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The Mark Richt Victory Watch

I only just got home from Athens a short while ago, but, as spent as I am after a long drive following an emotionally charged game, I don't want to waste any time before updating the Mark Richt Victory Watch.

The Mark Richt Victory Watch now stands at 69, placing him just 132 victories shy of tying Vince Dooley as the winningest coach in Bulldog football history.

With an overall record of 69-19, Coach Richt has the best ledger of any Georgia coach after 88 games on the job. At the same point in their respective careers, Harry Mehre (53-31-4), Wally Butts (64-22-2), and Vince Dooley (60-24-4) all were in Mark Richt's wake.

This one was big. I was 14 years old the last time Georgia beat Florida and Auburn in the same season. On the way home, I heard on the radio that the 45 points scored by the Bulldogs were the most tallied by the Red and Black against Auburn in regulation play since the 1951 game (which, by coincidence, I mentioned in Saturday morning's game day open comment thread) and that the Classic City Canines have now scored 40 points in three consecutive games for the first time since 1942.

As Dawgb1 noted, the "blackout" atmosphere was electric. The crowd was energized. The players executed effectively, made big plays, did not panic in the face of adversity, and had fun. My brother-in-law, Travis, went with me to the game and he pointed out that, if any recruits were on hand on Saturday, every last one of them will commit to play for this program after that experience.

This win was more than just another victory on the countdown to 201. After a down year last year and a couple of early losses this autumn, this win cemented the permanence of the resurgence under Coach Richt. It really is starting to look like Georgia's four-year run from 2002 to 2005 was merely a prelude, not unlike the start of Florida State's period of dominance in the late '80s before the Seminoles became fixtures and frontrunners in the national title chase.

After the Tennessee game, the Bulldogs looked like they were dead. With this victory, they put an exclamation point on the Florida win to announce that the Red and Black are back:

Go 'Dawgs!