Gators Chomp Dem Dawgs

Chaz MattsonAnalyst INovember 2, 2008

It wasn’t a Batman movie but it sure seemed like it if you saw what happened in Jacksonville on Saturday.

The game started out with a CRRRRRRRUUUUUNCH!!! 

It was the opening sound clip for the Gators Moses Jenkins on kick coverage.

BIFF!!!  Justin Trattou was seen stopping the early Georgia inside screen play.

SMACK-POW!!!  Mr. (Justin) Spikes said to Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno on second down. 

FALSE START!!!  Mr. Ref said to the crowd.

THREE AND OUT!!!  Gator defense held the Georgia offense to end the first series.

In a college football game that is not your everyday game, there were two common rivals fighting it out for bragging rights and an outside shot at the National Championship. 

Hope was alive early for both Florida and Georgia, however, that was prior to kickoff.  Once the white jerseys trimmed in orange and blue touched the field, for all intensive purposes, this game was over. 

Final damage:  Florida 49, Georgia 10. 

For the most partm the early defensive intensity from Florida was later transferred to Tim Tebow and the offense to dispose of the rival Georgia Bulldogs.  The Gators showed the only thing they really wanted was revenge.  Revenge in football is usually served best cold, as in raw, as in Dawg meat. 

Georgia missed an early field goal attempt which seemed like an appropriate follow-up to their uninspired start.  Then Florida's Tim Tebow was given the benefit of the doubt on a bad spot of the ball after a crucial third and one play that fell short. 

The result was bad, but after a challenge by Georgia head coach Mark Richt the call on the field stood up.  That response sent Richt over the edge and the emotions remained out of synch the rest of the day for this rivalry.

Last year Georgia and their head master were criticized for their on-field display after scoring their first touchdown.  The whole team decided to rush onto the field and celebrate. 

From that moment on, the bitterness in this rivalry elevated.  After the way Florida finished off this game, it might be at an all-time high.  Florida coach Urban Meyer was relatively quiet about the subject only saying that they would handle it.

Besides the actions talking on the field there were some extra-curricular actions that will probably take stage over the next year.  Florida was still throwing the ball late and calling time-outs long after the game was decidedly out of hand. 

This was an absolute violation of respect and the gentleman’s silent agreement in football that you don’t disrespect an opponent when they are down, especially decidedly down. 

Call it motivation, revenge, piling on, spineless, classless, or effective.  Call it what you will, these actions will be discussed over the coming year even more than last years actions.

Dem Dawgs just didn’t seem like their usual self in Jacksonville yesterday.  They lacked intensity and focus that top teams always have in key match-ups.  Florida scored their first touchdown on a 13-yard option pitch from Tebow to Harmon that hit pay-dirt.  It appeared the dogs lined up wrong on the play and the outside was wide-open for the scamper at the end of the first quarter. 

Think hard about this next point.  When is the last time a player went 10 for 13 and was a candidate for the Heisman Trophy? 

Florida QB Tim Tebow won last year’s Heisman Trophy and solidified himself as a candidate this season following his stellar performance against Georgia on Saturday.  Tebow finished Saturday’s game 10 for 13 with two touchdown passes, three short touchdown runs, and zero interceptions.

Matthew Stafford of Georgia showed off his big time arm in this game, but the receivers dropped a large number of passes while the Georgia O-line broke-down often.  Stafford wound up battling an ankle injury and an elbow issue as well. 

The plight of the Georgia Bulldogs could be encapsulated in one word, coaching.  The coaching in this game for Georgia was so bad it took a relatively close game to a point where Nebraska and Georgia were comparing notes on who lost to a key rival by more points.  The Huskers lost to Oklahoma 62 to 28 while Georgia was stung by a 39 point margin.

Georgia missed two of their three field goal attempts leading to the door being open for the Gators.  After Georgia narrowed the gap to 7-3, Mark Richt had an onside kick blow-up on his team when Florida recovered the kick.  This would eventually lead to a Florida touchdown, a wider margin, and 7:26 taken off the clock before Tim Tebow scored on a one-yard run after falling just short on a two-yard run.

It wasn’t until the subsequent Georgia drive that they decided to get the run game going.  The balanced attack wound up getting the Bulldogs in striking range, however Stafford missed a connection on a wide-open Trip Chandler in the end-zone.  Blair Walsh's field goal attempt bounced off the left upright and the drive went for not. 

The theme of the day was becoming solidified just prior to half, the one thing Georgia did right on Saturday was shoot themselves in the proverbial foot.

After the opening drive of the second half stalled, the Gators special teams came up big by downing the punt at the Georgia two yard line.  Just when it seemed the Bulldogs had their act together by moving the ball down to the Florida 30. 

Stafford threw an interception to Gator DB Joe Hayden who cut in front of the receiver and found a way to get the ball all the way down to the Georgia one yard-line.  Tim Tebow ran just off left tackle and the route was becoming self evident at 21-3. 

After a Georgia punt on the following drive, Tebow solidified the games direction and came up big again.  This time Tebow hit Louis Murphy deep as he got behind the DB on a 44-yard bomb.

On the following Georgia drive Knowshon Moreno dropped the ball on a sweep toss and Florida recovered.  This led to another touchdown from Tim Tebow from seven yards out.   The feeding session was in full swing at 35-3 and the Gators feasted on the Dawgs. 


There were other elements that eventually came into play near the end of the game regarding the overall gamesmanship of both teams.  Those things will be talked about over the next year, but in the end Florida found a way to get it done against a good Georgia football team. 

The Gators dominated and the Dawgs self-destructed.  Final damage after garbage time 49-10.

Pass the ketchup.



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