Updated 3:25 p.m. ET: Georgia continued its dominance over rival Georgia Tech, and the No. 3 Bulldogs took care of business by beating the Yellow Jackets 42-10. Aaron Murray finished with two touchdown passes and three incompletions on a 14-of-17 passing day with 215 yards.
Not that Murray needed to carry the game on his shoulders. Georgia rushed for 164 yards behind Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall.
The Bulldogs now have only the SEC championship game between them and a BCS championship appearance (Remember when the Dawgs were dominated by South Carolina in October?). Awaiting Georgia in Atlanta should be No. 2 Alabama, though we’re required to give Auburn at least a 0.00000000001 percent chance of toppling the Tide this afternoon.
At No. 3 in the BCS, Georgia has a clear path to the national championship game: beat Georgia Tech today and beat No. 2 Alabama in Atlanta in the SEC championship next weekend.
Through two and a half quarters of play, the Bulldogs are getting closer to accomplishing that first step. Mark Richt‘s team is delivering a clean, old-fashioned whooping to the Yellow Jackets — who will be heading to the ACC title game to take on Florida State — leading 35-3. Georgia’s been able to be move the ball against GT’s much-maligned defense without issue and running back Todd Gurley already has nearly 100 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns. Quarterback Aaron Murray has a pair of touchdown throws as well (and just two incompletions)
The Yellow Jackets’ triple option is moving the ball well enough, but two turnovers have been costly. Bulldogs safety Bacarri Rambo forced and recovered a fumble on GT’s first offensive drive, setting up a Gurley touchdown.
Seeing as it’s rivalry week, we’re not going to proclaim a winner until the final whistle blows, but Georgia Tech is going to need a turnaround of epic proportions in order to mount a comeback at this point.
As if this day wasn’t busy enough, Ole Miss announced late Monday evening star-crossed offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil‘s suspension has been capped at seven games, meaning he’ll miss Saturday’s trip to Memphis but return in time for Texas A&M visit to The Grove on Oct. 24.
From the university:
The University initially withheld Tunsil from competition at the start of the season as both the NCAA and the University examined several alleged improper benefits. During the course of the process, it was determined by the NCAA that Tunsil received impermissible extra benefits that included the use of three separate loaner vehicles over a sixth-month period without payment, a four-month interest-free promissory note on a $3,000 down payment for purchasing a used vehicle, two nights of lodging at a local home, an airline ticket purchased by a friend of a teammate, and one day use of a rental vehicle. In addition, it was determined that Tunsil was not completely forthcoming when initially questioned by NCAA investigators regarding the loaner vehicles. He later corrected his account and since apologized.
As part of his reinstatement conditions, the NCAA imposed a seven-game suspension, ordered Tunsil to pay the value of the extra benefits to a charity, perform community service, and he will also make the vehicle down payment.
Said Tunsil: “I take full responsibility for the mistakes I made and want to thank everyone for their continued support. I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and the entire Ole Miss family for how my choices affected our program. This was a learning experience, and I’m looking forward to being back on the field with my team and redeeming myself. The last 10 months have been a physical and mental battle for me, but I love playing this game more than anything else. I want to be here for my teammates who are depending on me to finish what we started together.”
The news is, obviously, great for Tunsil and head coach Hugh Freeze personally, as well as the entire Ole Miss football program. It’s also a nice plus for NFL scouts, as it means Tunsil’s first live action of 2015 will come against possible future No. 1 draft pick Myles Garrett.
Hope he’s been practicing.
Say it ain’t so, Steve.
According to a report from Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated Monday evening, Steve Spurrier is set to retire.
Spurrier, 70, is a legend the likes college football has never seen before and never will again.
He was a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at Florida, then returned to his alma mater and turned the program into a juggernaut, leading the Gators to 122-27-1 record from 1990-01 and a national championship in 1996. After a stint with the NFL’s Washington Redskins, Spurrier landed at South Carolina, where since 2005 he’s racked up a school record 86 wins.
But those wins slowed down of late. After an SEC East championship in 2010 and three straight 11-2 seasons from 2011-13, the Gamecocks fell to 7-6 in 2014, and are off to a 2-4 mark this fall. With the possibility of losses to nemeses old and new like Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida and Clemson ahead, Spurrier, it appears, would rather fade away quietly to the putting green.
Perhaps no two sentences summarize Spurrier, then and now, more precisely than this:
Combined with his three years at Duke, Spurrier closes up shop with a 228-89-2 mark, and a bust in the coaches’ wing of the Hall of Fame waiting for him.