JACKSONVILLE,Fla.—Mark Richt headed down a hallway towards his postgame news conference Saturday night after another Georgia-Florida game.
“I love this walk,” the Georgia coach said out loud for anyone to hear.
He certainly has had reason to love it the past two seasons after Georgia victories.
Florida had won 18 of the last 22 games in the series entering Saturday, including eight of 11 against Richt.
The last Bulldogs coach that won two straight against the Gators was Vince Dooley in 1987-88 in his final two seasons during a stretch of three straight wins for the Bulldogs
“How ‘bout them Dawgs?” Richt said to a passerby in a wheelchair after the Bulldogs 17-9 upset of No. 3 Florida.
Richt had a stat sheet in his hand and let out a “woo!” I think that was after reading Jarvis Jones’ stat line for the night.
When he got before the microphones here was his opening comment:
“All right, I’m going to say it. God be the glory,” Richt said. “That’s what I say. The other stuff really doesn’t matter, but just really proud of our team. Proud of our coaches, our fans. Everybody believed and showed up and cheered, played their tails off. Florida is not a good team, they’re a great team in my opinion. Everything we saw on film you kind of scratch your head and try to find a way to have some success against them.”
When the game was over, Richt spent time soaking up the victory with the Georgia fans at EverBank Field.
“You need to enjoy those moments,” Richt said. “As long as the fans stuck around, I was going to stick around. I don’t think anybody in the Gator Nation really likes me anyway. I don’t know if it’s going to add any incentive or not.”
Georgia is now in prime position in the SEC East, needing wins against Ole Miss and Auburn to go back to Atlanta.
“It’s still sinking in, but it’s an awesome feeling to win this game to put ourselves back in the driver’s seat,” said quarterback Aaron Murray, who got the signature win that eluded him but it came on a day he threw three interceptions. “To beat them two years in a row. I don’t know how many years since we’ve won two in a row. So it’s a great feeling.”
Some postgame notes and quotes:
–Todd Gurley rushed for 118 yards on 27 carries, the most yards by an individual against Florida this year.
“He’s a very physical kid, usually gets yards after carries,” Richt said. “He definitely secured the ball extremely well. Twenty-seven carries and no fumbles, that was big. We like our other backs, too, don’t get me wrong, but it was just one of those games where the bigger, more physical guy was what the doctor ordered because there wasn’t an awful lot of space in the run game.”
Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said Georgia did well in both run blocking and pass blocking, but penalties and turnovers killed the momentum,
–The game was spirited and penalty-filled.
Georgia had 14 penalties for 132 yards. Florida had 10 for 95.
Even before the game as teams came out of the tunnel before kickoff, Florida strength coach Jeff Dillman and Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham were jawing.
“I was telling our guys to get on the field,” Grantham said.
Florida safety Matt Elam also was involved.
“It’s not good to fight on the field, but everybody had a chip on the shoulder,” Malcolm Mitchell said of the chippy game. “Us. Them. We weren’t going to back down and we knew they weren’t either.”
–Safety Bacarri Rambo on the defense: “We just stepped up to the challenge. Everybody thought we were soft. They had more carted off the field then we did.”
–The last time Florida and its opponent combined for nine turnovers was 1996 against Louisiana-Lafayette.
Florida had six and Georgia three.
“Six turnovers, wow,” Florida coach Will Muschamp said. “That’s tough to overcome.”
Muschamp is now 0-6 in the game, including 0-4 as player at Georgia and 0-2 as coach atFlorida.
–Bobo on beating Florida a second straight year: “I thought tonight was awesome. You try to talk about each year’s a new year, but obviously it gets in these kids heads when the only thing they hear about constantly is they haven’t won 18 of 22. I thought you saw a will tonight to win. A lot of time that gets overlooked here at Georgia in certain weeks. Some other teams they talk about how they exerted their will and Georgia they talk about how we almost lost that game. The bottom line is we won that game and we went and got it on both sides of the ball and special teams.”
–Please follow me at Twitter.com/marcweiszer