|No. 4 Florida dominant again in win over Georgia|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 02 November 2008 10:52|
In between, the Gators dominated the Bulldogs as if it were the early 1990s, a 49-10 romp Saturday in Jacksonville that put Florida in command of the SEC East and back in the national title picture.
``We enjoyed that win,'' Meyer said Sunday. ``Wins are too hard to get, especially in rivalry games.''
It was the fourth consecutive drubbing for the Gators, who moved up one spot to No. 4 in the latest Associated Press poll. Florida (7-1, 5-1) has outscored its last four opponents 201-43, all since a 31-30 loss to Mississippi that prompted quarterback Tim Tebow to promise something good would come from the setback.
It could happen next week.
n a row after a 5-0 start.
``There will be no talk whatsoever about championships,'' Meyer said. ``There will be no talk about anything other than how we prepare for a game.''
That plan worked perfectly against the Bulldogs.
The Gators were silent all week about Georgia's end-zone celebration last season. They wanted to respond on the field - and boy did they.
Florida scored touchdowns on seven of 11 possessions, didn't have a turnover and outplayed Georgia in every phase of the game.
It started with Spikes' resounding tackle on Moreno, which set the tone for the defense. The unit sacked Matthew Stafford twice, picked him off three times and held Moreno to 65 yards on 17 carries. Moreno ran for 188 yards and three scores in Georgia's 42-30 victory last year.
``Our motto was to be like a gauntlet: Keep hitting him, hitting him, hitting him and he'll get tired,'' safety Will Hill said.
Florida, which beat Georgia for the 16th time in the last 19 meetings, turned in similar defensive performances the previous three games against Arkansas, LSU and Kentucky - the kind of run-stuffing, quarterback-pressuring schemes missing most of last season. Meyer said maturity and competition were the main reasons for the turnaround.
, at some points last year, held hostage by playing some people that weren't deserving to be on the field. That's not the case this year at all.''
The defense finished with four turnovers, none bigger than Joe Haden's 88-yard interception return in the third quarter. Trailing 14-3, Georgia was moving the ball with ease. But Haden stepped in front of A.J. Green, picked off Stafford's pass and returned it to the 1-yard line.
Tebow took over from there, taking it in for his second of three rushing touchdowns. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner also was 10-of-13 passing for 154 yards and two scores.
Tebow sprained his left ankle late in the third and was wearing a protective boot after the game. He sat out much of the fourth quarter, heading to the bench with the game well in hand.
The Gators were up 49-3 when Georgia finally got into the end zone. Florida fans mockingly cheered for the Bulldogs. Haden and safety Ahmad Black also applauded in jest.
But that might not have been the most embarrassing part for Georgia, which fell from eighth to 14th in the AP poll. Meyer called two timeouts in the final minute, surely to prolong the Bulldogs' misery and maybe get even for last year's contentious celebration.
Meyer said he wanted to get Emmanuel Moody a few extra carries, but no one watching this storied, heated rivalry believed that.
e're trying to do.''
The beatdown was Florida's second-largest margin of victory in the series - the Gators won 47-7 in 1996 - and the worst loss in Mark Richt's coaching career at Georgia.
``We wanted this one for 365 days,'' Black said. ``We wanted to come back here and play this game and earn some respect for the Gators.''