 chances for a 78 percent mark. Overall in the Red Zone, Georgia is ranked seventh in the SEC with an 85 percent mark (23-for-27). Twice in 2012, the Bulldogs have preserved a lead in the fourth quarter by running clock in the Red Zone instead of scoring. The Gators have scored 17 touchdowns (12 rushing, 5 passing) in 27 trips for a 63 percent clip. However, they rank second in the league with a 93 percent scoring mark (25-for-27).
NFL Taking Notice
Georgia had seven selections in the 2012 NFL Draft, tying Oklahoma for second best in the nation. This marked the second-most Bulldogs drafted in any sevenround draft behind the eight taken in 2002. Georgia had 35 former players on active NFL rosters when teams set their 53-man squads.
OFFENSE Murray Earns SEC Offensive Player Of The Week Honors
Junior QB Aaron Murray is one of the nation's elite at his position and was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week following his most recent performance at Kentucky. During the offseason, Murray graduated with a degree in Psychology after posting a GPA of 3.4 and is now in graduate school. In his 22 wins as a starter, Murray has 55 TDs to just 12 INTs. Murray is the SEC's leading active player in total offensive yards (8,360), completions (577), TD responsibility (85, which is 7th in SEC history), TD passes (75, which is 9th in SEC history) and passing yards (8,112).
Murray is coming off a school record-setting performance in the road win over Kentucky. He finished with the best completion percentage in a game (30-of-38, 79 percent) and a career-high 427 passing yards and four touchdowns. Murray set a school record for career TD passes with 75 after having four scoring strikes versus Kentucky. Another example of his efficiency came against Vanderbilt this year as he started the game 12-for-12, which is No. 3 on Georgia's all-time list behind 15 (Quincy Carter vs. LSU, 1998; Eric Zeier vs. Georgia Tech, 1993), and finished 18-for-24 for 250 yards.
Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Active Career Leaders List
TD Passes: 4. Aaron Murray, 75 (1. Landry Jones, OU, 105)
A Look At The Line
Georgia's starting offensive line this season has featured junior Kenarious Gates at LT, junior Chris Burnette at RG, junior Dallas Lee at LG, sophomore David Andrews at C and freshman John Theus at RT. Andrews and Theus made their first career starts versus Buffalo while Gates lined up at LT against the Bulls for the first time after having 12 previous starts at guard. Theus became the first true freshman starter at tackle since Trinton Sturdivant in 2007. In the last two games, sophomore Mark Beard has seen some action at LT when Gates has moved to LG.
Here's a look at Georgia's offensive production this year:
Malcolm In The Middle Of Everything
Sophomore Malcolm Mitchell is demonstrating his versatility this season. After sitting out the first game with an ankle injury, he started the next three games at CB and has played on offense in the last three contests. On defense, he has recorded 12 tackles while on offense, the Valdosta native has hauled in 18 catches for 229 yards.
Mitchell is coming off a nine-catch performance at Kentucky as he posted the second 100-yard game of his career with 103 yards. Mitchell is a regular on special teams. He has seven kickoff returns for 163 yards, including a 48-yard return versus #6 South Carolina, and six punt returns for 35 yards.
In 2011, Mitchell lined up at SE and earned All-SEC Freshman honors after finishing with 45 catches for 665 yards and four touchdowns. Here is where Mitchell has spent his 336 snaps this season:
Defense - 178 snaps
Assortment Of Dangerous Targets
Georgia had a pair of 100- yard receivers in the win over Kentucky as senior FLK Tavarres King had a career-high nine catches for a game-high 188 yards and tied his career high with two TDs. This marks his fifth career 100-yard game and his second this season. He leads the team with five TD catches this season and has 17 in his career, which is fifth in school history. Already having graduated in Social Studies Education, he is No. 2 out of active players in the SEC in receiving yards (2,163), fourth in receptions (120) and tied for fourth in TD receptions (17) and has caught at least one pass in 22 consecutive games. Sophomore SE Malcolm Mitchell finished with a career-high nine receptions for 103 yards. This was the first time since the 2010 Florida game when the Bulldogs had two 100-yard receivers in a game. That year, Orson Charles (108) and King (104) did it.
Georgia has had four different 100-yard receivers in five games this season. The Bulldogs are without redshirt sophomore SE Michael Bennett (24 rec., 345 yds., 4 TDs) after he tore his ACL the week of the South Carolina game.
