JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Georgia football delivered one body blow after another, setting up Florida for a 52-yard knockout punch in the fourth quarter.
The No. 8-ranked Bulldogs won their third straight in the rivalry series with the 24-17 win over the No. 6-ranked Gators at TIAA Bank Field on Saturday.
Quarterback Jake Fromm connected with Lawrence Cager on the deep strike working off play-action after the Bulldogs had opened the drive with six straight runs.
The Cager TD made it 24-10 before Florida came back to cut the lead to 24-17.
The Georgia offense would not be denied, however.
Tight end Eli Wolf, a graduate transfer from Tennessee, came up with a 22-yard catch on third down to sustain a drive and enabled the Bulldogs to run out the clock on the win.
Georgia’s linebacker Monty Rice led the defense with 9 tackles.
Offensive coordinator James Coley had been under a lot of heat, but the Bulldogs’ offense was a beautiful blend of runs and passes, good for a 11-of-16 third-down conversion rate.
Tailback D’Andre Swift earned the tough short-yardage runs in addition to a spectacular 30-yard burst that saw him hurdle a would-be tackler. Swift had 25 carries for 86 yards and one catch for 24 yards.
Quarterback Jake Fromm avoided a handful of sacks with effective scrambles and was accurate throwing en route to a 20-of-30 passing performances for 279 yards and 2 TD passes.
Tight end Eli Wolf had the biggest catch of his career in the fourth quarter, pulling in a 22-yard throw from Jake Fromm on third-and-7 at the UGA 35 to sustain a drive and put the game on ice.
Lawrence Cager had three third-down conversion catches in the first half alone, his return lifting the Bulldogs to a 13-3 halftime lead, and then he hit the home run with the 52-yard TD catch in the fourth quarter. Cager had 7 catches for 132 yards.
Azeez Ojulari recorded the first sack of the game and was a force throughout the afternoon.
Brian Herrien had a one-handed catch for 18 yards on the opening drive of the second half, leading to a field goal. Herrien also had two kick returns for 51 yards.
Richard LeCounte came through with a huge pass break-up while covering Kyle Pitts on Florida’s fourth-and-1 at the UGA 40 on the Gators’ opening drive.
Monty Rice had a big TFL on a Florida third-and-1 at the Gators 18 in the second quarter, leading to a punt and UGA touchdown on the Bulldogs’ ensuing drive.
Demetris Robertson had a 17-yard third-down conversion catch, setting up the Bulldogs’ opening score.
Dominick Blaylock scored the first touchdown of the game on a 3-yard pass from Fromm and had a punt return for 7 yards.
Defensive lineman Malik Herring came up big with a QBP and a sack with Jordan Davis that threw Kyle Trask for a 19-yard loss.
Matt Landers’ holding call wiped out 37-yard D’Andre Swift TD run in third quarter. Landers also had a potential TD reception in the second quarter that appeared catchable.
J.R. Reed dropped a sure-fire interception in the fourth quarter that could have clinched the game earlier.
Cade Mays whiffed on Jabari Zuniga in the first quarter, resulting in a 6-yard loss on a draw.