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Saturday November 1, 2003Football Downs Bulldogs 16-13

Gainesville, FL

The No. 23 University of Florida football team (6-3, 4-2 SEC) extended its string of success against No. 4 Georgia (7-2, 4-2) with a 16-13 victory Saturday at AllTel Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla. A Matt Leach field goal with 33 seconds in the game gave the Gators the victory. The Gators have won 13 of 14 meetings with the Bulldogs.

With the scored tied with 3:49 remaining in the game, the Gators put together a 10 play, 66-yard drive that was capped off with the Leach field goal. Consecutive passes of 15 and 21 yards to Carlos Perez and Ben Troupe put the Gators in Bulldogs territory and set up the score.

Quarterback Chris Leak led the Gators with 235 yards passing on 13 of 23 passes. The backfield duo of DeShawn Wynn and Ran Carthon rushed for 77 yards on the night. Three receivers, Perez, Troupe and Dallas Baker, each caught for over 50 yards.

After going into the half tied at three, Florida scored 10 unanswered points to start the third quarter. Florida’s defense was unrelenting for most of the game. It set the tone early on with back-to-back sacks on the Bulldogs’ first possession by Channing Crowder and Travis Harris for a six-yard loss and Darrell Lee for nine yards.

Perez’s 34-yard touchdown reception with seven minutes left in the third quarter on a screen pass to the right side broke a 3-3 tie to put Florida up 10-3.

The Gators advanced 83 yards to Georgia’s 2-yard line in a late third quarter drive to set up Leach’s 19-yard field goal. It increased Florida’s lead to two possessions, 13-3.

Leach’s 24-yard field goal with 7:28 left in the second quarter drove the scoreless tie to give the Gators a 3-0 lead. Leach’s field goal came at the end of a 12-play, 72-yard drive. Consecutive passes of 14 and 37 yards to Baker and Troupe, respectively, moved Florida to Georgia’s 29. Florida had a first and goal at the Bulldogs’ 2-yard line, but a substitution infraction limited the Gators to a field goal attempt.

Georgia kicker Billy Bennett, who missed a 31-yard field goal attempt early in the second quarter, connected on a 21-yarder as the time expired in the first half to score three. Georgia marched the ball 70 yards on the drive, but the Gator defense clamped down in the red zone. Florida’s Harris made a key play when he sacked Georgia’s quarterback David Greene for a loss of seven yards.

Florida returns to action Saturday at 1 p.m. at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium versus Vanderbilt for Homecoming.

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