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Saturday October 27, 2007Football Downed By Georgia

Jacksonville, FL

The ninth-ranked Florida football team (5-3/3-3 SEC) fell to No. 20 Georgia (6-2/4-2 SEC), 42-30, on Saturday at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in front of 84,481 fans. Sophomore quarterback Tim Tebow (Jacksonville, Fla.) rushed for two touchdowns and finished 14-for-22 for 236 yards and one score. Today’s contest marked the first time in the rivalry’s storied history that both teams scored more than 30 points.

 

After a fumble halted Florida’s first offensive possession, Knowshon Moreno triggered Georgia’s first scoring drive with eight carries on nine plays for 37 yards on a shortened field. Moreno recorded the game’s first touchdown on a one-yard plunge for an early 7-0 first-quarter advantage.

 

Tebow answered the call in just two plays for the Florida offense, finding Louis Murphy (St. Petersburg, Fla.) in stride down the left sideline for Florida’s first points of the game. The score was Murphy’s third of the year and followed a career-long 66-yard scoring strike against Kentucky last weekend.

 

Sophomore wide receiver Percy Harvin (Virginia Beach, Va.), selected as a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist earlier this week, kept the Georgia defense off balance early with back-to-back runs of 10 and 17 yards that helped set up the Tebow to Murphy connection. Harvin had 47 yards of rushing in the first quarter alone.

 

Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford countered with an 84-yard strike caught in full stride by Mohamed Massaquoi for a 14-7 Bulldogs’ lead.

 

Freshman punter Chas Henry (Dallas, Ga.) executed a coffin-corner punt to perfection to back Stafford and the Georgia offense to its own one-yard line. Henry’s skied punt paid off as sophomore cornerback Wondy Pierre-Louis (Naples, Fla.) intercepted Stafford on the ensuing play and returned his first interception of the season to paydirt to tie the game at 14.

 

After Brandon Coutu’s 54-yard field-goal attempt was missed short, his counterpart, senior Joey Ijjas (Clearwater, Fla.), booted a career-long 43-yard field goal to give the Gators their first lead of the game in the second quarter, 17-14.

 

The Bulldogs came right back and Moreno knifed his way through the Florida defense for a 10-yard touchdown run to highlight a 65-yard scoring drive as Georgia reclaimed the lead heading into halftime, 21-17.

 

Georgia capitalized on a 69-yard scoring drive to open the second half and resulted in a one-yard touchdown pass from Stafford to fullback Brannan Southerland as the Bulldogs extended their lead to 10 points.

 

Tebow scored a rushing touchdown for the ninth-consecutive game and the Gators sustained another scoring drive that ended with a one-yard plunge by the sophomore.

 

Stafford found Mikey Henderson for a 54-yard touchdown before Florida took advantage of a 52-yard Brandon James (St. Augustine, Fla.) kickoff return to set up shop in Georgia territory. Tebow bulled his way into the end zone for his second rushing score of the game and after a missed two-point conversion, closed the gap to five points.

 

Stafford converted a crucial third-down situation on Georgia’s next drive and Moreno did the rest, carrying the ball into the end zone for his third touchdown of the game to close the scoring at 42-30.

 

The Gators return to action next Saturday against Vanderbilt for Homecoming at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The game will be carried live on Lincoln-Financial Sports starting at 12:30 p.m.

 

-UF-

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