ATHENS — Kirby Smart might find a thank-you note from yet another SEC team in his email on Sunday morning.
Former Georgia Bulldogs Jalen Kimber and Brenton Cox saved the game for the Florida Gators on Saturday night in Gainesville.
Kimber returned an interception 39 yards for a touchdown to extend Florida’s lead to 24-10 over South Florida en route to the Gators’ 31-28 victory at The Swamp.
“We still got work to do, I just keep my head down,” Kimber said, per 247Sports, “just keeping improving week by week.”
Cox, meanwhile, was a disruptor in behind the Bulls’ line of scrimmage throughout the game, tying for team honors with 9 tackles in addition to 2 QB hurries and a tackle-for-loss.
Cox played particularly big on South Florida’s final drive, recording a third down stop before the Bulls missed what would have been a game-tying field goal.
Last Saturday it was former Georgia DB Latavious Brini forcing a key fumble and former Bulldogs receiver Matt Landers starring for Arkansas.
Georgia fans will remember Kimber was a projected starter coming out of spring drills in 2021, only to suffer a shoulder injury that he attempted to play through before ultimately requiring season-ending surgery.
Cox, meanwhile, left after the spring of 2019 after he and his former roommate, Robert Beal, ran into off-field issues requiring disciplinary action.
Both players have grown since then, with Cox and Beal now holding leadership roles and starring for their teams.
Other former Georgia players this week ....
• LSU FS Major Burns had 5 tackles in 31-16 win over Mississippi State
• Arkansas WR Matt Landers 7 catches, 123 yards in 38-27 win over Missouri State
• Arkansas SS Latavious Brini 5 tackles in 38-27 win over Missouri State
• Alabama WR Jermaine Burton 1 catch, 16 yards in 63-7 win over Louisiana-Monroe
• West Virginia QB JT Daniels 16-24, 174, 1 TD in 65-7 win over Towson State
• Illinois TE Luke Ford 4 catches for 20 yards in 24-3 win over Virginia
• East Carolina WR Jaylen Johnson 1 catch, 28 yards, TD in 49-10 win over Campbell
• Michigan State CB Ameer Speed 3 tackles in 39-28 loss at Washington
• Miami CB Tyrique Stevenson, 1 tackle, 2 punt returns -3 yards, 17-9 loss at Texas A&M
• UCF S Divaad Wilson 2 tackles in 40-14 win over Florida Atlantic
• Troy K Brooks Buce, made 3 XP, missed 32-yd FG in 32-28 loss to Appalachian State