Gators come up short against Georgia
Published: Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 9:22 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 9:22 p.m.
JACKSONVILLE — What looked as if it was going to be a blowout turned into an edge-of-the-seat game Saturday night at EverBank Field. But the end result was the same as the last two SEC games for Florida as well as its last two games against Georgia.
Florida trailed 23-3 at the half before rallying, but came up short, 23-20. It was Will Muschamp’s third straight loss to the Bulldogs and Florida’s third straight loss of the season.
The Gators, now 4-4 and officially eliminated from the SEC East race, face Vanderbilt next week for a noon Homecoming game.
“We dug ourselves too big a hole,” said Muschamp, who also lost all four games he played in as a Georgia safety in this series. “We need to get out of the gates quicker.”
Instead, Florida gave up two quick touchdowns and couldn’t take advantage of Tyler Murphy’s career-long pass, an 83-yarder to Quinton Dunbar, on UF’s second play of the game.
Three Georgia field goals gave the Bulldogs a 23-3 lead at halftime. Despite shutting Georgia (5-3) out in the second half, Florida couldn’t get the ball back late when the Bulldogs went on a drive that took up the final 8:17 of the game.
The Bulldogs converted three first downs, then added a fourth when Darious Cummings was whistled for a hands-to-the-face penalty after the Gator defense had stuffed Georgia running back Todd Gurley on third-and-5.
“In the last 24 years, the University of Florida we’ve led the SEC in penalties 20 out of 24, either first or second,” Muschamp said. “That was long before I got here.”
Florida finished the game with seven penalties for 70 yards, although three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties were offset by Georgia in a game that became chippy in the second half.
Mack Brown scored Florida’s first offensive touchdown in the series in more than 150 minutes of playing time (since the first quarter of the 2011 game) on a five-yard run in the third quarter. Murphy ran for a 14-yard touchdown and converted a two-point conversion pass in the fourth quarter.
Loucheiz Purifoy had a sack of Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray for a safety for Florida’s other points.