Tuesday December 1st, 2015 4:59PM

Dogs back in front of SEC East, but must keep winning to stay there

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA -- When it comes to Georgia's consecutive wins against Florida, Mark Richt is more focused on the implications for this year's race in the Southeastern Conference than any historical significance.

In fact, the coach seemed surprised Sunday when asked what it meant that his Bulldogs had beaten the Gators in two straight years for the first time since 1988-89.

"I just don't look at it that way," Richt said after a long pause. "I just look at it as we play them once a year. One shot a year to get them. I always think about when we get to that game it has the type of meaning that it did have. You hope you're still in the race when you get to that game because it is deep enough into the season that you want it to be meaningful in the Eastern Division race for your team."

Saturday's 17-9 win over the Gators certainly was an important victory for Georgia, which can win the division and earn its second straight trip to the conference championship game if it beats Mississippi and Auburn the next two weeks. The Bulldogs host Ole Miss on Saturday.

Richt said his players also are focused on a return to the SEC championship game in Atlanta. He said linebacker Jarvis Jones' thoughts turned to Ole Miss soon after he had 13 tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries against Florida.

"Jarvis Jones said this victory really doesn't mean anything unless we keep winning," Richt said. "Of course he's talking about the race to the Eastern Division. We know we've got to win. We know we've got to continue to play like we did this last game to really give us our best chance."

Georgia (7-1, 5-1) moved up five spots Sunday to No. 7 in The Associated Press Top 25.

The Bulldogs trailed South Carolina and Florida in the Eastern Division after their 35-7 loss to the Gamecocks on Oct. 6. South Carolina's losses to LSU and Florida gave Georgia renewed hope.

Led by Jones, Georgia's defense forced six turnovers as the Bulldogs overcame three interceptions by Aaron Murray and 14 penalties for 132 yards. The defense responded to a challenge from senior safety Shawn Williams, who said the unit was playing soft.

"When I watched the film, it's a lot of guys playing physical, a lot of guys playing hard, playing really hard," Richt said. "You could see the whole group hustling, gang-tackling. There were some great individual plays and they were kind of feeding off each other. It was exciting to watch as it happened and it was actually fun to watch the film."

Georgia held the Gators without a touchdown for the first time since 1988 - Vince Dooley's final season as coach.

The Bulldogs dominated the rivalry under Dooley, but Saturday's win was only Georgia's fifth in the last 23 meetings. That's why Georgia fans celebrated the back-to-back victories, even if Richt maintained his tunnel vision.

"It's always going to be meaningful because it's a great rivalry game and it does mean a lot to our players and coaches and fan base, but I really don't think much about streaks and all that," he said.

Richt savored the win with his players on the field long after the game.

"It was awesome," Murray said. "Everyone was going crazy. I felt like we were out there for 20 or 30 minutes. There isn't a better feeling."

The focus then shifted to Ole Miss (5-3, 2-2), which has won two straight.

"We haven't won the East yet," Georgia safety Bacarri Rambo. "We still have two more games left."
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Tech beats Southern California in Sun Bowl
Tevin Washington threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score to help Georgia Tech beat Southern California 21-7 on Monday in the Sun Bowl.
5:54PM ( 2 years ago )
Top 10 sports stories of the year: 2012 one for the history books
2012 has been all things to all people in the sports world. The last 12 months have run the gamut of emotions and given fans and spectators much to awe, rue and everything in between.
2:33PM ( 2 years ago )
College Football Hall to break ground in Atlanta
Groundbreaking for the new College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta will be Jan. 28 and the museum is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.
2:15PM ( 2 years ago )
Tech's 2nd half surge beats Fordham 73-48
Daniel Miller and Robert Carter Jr. each scored 14 points and Georgia Tech scored 17 straight points in the second half en route to a 73-48 victory over Fordham on Saturday night.
10:17PM ( 2 years ago )
Djurisic's career night leads Dogs past Florida A&M
Nemanja Djurisic scored a career-high 21 points and Georgia won its third straight Saturday 82-73 over Florida A&M.
7:26PM ( 2 years ago )
Ga. Southern beats Ga. State, 68-64 in overtime
Eric Ferguson scored 24 points and Georgia Southern overcame a late double-digit deficit to beat Georgia State 68-64 in overtime on Saturday.
7:25PM ( 2 years ago )
College Sports
GHSA sets new regions for 2016-18 seasons
The Georgia High School Association released the new region alignments Tuesday for the upcoming 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons.
9:57PM ( 4 hours from now )
(VIDEO) Commerce football heading on road with confidence
Commerce football may be nicknamed the Tigers, but, for this season at least, they might as well re-name themselves the Road Warriors.
6:14PM ( 1 hour from now )
Three semifinal showdowns take center stage, two on air Friday
One newcomer and two veterans from northeast Georgia will put their playoff credentials on the line on Friday, as the GHSA football semifinals get underway around the state.
6:00PM ( 1 hour from now )
Pemberton to leave NASCAR as VP of Competition
NASCAR announced Tuesday that Senior Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton will leave the organization at the end of 2015.
3:01PM ( 1 hour ago )
New GHSA region alignments due to be revealed Tuesday
On Tuesday schools across the state, and plenty here in northeast Georgia, will learn their region foes for the next two years, as the GHSA releases its new alignments for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years.
By AccessWDUN Staff
12:54PM ( 4 hours ago )