Senior SE Marlon Brown has also made an impact for the Bulldogs' aerial attack. Brown grabbed five catches for 114 yards and a touchdown versus Vanderbilt. This marked his second 100-yard game for the season after hauling in eight balls for 106 yards and two scores at Missouri.
Gurley & Marshall = "Gurshall"
Since the legendary #34 Herschel Walker lined up in the Bulldog backfield, every tailback since then has been compared to the Heisman Trophy winner who led the Bulldogs to the 1980 national championship. This season, true freshmen Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, who wear No. 3 and 4 respectively, have been nicknamed 'Gurshall' by senior receiver Tavarres King.
Against Tennessee, the pair combined for 294 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. Marshall averaged 16.4 yards/carry versus the Volunteers, tallying a career-best 164 yards and two touchdowns while Gurley equaled his career high with 130 yards and three scores. Gurley's longest TD run against UT covered 51 yards while Marshall's were 72 and 75 yards.
Gurley leads the SEC in Scoring (60 pts.), is second in Kick Return Average (34.7) and is third in All-Purpose Yardage Per Game (128.4). Gurley, a Tarboro, N.C., native, and Marshall, a Raleigh, N.C., native, are roommates. Gurley has already been named the SEC Freshman of the Week three times while Marshall has had the honor once. Gurley, Marshall and Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel shared the honor the last week of September.
Most Yards Rushing By A Georgia Freshman
Best Season By UGA Freshmen Duos That Shared The Load
2012 Game-By-Game (Attempts-Yards-Touchdowns)
DEFENSE & SPECIAL TEAMS
Georgia has made key second-half adjustments as opponents have scored just 61 points in the second half, and one touchdown came on an interception return. The Bulldogs posted a second half shutout against Vanderbilt while Tennessee and #6 South Carolina scored 14 each in the second half. Georgia forced turnovers on the Volunteers' final three possessions in the 51-44 win. Kentucky was held to 10 points in the last two quarters last week.
In the Bulldogs' road game against Missouri, Georgia blanked the Tigers in the first and fourth quarters and allowed 10 points each in the second and third quarters. Missouri's two touchdown drives were courtesy of quickstrike scores of 41 and 69 yards. Both of the drives mentioned above were three plays each that were under a minute. After Georgia fell behind 17-9, the Bulldogs outscored Missouri 32-3 the rest of the way including 17-0 in the fourth quarter.
Here's a look inside the numbers for the Georgia defense this season:
SEC Sack Leader Jarvis Jones Is Back At It
Junior OLB and 2011 Butkus Award finalist Jarvis Jones gives the Bulldogs a solid foundation at linebacker with 19 career sacks in two seasons at Georgia. He is the current NCAA active career leader in sacks per game at 1.0. This season, he has 36 tackles, including 5.5 sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss, one interception and three forced fumbles, despite not playing versus Florida Atlantic (groin) and Kentucky (ankle). Jones earned multiple national player of the week honors for his dominating performance at Missouri. A consensus All-American, he led the SEC and was tied for fifth nationally with 13.5 sacks (which was just a half sack off David Pollack's school record 14 set in 2002) last year.
True freshman OLB Jordan Jenkins made his first career start with Jones out versus FAU. He had a career day against the Commodores with a pair of sacks. Versus the Volunteers, Jenkins posted a sack and a forced fumble late in the final period with Tennessee in line for a potential game-tying drive at the Georgia 35-yard line. With Jones out against Kentucky, Jenkins made his second start of the year.
Ogletree & Rambo Return To Form
Junior ILB Alec Ogletree led the Bulldogs with a career-high 14 tackles and a tipped pass that led to an interception versus Tennessee. It was his first action of the season and marked his fourth career game with at least 10 tackles. He followed that up with eight stops at #6 South Carolina. On the road versus Kentucky, Ogletree led the Bulldogs with 11 stops while All-American safety Bacarri Rambo, who also made his season debut against the Vols, had 10 tackles. Rambo was second nationally in 2011 with an SEC-best eight picks.
Do You Know Amarlo?
Sophomore ILB Amarlo Herrera has burst onto the scene this season taking advantage of some playing time and posting career highs on the road. Herrera is quickly becoming well-known name throughout the Bulldog Nation as he is second on the team with 50 tackles, just one behind senior safety Shawn Williams (51). Herrera tallied a career-high 11 tackles at #6 South Carolina after registering a career-high 10 stops at Missouri. He added a 35- yard interception return for a touchdown during the 56-20 win over Florida Atlantic.
