No. 1 Georgia (8-0) remained undefeated by taking down their rivals, the Florida Gators (4-4) on Saturday.
The defending national champions came out of the locker room sluggish and allowed Florida to score the first 17 points of the second half. The third quarter surge by the Gators allowed them to cut into the 28-3 deficit they faced at halftime.
But Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs ultimately responded with back-to-back touchdown drives to defeat Florida 42-20.
The Dawgs recorded their fifth victory in six years against the Gators.
Quarterback Stetson Bennett completed 19 passes on 38 attempts for a total of 316 yards. He is credited with two touchdowns, but he did throw an interception.
The highlight of the day happened when sophomore tight end Brock Bowers hauled in a ball that was deflected off a Florida defender.
The ball bounced off linebacker Amari Burney’s helmet and somehow landed in Bower’s arms. Bowers was able to grab possession of the ball and scampered to the end zone.
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Burney earned some redemption later in the game when he forced a second half fumble. The turnover led to a field goal. Burney later intercepted Bennett.
Georgia racked up 555 total yards and converted two of their three fourth down attempts.
Florida’s Anthony Richardson threw for 271 yards, but those yards were mostly accumulated on two big plays of 78 and 41 yards. Freshman Trevor Etienne did reach the end zone while rushing for 53 yards.
The Gators continue to struggle against SEC opponents, losing 12 of the last 15 matchups.
Georgia’s tenth straight victory comes just one day after the death of legendary coach Vince Dooley was announced.
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During his tenure, Dooley compiled a record of 17-7-1 against Florida. One of the most celebrated wins over the Gators happened in 1980, when Lindsay Scott caught a 93-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Buck Belue late in the game.
The improbable 26-21 victory propelled the Bulldogs to a perfect season and their first consensus national title.
Georgia is expected to remain the top ranked team in the country when the latest polls are released.
Florida traveled to College Station next Saturday for a matchup against Texas A&M. No. 1 Georgia will host No. 3 Tennessee on Nov. 5. The Bulldogs have won five consecutive games in the series.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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