Ole Miss Rewind: Dogs climb out of 10-0 hole, hammer Rebels 37-10 to surge within a win over Auburn to get back to SEC title game
Posted on Nov 3, 2012 by Murray Poole |
One more win.
One more win to Hotlanta.
For most of the first half Saturday at Sanford Stadium, the Georgia Bulldogs looked as if they had left their winning ways back in Jacksonville, w here they had upset Florida 17-9 the previous weekend.
But after they managed their first lead of the game at 14-10 – after trailing by 10-0 – in the waning moments of the first half, the Bulldogs erupted for 16 unanswered points in the third quarter and went on to rout the Ole Miss Rebels by 37-10 to make it a joyous Homecoming day.
Climbing to 8-1 on the season and to 6-1 in the SEC, Georgia now needs only to topple struggling Auburn (2-7) this coming Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium to lock up the Eastern Division title and earn their second consecutive trip to the conference title game Dec. 1 at the Georgia Dome.
After being harassed and sacked five times in the first half, junior quarterback Aaron Murray bounced up with a flourish to drill the Rebels for 384 yards and four touchdowns.
“This is huge,” said Murray. “They’re a very talented team and we knew it was going to be a battle the entire game and to come out with a victory once again and be in charge of our own destiny, to have just one more win to get back to Atlanta, it’s really a great feeling right now. They (Rebels were blitzing us all night and I like the blitz because it really opens things up in the passing game for us and I know our guys do a great job of picking it up so once we got ahold of what they were doing defensively, we were picking it up and our receivers were getting open for me so it was a great win.
“At the half, Coach Richt just wanted us offensively to have more consistent drives,” added Murray. “We hit some big plays early on but never really consistent drives where we moved the ball so that’s what he really wanted, and I think we gave it to him the first two drives of the second half, really moving the ball down the field and punching in two more touchdowns.”
Although offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said the Bulldogs changed their protection somewhat after the Rebels continually got to Murray in the early going, Georgia sophomore center David Andrews said there was more to it than that, as the Bulldogs took charge of the game from near the end of the second period on.
“I think it was us just waking up and starting to go play football,” exclaimed Andrews. “You can’t say much about anyone else but the O-line didn’t come out playing football that first half. And I take responsibility for that. We were dead and we’ve just got to do better than that and come out and play football. But we got hit in the mouth and we answered,” said Andrews. “We just kept throwing punches. Our coaches had us ready to play but they can only do so much. We’ve got to take control and go play and we didn’t do that. We’ve got to do a better job of that.”
The Rebels dominated the first quarter, driving to a 34-yard field goal by Bryson Rose after receiving the opening kickoff while dominating time of possession and sacking Murray three times. And Ole Miss would stretch that lead to 10-0 just inside the second period via a 13-yard pass from Bo Wallace to tight end Jamal Mosley.
With the ball being tossed back and forth in a turnover-plagued second quarter, the Bulldogs would finally get on the scoreboard when, on a third-and-one at the Georgia 34, Murray faked a run into the line, hid the ball, turned his back to the Rebel defense (a la former QB David Greene) and passed to a wide-open Marlon Brown, the Bulldog wideout running by himself beyond the Ole Miss secondary. Following the 66-yard play, Marshall Morgan’s kick pulled the Bulldogs within 10-7 with 10:30 left in the second period.
Then, some seven minutes later after the Rebels punted to Georgia at the Bulldogs’ 16, Murray directed an 84-yard, 9-play drive that would lift Georgia into its 14-10 halftime lead. But, just barely … after the Rebels registered their fourth and fifth sacks of Murray, to put the ball back at the Rebel 40-yard line and with 12 seconds remaining when the play began, Murray escaped another rush, rolled to his right and hit Tavarres King with a strike inside the 5-yard line. King surged across the goal line and with but three seconds left in the opening half, Morgan’s PAT handed the Bulldogs its first lead of the contest.
Receiving the second-half kickoff, the Bulldogs then wheeled 79 yards on just six snaps to boost their lead to 21-10. Murray had a 17-yard pass to Marlon Brown and a 15-yard strike to Rhett McGowan along the way and then pumped and hit Malcolm Mitchell with a 42-yard throw down the right sidelines for the touchdown. Morgan’s kick followed with still 12:52 left in the third.
