ATHENS - Georgia survived its scare, then ran away with it. Now the Bulldogs have one more test to clinch another division title.
No. 6 Georgia routed Ole Miss, 37-10, after taking its first lead with three seconds left in the first half. That improved the Bulldogs to 8-1 overall and 6-1 in the SEC, meaning that they can clinch the SEC East by winning next week at Auburn.
For awhile on Saturday afternoon, things looked dicey against an Ole Miss team that has played better than expected this season. Georgia trailed 10-0 early in the second quarter. But the game turned on two big passing plays.
First, Aaron Murray executed a beautiful fake handoff, getting the entire Ole Miss defense to bite while receiver Marlon Brown ran uncovered downfield. Murray hit Brown in stride for a 66-yard touchdown play, and it was 10-7.
Georgia was driving again late in the half, but seemed about to waste its chance, after two sacks and letting 30 seconds needlessly run off the clock. On a play that started at the Ole Miss 40, Murray ran out of the pocket and spotted receiver Tavarres King downfield. Murray threw on the run and hit King, who ran a few plays into the end zone to finish it off.
That was instant momentum turner entering halftime, and Georgia kept it going.
Murray found Malcolm Mitchell for a 42-yard touchdown on the first drive of the second half. The Bulldogs scored again on the next drive, this time via an 8-yard touchdown run by Zander Ogletree.
The next score came from another Ogletree - his twin brother Alec tackled Ole Miss running back Jeff Scott in the end zone for a safety.
It was a huge day for the Ogletrees: Zander had the touchdown run, as well two catches; Alec exploded for a sack, an interception, the safety and led the team in tackles.
It was a strong game overall for the Georgia defense. The Bulldogs built on their strong performance against Florida, especially against the run. Ole Miss entered the game ranked sixth in the SEC in total yards and scoring offense, but was held in check, especially in the second half.
Georgia freshman tailback Todd Gurley also had his sixth 100-yard rushing day of the season, propelled by a 31-yard gain in the fourth quarter.
The only big problem for the Bulldogs was the play of the offensive line in the first half: Murray was sacked five times. But the line firmed up in the second half, not letting the Rebels bring Murray down.
Injuries also emerged as a concern: Receiver Marlon Brown didn't return after sustaining a knee injury in the third quarter, and neither did guard Chris Burnette after a first-half shoulder injury.