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Knocking out the Gators: Aaron Murray & Malcolm Mitchell Talk on UGA's Wild 2012 Win

March 24, 2023
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ATHENS - The 2012 game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Florida Gators was an all-time classic.

For Georgia fans, it was a game that will never be forgotten. For Florida fans, it was total heartbreak.

The Bulldogs were 6-1 heading into Jacksonville that year, ranked No. 10 in the country. Will Muschamps’ Gators were ranked No. 2 with big wins over South Carolina and LSU.

The SEC East was on the line in Jacksonville, and the Bulldogs needed a win to keep their championship aspirations alive.

The game was a defensive battle, and Georgia’s defense, led by All-American linebacker Jarvis Jones, played phenomenal all game long. 

Mark Richt’s team held a 10-9 lead midway through the 4th quarter, and a big play was needed to help extend the lead. 

That’s when it happened. One of the biggest plays of the 2012 season, and one of the biggest single plays in Georgia/Florida history for the Bulldogs.



 

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Georgia had a 3rd and 5 from Florida’s 45. 7:23 left in the game. A first down would’ve put Georgia close to field goal range, but Aaron Murray and Malcolm Mitchell had other plans. 

Georgia’s star receiver ran about an 8-yard curl route in single coverage. The Gators had a blitzing safety, and Murray got the ball out quickly and accurately to Mitchell, who broke a tackle and zig-zagged his way for a long touchdown.

Murray and Mitchell spoke about the big play on The Player’s Lounge Podcast recently.

“What was going through your head when the play was called?”, Murray asked Mitchell.

“It’s a bit funny now that I reflect on it”, Mitchell answered. “At the time, my temperament was much more chaotic. When they called the play, I was begging to the Gods that you threw me the ball. After I caught the pass, all I remember is seeing Artie Lynch come across the middle of the field. I did a terrible cut-back off the wrong foot back into the center of the field, split two defenders, and after that we just celebrated.”

There have been plenty of big plays in the Georgia/Florida rivalry that will be remembered forever, and that catch and run by Malcom Mitchell is one of them. Jarvis Jones and the Georgia defense would force a late turnover to clinch the victory, but when you think about that game, Murray’s touchdown pass to Mitchell stands out the most.

The Bulldogs needed that win, and they went down to Jacksonville and earned it. After getting blown out by South Carolina earlier in the season, a loss to the Gators would’ve ended any hopes for a magical season.

Georgia would go on to beat the Gators again in 2013, again in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, and last fall in 2022.

https://youtu.be/Dqh3CmJp5qM

 

 



 

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