As we prepare to kick off the first college football season of the 2020s, I thought it might be fun to take a look back at the top moments from the last decade.
It’s also pretty instructive. Those of you who’ve been following the Red and Black for more than a decade will recall that when the 2010 season began Mark Richt’s squad was coming off an 8-5 2009 season which featured 20+ point losses to Tennessee and Florida, and a come-from-ahead loss to Kentucky aided by one of the worst interceptions Joe Cox ever threw. I still call it “the screen pass to oblivion.”
Yet somehow, 2010 was even worse.
Things got better though. And the first of our list of the ten best games of the 2010s was a contest from early in the decade that still holds a special place in my heart.
#10: The 2012 Cocktail Party
Georgia’s victory over #2 ranked Florida in Jacksonville is remembered by some for Malcolm Mitchell’s 45 yard touchdown catch off the hand of Aaron Murray that salted the game away in the fourth quarter. But the true story of this game was a dominating Bulldog defense that had been called out earlier in the week by one of its own, safety Shawn Williams. Williams famously chided his teammates for playing “soft” early in the year and, to be fair, he might have been right. That UGA defense featured nine players who would make an NFL roster, yet coming into the WLOCP it had surrendered 370 yards per game.
Such was not the case on this October afternoon in Jacksonville. The Georgia defense responded by forcing six turnovers. One was more memorable than all the others, however. In the fourth quarter Gator tight end Jordan Reed broke open over the middle and appeared headed toward a game-tying touchdown only to have professional Gator hunter Jarvis Jones punch the ball out at the five yard line.
Sanders Commings recovered in the end zone to secure the victory. It marked the second win in a row over the Gators, and the Bulldogs’ first repeat win since 1989. As a reminder, going back to 2011 Georgia has won six of nine meetings on the banks of the St. Johns.
That 2012 season would of course end in heartbreak, as Georgia Bulldog football seasons are required to. But the victory over Florida was one for the ages.
Until later . . .