Georgia has never lost a regular-season game to a non-conference opponent under coach Mark Richt.
That streak isn't likely to end Saturday afternoon when the No. 10 Bulldogs return to Sanford Stadium for their first meeting against Troy following their most impressive win of the season.
Oddsmakers from Bodog.com have made Georgia -16.5 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday's game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 56% of bets for this game have been placed on Georgia -16.5 (View College Football bet percentages).
After a 35-14 loss to Tennessee on Oct. 6 dropped Georgia (6-2) to a disappointing 2-2 in the SEC, a third conference championship in six years seemed like a longshot. The Bulldogs, however, have played themselves back to the top of the league's East Division with wins over Vanderbilt and rival Florida.
Georgia needs to win its final two conference games - both at home - against Auburn on Nov. 10 and Kentucky on Nov. 17, and hope Tennessee loses one of its final three league contests to secure a spot in the SEC title game Dec. 1 at the Georgia Dome.
"We're going to let everyone else talk about where we are and might end up being," Richt said. "We're going to talk about Troy and take it one game at a time. We're not talking about anything else. We'll leave that to the fans if they want to."
Georgia will have to guard against an emotional letdown against Troy (6-2), the first-place team in the Sun Belt Conference. Although the Trojans have won six straight for the first time since 2000, they are 1-7 all-time against the SEC, allowing 105 points in losses this season to Arkansas and Florida.
Looking to build momentum before they take on 19th-ranked Auburn, the Bulldogs will be happy to get back to Athens for their first home game since Sept. 29. They are 14-4 at Sanford Stadium since the start of the 2005 season, with each loss coming against the SEC.
Georgia is 27-2 against non-conference opponents in seven seasons under Richt, losing bowl games to Boston College in 2001 and West Virginia in 2006. The Bulldogs are 19-0 at home against non-league teams.
"I know about Troy, and they always have tremendous athletes," Richt said. "They have SEC-caliber athletes on their team, at least they have in the last five to 10 years. They're a very well-coached team."
Georgia's rivalry with Florida has become one-sided lately with the Gators winning 15 of the previous 17 meetings. Last Saturday's matchup in Jacksonville proved different, though, as the Bulldogs drew emotion from their usually stoic coach and recorded a 42-30 victory.
Richt urged his team to play with a passion that has been absent much of the season. When Georgia took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, some 70 players stormed the end zone for a raucous celebration that sent yellow flags flying all over the place.
"It was going to be a team celebration, and just once," Richt said. "We weren't trying to disrespect anyone. I can see now that if tempers had flared it could have been bad, but our goal was never to stomp on a logo or flaunt anything in someone's face, but just to get excited to score a few points."
Redshirt freshman Knowshon Moreno keyed Georgia's offense for the second straight game, rushing for a season-high 188 yards and three touchdowns on 33 carries. Moreno ran for 157 yards in the Bulldogs' 20-17 win at Vanderbilt two weeks earlier.
He looks to become the first Bulldog with three consecutive 100-yard games since Musa Smith in 2002.
Troy won its sixth straight last Saturday, 27-0 over Arkansas State.
Quarterback Omar Haugabook rushed for 94 yards and two TDs and Leodis McKelvin had two of the Trojans' three interceptions.
Troy, which has outscored its last four opponents 130-30, is 1-12 against ranked teams.
by: Staff Writers - Email Us
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