Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Mississippi State Factor

2004 was Coach Richt's fourth year on the sideline for the Georgia Bulldogs. After already winning an SEC Championship and playing for another, Coach Richt had one item left on his SEC checklist: beat the Florida Gators. An experienced Georgia team led by seniors David Greene and David Pollack had thumped defending national champion LSU a few weeks earlier, and despite a slip up against Tennessee, were expected to compete for the SEC Championship.

Florida, on the other hand, was struggling. Coach Ron Zook was already on the hot seat the week before the Georgia game when he took his Gators to Starkville. Mississippi State was in its first year under Sylvester Croom and not expected to hang with Florida. On that day, the western Bulldogs beat the Gators 38-31, and the term "getting Croomed" was born. The next day, Florida made Ron Zook a lame duck coach by announcing that he would not return for the 2005 season.

With the Gator's struggling, Georgia took advantage and earned their first victory over Florida in the 2000's. David Greene hooked up with Fred Gibson in the fourth quarter to help seal the victory:

Six years later, the Dawgs head to Jacksonville with Gators reeling from a defeat at the hands of the Mississippi State Bulldogs. After the rough start for Georgia, the Dawgs have won three straight SEC games while scoring at least 41 points in all three contests. Florida has lost three games in a row, averaging only 14 points per game.

Will the Mississippi State factor be enough to help Georgia get back above .500? We'll find out Saturday in Jacksonville.


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