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Vengeful Gators gang up, ground up Georgia

Associated Press / November 2, 2008
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Florida waited a year to celebrate against Georgia - and boy did the fifth-ranked Gators get to party.

Tim Tebow accounted for five touchdowns, Percy Harvin scored twice, and the fifth-ranked Gators thumped the No. 8 Bulldogs, 49-10, yesterday in Jacksonville, Fla., in one of the most anticipated matchups in the history of this storied rivalry.

The Gators (7-1, 5-1 Southeastern Conference) shut down Knowshon Moreno, took advantage of Georgia's numerous mistakes, and avenged last year's 42-30 loss in which the Bulldogs used a full-team, end zone celebration to energize them.

Florida's response?

How about the worst loss in Georgia coach Mark Richt's career, which left the preseason No. 1 staring at being No. 2 in the SEC East for the second straight year.

Florida coach Urban Meyer even called two timeouts in the final 44 seconds - surely to prolong Georgia's misery. Meyer said he did it because running back Emmanuel Moody deserved a couple extra carries, but few inside Jacksonville Municipal Stadium believed that.

"Enjoy the moment, enjoy the game," Tebow said. "We didn't do anything wrong. We were just playing the game."

The Gators won for the 16th time in the last 19 meetings, and this one was one of the most lopsided matchups. Florida's largest margin of victory in the series was a 47-7 win in 1996.

Tebow ran for a season-high three touchdowns, including two in the decisive third quarter. Florida outscored Georgia (7-2, 4-2) in the third by a 21-0 margin, scoring twice after turnovers.

Joe Haden intercepted Matthew Stafford's sideline pass intended for A.J. Green and returned it 88 yards to the 1. Tebow took it in from there, putting the Gators ahead, 21-3.

Florida forced a punt, then Tebow threw a 44-yard TD strike to Louis Murphy. Moreno, who ran for 188 yards and three TDs last year, fumbled on the ensuing possession. Terron Sanders picked it up and returned it to the Georgia 10.

Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, rambled in from 8 yards, and the party was on.

Alabama 35, Arkansas St. 0 - Mark Ingram rushed for 113 yards and two TDs on just 12 carries and Rashad Johnson scored on a 32-yard interception return as the No. 2 Crimson Tide dominated the Red Wolves in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Alabama (9-0) turned in an excellent all-around performance to set the stage for next week's showdown at No. 15 LSU in the type of game that has been a stumbling block for recent 'Bama teams. The Tide managed their first shutout since a 17-0 win over Mississippi State Nov. 5, 2005, and allowed only 158 yards on 54 plays against Arkansas State (4-4).

Ingram scored on runs of 5 and 17 yards in the second half for the freshman's first 100-yard game. Glen Coffee rushed for a 9-yard TD.

Oklahoma 62, Nebraska 28 - In their biggest offensive output in the storied series, the No. 4 Sooners (8-1, 4-1 Big 12) received five TD passes from Sam Bradford and put the visiting Cornhuskers away early.

Dominique Franks intercepted Joe Ganz's first pass attempt and returned it 18 yards for a TD, and Nebraska (5-4, 2-3) also had turnovers on each of their next two passes as Oklahoma raced to a 28-0 lead in the first 4 1/2 minutes and never looked back.

Southern Cal 56, Washington 0 - At Los Angeles, Mark Sanchez completed 15 of 19 passes for 167 yards and two TDs to Patrick Turner before coming out early in the third quarter, and the No. 7 Trojans (7-1, 5-1 Pac-10) scored TDs on their first six possessions in demolishing the horrid Huskies (0-8, 0-5).

Oklahoma St. 59, Iowa St. 17 - Dez Bryant caught four TD passes, Zac Robinson passed for 395 yards, and the No. 9 Cowboys rebounded from their first loss by routing the visiting Cyclones. Oklahoma State is 8-1 for only the third time and 4-1 in conference play for the first time since the Big 12 began play in 1996. Iowa State (2-7, 0-5) has lost seven in a row.

Utah 13, New Mexico 10 - Louie Sakoda kicked two field goals for the No. 10 Utes (9-0, 5-0 Mountain West), and Utah stopped two late drives by the host Lobos (4-6, 2-4) at midfield, one on downs with 3:46 left and the other as time ran out.

Boise St. 49, New Mexico St. 0 - Kellen Moore threw for 246 yards and three TDs, and the No. 11 Broncos (8-0, 4-0 WAC) allowed the host Aggies (3-5, 1-3) just 150 total yards and logged six sacks.

TCU 44, UNLV 14 - At Las Vegas, the 12th-ranked Horned Frogs (9-1, 6-0) received three TD passes from Andy Dalton in their tuneup for Thursday night's Mountain West showdown with No. 10 Utah.

Missouri 31, Baylor 28 - Chase Daniel passed for 318 yards and three TDs and Jeff Wolfert kicked a 34-yard field goal with 2:31 remaining to help the No. 14 Tigers (7-2, 3-2 Big 12) escape Waco, Texas, with a win.

LSU 35, Tulane 10 - Charles Scott rushed for 114 yards and the No. 15 Tigers (6-2) scored two TDs in 27 seconds late in the second quarter in a rout of the visiting Green Wave (2-6).

BYU 45, Colorado St. 42 - Dennis Pitta caught two fourth-quarter TD passes, including a 17-yarder with 22 seconds remaining from Max Hall, to rescue the No. 17 Cougars (8-1, 4-1 Mountain West) in Fort Collins, Colo.

Arkansas 30, Tulsa 23 - Dennis Johnson returned a kickoff 96 yards for a TD in the final minute of the third quarter to help the host Razorbacks (4-5) hold off a late charge by the No. 19 Golden Hurricane (8-1), who came into the game averaging 56.6 points.

Northwestern 24, Minnesota 17 - Brendan Smith grabbed a deflected ball and returned the interception 48 yards for a TD with 12 seconds left, a stunning finish for the Wildcats (7-2, 3-2 Big Ten) in their upset of the No. 20 Golden Gophers (7-2, 3-2) in Minneapolis.

Michigan St. 25, Wisconsin 24 - Brett Swenson kicked a 44-yard field goal with seven seconds left in East Lansing, Mich., giving the 22d-ranked Spartans (8-2, 5-1 Big Ten) a come-from-behind win over the Badgers (4-5, 1-5).

California 26, Oregon 16 - Marcus Ezeff recovered Oregon's fumble on a punt return to set up Shane Vereen's 2-yard TD run with 8:57 to play, and the Golden Bears (6-2, 4-1 Pac-10) persevered through a steady rain in Berkeley, Calif., for a victory over the 23d-ranked Ducks (6-3, 4-2).

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