One of the problems with being a Georgia fan is always worrying about the letdown loss that totally derails a season. After beating the Gators the week before, Dawg fans were riding high, but paranoia was beginning to set in some. Ole Miss, who was only one win away from becoming bowl eligible, was rolling into Athens, and Hugh Freeze's squad had been trying to convince the SEC that they were a good enough team to beat anyone. In fact, they were on a two-game win streak, after beating Auburn and Arkansas, respectively.
The game started out ominously enough, after Ole Miss jumped to a 10-0 lead on what was a beautiful day in Athens. Ole Miss first got on the board with a 30+ yard field goal and then the tough-to-contain-QB Bo Wallace threw a touchdown pass to put the pressure firmly on the Dawgs. Apparently, the pressure is all the team needed.
After making the Dawgs play from behind, Ole Miss didn't score again. Murray had a monster day, going 21 for 28 with 384 yards passing, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. "Gurshall" was more Gurley than Marshall, as TGIII rushed for 118 yards on 18 carries. Also, the main highlight was this oldie-but-goodie that Mike Bobo resurrected from years past.
We used to run this play only once a season, but it had disappeared altogether in recent years. It was a great time to see it return, as it's really just a great momentum-stealing play, and better teams generally don't bite on it like we'd hope. It was the perfect time for Bobo to run it, and I really think it snatched all the momentum from Ole Miss because this was the first play to put UGA on the board after being down 10-0.
After the first UGA score, the Dawgs never eased up on Ole Miss, eventually winning 37-10. The defense really put the clamps on them as the former Rebels only gained 234 yards of offense throughout the contest. By comparison, UGA had 533 yards of total offense. When your team is doubling the other teams' output, you're getting the most from your offense AND your defense.
The Dawgs needed this game and needed a solid win here to legitimize what they did against Florida the week prior. Even a close game could've sucked some of the momentum out of the Red and Black machine, and with a trip to Auburn the following week, the Dawgs needed to make a statement to let the War-Tiger-Plainsmen know that they were not to be taken lightly.
If anything, Mark Richt teams tend to close strong, and while they may suffer a little bit of a hangover from a prior week's success, they generally right the ship in enough time to keep it from letting them lose a game. Thankfully, the ship was righted with 10 minutes left to go in the second quarter, and the Dawgs didn't let up after that.