LEXINGTON, KY - For the second times in as many years, Georgia controls its own destiny in the SEC East after dropping a game to South Carolina.
Who would have ever thought that?
But after Florida thumped the Gamecocks 44-11 Saturday afternoon in Gainesville, that's exactly the case, even after the Bulldogs struggled to beat Kentucky, 29-24.
With a victory over the Gators (7-0, 6-0) next week in Jacksonville, the Bulldogs (6-1, 4-1) would just need to beat Ole Miss and Auburn to return to Atlanta and the SEC Championship for the second straight year.
"At the end of the day, it all depends on how we play next Saturday," quarterback Aaron Murray said. "We know we have to play an unbelievable game offensively, defensively and on special teams if we want to have a chance to win that game, so we just have to be ready to go."
Although the game went final just around kickoff in Lexington Saturday night, wide receiver Tavarres King claimed he didn't know until after his contest was over.
"I didn't even ask. I didn't even know until after the game," King said. "I'm guessing the rest of the guys didn't either. We know we'll have our work cut out."
Jones missed second game
For the second time this year, linebacker Jarvis Jones did not suit up for the Bulldogs as coaches decided to let him rest his sprained ankle one more week before next week's game against the Gators.
Freshman Jordan Jenkins started in his place and finished with two tackles.
Earlier this year, Jones missed the contest against Florida Atlantic after suffering a strained groin the week prior in the game against Missouri.
"Right now we're not sure about Jarvis," head coach Mark Richt said after the game. "Jarvis could not have played tonight, but we hope he'll be back Monday for practice, but we'll see."
Defensive end Abry Jones left the game in the first quarter with a sprained left ankle and did not return.
According to Richt, he was the only significant injury.
"We had some other guys banged up," Richt said. "But I don't believe it's anything too serious."
Murray enjoys career night
Murray enjoyed a career night, setting the school career touchdown pass record with 75 while completing a career-high 30 passes for a career-high 427 yards. Also, he set a school record for Best Completion Percentage in a Game with at least 30 completions.
He had a 78.95 mark, breaking current offensive coordinator Mike Bobo's mark of 76.92 vs. Georgia Tech in 1997, when he was 30 of 39. And one more note, Murray's 427 yards passing ranks as the sixth best in school history and most since Eric Zeier had 441 vs. Vanderbilt in 1994. Murray's 427 yards tonight ranks as the second best in the SEC this year behind Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel's 453 against Arkansas.
"It was neat, I'm happy for him," King said. "I'm just happy for him progressing, getting better and doing his thing. I can't say enough about his work ethic and the way he goes about his business."
Murray opened the scoring with a 2-yard touchdown pass to King in the second quarter. Murray also had a 66-yard scoring strike to King and a 22-yard TD pass to sophomore wide receiver Chris Conley and a 10-yard touchdown to tight end Arthur Lynch.
The 75 touchdown passes ranks in a tie for ninth in the SEC record books with Casey Clausen of Tennessee. The Bulldogs' 97-yard scoring drive in the game was its longest this season. It was the longest drive for the Bulldogs since Georgia had a 99-yard scoring drive against Ole Miss in 2011.
This and that
King had a career-high 9 catches for a game-high 188 yards and tied his career high with two touchdowns . This marks his fifth career 100-yard game and his second this season. He leads the team with five touchdowns catches this season and has 17 in his career, which is fifth in school history.
Sophomore split end Malcolm Mitchell finished with a career high 9 receptions for 103 yards. Tonight was the first time since the 2010 Florida game when the Bulldogs had two 100-yard receivers in a game. That year, Orson Charles (108) and King (104) did it. Mitchell's career high in yards is 126 versus Missouri earlier this season. Conley's TD catch was his first of 2012 and the third of his career. … Senior free safety Bacarri Rambo finished with 11 tackles, senior strong safety Shawn Williams and junior linebacker Alec Ogletree had 10 tackles apiece. Also of note, junior Kwame Geathers recorded his first career sack. Geathers finished with four tackles.