Dogs caught in three-way race for East with Florida, South Carolina

OK, Georgia fans, ready to do the Gator Chomp?

That may be too much to stomach, but the Bulldogs and their followers certainly have reason to root for Florida to knock off South Carolina on Saturday to help Georgia’s chances of getting back to the Southeastern Conference title game.

Coach Mark Richt, whose team was off Saturday after a 35-7 loss a week earlier at South Carolina, already set the tone for the position the Bulldogs are in with this post on his Twitter account before the weekend: “I’m a big time LSU fan this weekend. Geaux Tigers!”

LSU delivered, beating South Carolina 23-21 Saturday night in Baton Rouge.

Now if first-place and third-ranked Florida (6-0, 5-0 SEC) defeats No. 9 South Carolina (6-1, 4-1) Saturday in Gainesville and loses to Georgia (5-1, 3-1) Oct. 27 in Jacksonville, the Bulldogs will have the inside track to represent the East in the league championship game because of the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Gators.

“If we win out, we know we’re the Eastern Division champs because we already beat Georgia,” Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier said after losing to LSU. “We know that.”

Georgia, of course, can’t stumble Saturday in Lexington when it plays struggling Kentucky at 7 p.m on FSN.

“Right now, I think the best thing for Georgia is to focus on getting better, focus on Kentucky,” Richt said Sunday when asked about the SEC East race.

“That’s kind of a boring answer as always, but it’s really what we’ve got to do. We’ve got some things we’ve got to clean up.”

South Carolina’s only other remaining SEC games are at home against Tennessee and Arkansas.

“Florida’s pretty much in the driver’s seat but yet they’ve still got to beat us and Georgia,” Spurrier said Sunday. “So it’s wide open pretty much. Three teams are still in it. … It will be a monumental task if we can regroup, go down there and get in a close game with them.”

Florida sits alone atop the SEC East standings after the Gators turned back Vanderbilt, 31-17, in Nashville.

The Bulldogs moved up a spot to No. 13 in the Associated Press poll without playing last week and are No. 12 in the coaches’ and Harris polls. They stayed put in the coaches’ poll but were down a spot in the Harris. And the Bulldogs came in at No. 11 in the BCS standings, released on Sunday for the first time of the season.

Kentucky’s game at Arkansas was officially called due to inclement weather with 5:08 left in the third quarter, but that was enough for the Razorbacks to rout the Wildcats 49-7. The game was delayed for 66 minutes in the first quarter due to lightning.

Kentucky (1-6, 0-4 SEC) is one of four teams still winless in the SEC. It has lost by an average of 28.5 points in its SEC games.

The Wildcats are last in the conference in scoring defense and second to last in total offense. It ranks 113th in that category.

“We’ve got six games to go,” Richt said. “We want to finish strong. If we can keep improving as we go, we’ve got a chance to have some fun at the end here, but we’ve got a ways to go.”

Notes: Asked if he still thought outside linebacker Jarvis Jones would play Saturday after missing practices last week with a sprained ankle, Richt said: “Oh yeah. Sure do.” … Richt only saw about five minutes of the LSU-South Carolina Saturday night because he was riding home from Mars Hill (N.C.) College, where he saw his son play quarterback in a 35-28 victory over Catawba. Jon Richt set school records in passes (52), completions (33) and passing yards (370) and threw four touchdowns. “It was fun,” Richt said. “It was a beautiful day, perfect weather. Won the game, broke some records. It was the last time I’ll probably ever get to see him play college ball in person. It was a treat for me and the family.” … Saturday’s game is homecoming at Kentucky.

Blog: Second impressions: Winning field position, Maxey(mized) and using...

by Marc Weiszer

Some thoughts two days after Georgia’s rousing 45-21 victory over Clemson: – Clemson led the nation in tackles for loss last year—9.5 per game—and had much... Full Story

Follow marcweiszer

marcweiszer

RT @osgators: While UF’s suspended game w/ Idaho unresolved, 3 suspended #Gators have been reinstated after 10 seconds of action: http://t.…

2 hours ago