After the Georgia defense forced another Rebel punt, the Bulldogs again surged the distance in six plays, this time going 77 yards. Brown caught a 30-yard pass from Murray on the drive, a play that forced him to leave the game with a knee injury. Jay Rome pulled in a 19-yard pass to the Ole Miss 16 and three plays later, fullback Zander Ogletree tallied his first touchdown for the Bulldogs, on an 8-yard run up the middle. With the kick, it was now 28-10 with 9:17 in the third period. And in the last minute of the quarter, the Georgia lead would go to 30-10 as after Collin Barber hammered a 48-yard punt to the Rebels’ 3, Alec Ogletree nabbed Jeff Scott in the end zone on a wide run attempt for a safety.
The Bulldogs would continue to pour it on as with 8:29 left in the game, Murray uncorked his fourth touchdown pass of the game, this time a 23-yarder to Rantavious Wooten in the end zone to push the lead to 37-10.
A great resiliency and refusal to quit after not much was going right and they fell into that 10-0 hole, that was the biggest thing that worked for these Bulldogs in a game in which Georgia tallied 37 unanswered points to win going away. Also, a refusal to abandon the running game as evidenced by freshman tailback Todd Gurley coming on to soar past the 100-yard rushing mark once again. Then there was Murray’s pinpoint passing (21-of-28 with no interceptions) as well as a defense that grew stronger as the game moved along while limiting Bo Wallace and the Ole Miss attack to just 46 yards net rushing and 188 passing. And look at those final penalties, just three infractions for 24 yards, what after those 14 for 142 yards last week against the Gators.
What Didn’t Work
The five sacks allowed of Murray were troublesome but, as Andrews stated, the offensive line decided to play football after the rough early going. Also, the Bulldogs had some clock mismanagement in their two-minute drill in attempting to score just prior to the halftime break. But, thank goodness, after Murray was sacked by the Rebels on two consecutive plays and, after both a Georgia and Ole Miss timeout, Murray hit Tavarres King with the 40-yard touchdown strike with just the three seconds left on the clock.
In addition to Murray and Gurley’s 117 yards on 18 carries, Brown had three receptions for 113 yards including the 66-yard scoring catch while Mitchell and Rome snared three balls each, Mitchell for 55 yard including his TD catch and Rome for 27 yards. Wooten caught two passes including his 23-yard scoring reception. Defensively, junior linebacker Alec Ogletree turned in another huge performance, with 11 total tackles including an interception, a sack and two tackles for loss including his stop of Scott that accounted for the Georgia safety. Bacarri Rambo and Garrison Smith followed with seven tackles each and then came Sanders Commings and Amarlo Herrera with five stops each. Smith, Shawn Williams and Damian Swann recorded sacks on a night when All-America Jarvis Jones was checked to three tackles and no sacks. Swann also recovered a fumble caused by Rambo and scampered 53 yards with it. Collin Barber continued his outstanding improvement punting the ball by averaging 48.2 yards on five kicks including two that put the Rebels back inside their 20-yard line … one of those of course being downed at the Ole Miss 3 and setting the stage for the Bulldogs’ defense notching the safety.
Big Night Awaits on the Plains
After Auburn captured only its second victory of the season against New Mexico State Saturday, you can bet the Tigers will be primed to play their best game to date and thereby spoil the Bulldogs’ SEC Championship Game aspirations when the two ancient rivals clash in Saturday’s p.m. game at Auburn. “I start talking to the team right after the game about that,” said Richt. “I told them they had to get their minds right and start getting ready. We’re one game away from our goal of winning the Eastern Division, and we’ve got a lot of work to do between now and then. It’s never easy going to Auburn. They’ll be playing out of their minds and we’ve got to be prepared for that.”
Tagged: georgia football, ole miss rebels, aaron murray, tavarres king, marlon brown, todd gurley, alec ogletree, zander ogletree, rantavious wooten, bacarri rambo, marshall morgan, malcolm mitchell, collin barber, garrison smith, sanders commings, amarlo herrera, jarvis jones, mark richt, auburn tigers
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