A Closer Look At The Secondary
Georgia's last two opponents, #6 South Carolina and Kentucky, have focused on running the ball. The Gamecocks finished with 230 yards on the ground with only 162 through the air. Meanwhile, the Wildcats tallied 206 yards rushing and only 123 yards passing.
The Bulldogs' secondary was tested heavily versus Tennessee. The Volunteers featured the SEC's top passing attack, the league's leading receiver and an offensive line that had surrendered just two sacks this year. UT QB Tyler Bray finished 24-of-45 for 281 yards with one sack and was picked off three times.
Senior CB Sanders Commings had two interceptions in the final 6:00 to extinguish any Tennessee rally and was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week. He is the first Bulldog since Bacarri Rambo to have a pair of picks in a game since 2011. Sophomore CB Damian Swann also recorded his first career interception in the victory over the Vols.
The Tale Of Turnovers
Georgia ranks seventh in the SEC in turnover margin at zero (10 gained, 10 lost) while the Gators are third at +11. Florida has just four turnovers this year and has had four games without one. The Bulldogs have had three games this year without turning the ball over to their opponents.
Big Guys Around The Ball
Georgia has an opposing frontline with senior N John Jenkins, a 6-3, 358-pound native of Meriden, Conn., and junior N Kwame Geathers, a 6-6, 355-pound native of Georgetown, S.C. They are flanked by seniors Abry Jones (6-3, 308) and Cornelius Washington (6-4, 268) at the DE spots. Jones missed most of the Kentucky game with an ankle injury. Geathers came off the bench to equal his career high with four tackles at Kentucky, including his first career sack and two tackles for loss. Also, Geathers blocked a PAT against Florida Atlantic to add to the frontline's threat.
Jenkins had a standout performance at #6 South Carolina where he had a career-high eight tackles and blocked the first field goal of his career. Versus Tennessee, he recovered a fumble late in the final period with the Volunteers attempting to tie the game. Junior DE Garrison Smith (6-3, 297) is second in the group with 23 tackles after registering six stops versus Tennessee. Jenkins leads the way with 26 tackles.
True Freshmen Specialists
Punter Collin Barber of Cartersville, Ga., and place-kicker Marshall Morgan of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., have replaced a couple of Bulldogs who are currently NFL starters (Drew Butler-Pittsburgh, Blair Walsh-Minnesota). Morgan has 45 points on the year. He has hit 5-of-6 field goals (including hitting both from 50+) and connected on 30-of-34 extra points. His performance at Missouri included a 41-yard FG and a 52-yard FG, which is the second longest in the SEC this year. It also was the longest on for the Bulldogs on the road since Walsh drilled a 53 yarder in 2009 (Oklahoma State).
Barber lifted a 57-yard punt on his first try against Buffalo and is averaging 39.7 yds. this year. This season is the first since 1985 that Georgia opened with a punter and placekicker without any collegiate experience. That year, punter Cris Carpenter and placekicker Steve Crumley were redshirt freshman.
The Return Men
Georgia has featured a couple of newcomers returning kickoffs and punts in 2012. Freshman TB Todd Gurley tied a school, SEC and NCAA record with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the first quarter versus Buffalo. Gurley leads the SEC in kickoff return average at 34.7. His record return came on the third time he touched the ball as a collegiate player. Gurley was named the College Football Performance Awards National Kickoff Returner of the Week and the SEC Freshman Player of the Week for his efforts. This was the first time the Bulldogs have had a 100-yard return since Brandon Boykin accomplished the feat versus Kentucky in 2010. Boykin had three of them in his career.
Two regulars on offense who have made significant contributions on special teams are senior running back Richard Samuel and sophomore FLK Chris Conley. Samuel thwarted Missouri's fake punt attempt in the fourth quarter. Samuel shed his block and tackled Tiger punter Trey Barrow to give the Bulldogs the ball at the Missouri 38 yard line. Conley blocked a Buffalo punt to set up a 35-yard field goal. Conley had one catch versus Kentucky that resulted in a touchdown.
Senior SN Ty Frix was recently named a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation's William V. Campbell Trophy. This honor recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation.
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