The 16th-ranked Gator
football team knocked off previously unbeaten No. 4 Georgia, 14-10, on Saturday
afternoon at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville.
Florida (6-2/4-2 SEC) defeated the Bulldogs (7-1/5-1 SEC) for the 14th time in
the last 16 meetings in front of a crowd of 84,501, the second-largest of the
83 encounters between the Southeastern Conference rivals.
Junior quarterback Chris Leak (Charlotte, N.C.)
finished 15-of-20 for 108 yards with one touchdown and zero interceptions. He
joined Danny Wuerffel as the only quarterback in
school history to defeat four top-10 opponents away from Gainesville. Junior running back DeShawn Wynn (Cincinnati, Ohio)
eclipsed the century mark with 109 yards on 19 carries for the third 100-yard
rushing game of his career.
The Gators received
the opening kickoff and marched 80 yards on 13 plays, capped by a three-yard
touchdown run by Leak. Florida
converted four third downs in scoring on its initial possession for the first
time this season. Wynn gained 33 yards on five carries during the six-minute
drive, and had a 12-yard run and an eight-yard reception on third down to move
After forcing Georgia three-and-out on its first drive, senior
Vernell Brown (Gainesville, Fla.) returned the ensuing punt 29 yards
to give UF field possession at the Bulldogs’ 41-yard line. Leak found senior Dallas Baker (New Smyrna Beach, Fla.)
for 20 yards down the sideline and Wynn powered 19 yards on the next play to
reach the two-yard line. The Gators seized a 14-0 lead with 6:09 remaining in
the first quarter on a one-yard scoring toss from Leak to sophomore Tate Casey (Longview, Texas).
It was the tight end’s fourth reception of the year and his first touchdown
since Nov. 13 of last year during a 48-14 win over South Carolina.
After being held to
zero passing yards and 33 total yards in the opening frame, the Bulldogs got on
the board with 12:15 remaining in the second quarter on a 31-yard field goal by
sophomore Brandon Coutu. Georgia totaled 71 yards on the
14-play drive and held the ball for 4:17.
Junior Reggie Nelson (Melbourne, Fla.)
stopped a UGA drive with 6:48 left until halftime when he picked off junior Joe
Tereshinski III on third down. It was the safety’s
first interception as a Gator.
Late in the quarter
and facing a third down and 11, Leak found junior Chad Jackson (Hoover, Ala.) for a 21-yard gain down to Georgia’s
six-yard line with 1:21 showing on the clock. It was the 20th straight game
with a reception for the wide receiver. However, Wynn fumbled on the next play
and the Bulldogs recovered, sending the teams to the locker room with Florida holding a 14-3
advantage. Leak was 11-for-15 for 96 yards and Wynn gained 86 yards on 13
carries in the first half as UF held a 212-112 edge in total offense.
The Bulldogs misfired
on a 37-yard field goal on the opening drive of the second half after moving
the ball down to UF’s 22-yard line. Georgia’s
defense forced the Gators to punt after three plays and took over at UF’s 49-yard line. The result was a nine-play touchdown
drive completed by a nine-yard pass from sophomore running back Thomas Brown to
Tereshinski with 3:43 remaining in the third quarter
to help the Dawgs close the gap to 14-10.
Facing fourth down
and two at their own 39 yard-line on the last drive of the third quarter,
junior punter Eric Wilbur (Winter Park,
Fla.) picked up 20 yards on a fake to keep the drive going. Georgia’s
defense stiffened and forced UF to punt three plays later.
The Bulldogs took
over at the eight yard-line and used a 12-play, 57-yard to move into field-goal
position. Coutu’s 52-yard attempt with 7:41 remaining
in the game hit the right upright and bounced wide. Florida ran 4:31 off the clock before Wilbur
punted into the endzone for a touchback with 3:10
left. Although UGA converted a third down and 11 on a 21-yard completion by Tereshinski to senior Bryan McClendon, it was stopped on
the next four plays by the Gators, who proceeded to run out the clock.
Baker led the UF
receivers with 49 yards on five catches. Defensively, senior Jeremy Mincey (Statesboro, Ga.)
paced the Gators with six tackles, including an eight-yard tackle for loss.
In addition, Nelson totaled five tackles and an interception. For Georgia, Tereshinski was 8-of-21 for 100 yards, while sophomore
Danny Ware carried the ball 14 times for 71 yards.
The Gators return to
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium next weekend to host Vanderbilt (4-4/2-3 SEC) at 7:15
p.m. The game will be carried live on ESPN2.