GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn experienced a lot of lows during the 2011 season, but perhaps the lowest came against Georgia.
It wasn’t that the Gators got out-scored 21-3 after taking a 17-3 lead -- although that was agonizing for Quinn, too. It’s what the Bulldogs did in the game’s final 5:32.
Protecting a three-point lead, the Bulldogs methodically ate clock and never gave up the ball -- partly because of a costly penalty on a third down that extended the drive.
"It was certainly a low point for me," Quinn said Wednesday as the No. 2 Gators (7-0, 6-0 SEC) prepared for Saturday’s rematch with the No. 10 Bulldogs (7-1, 4-1). "When you look back at it we had chances to win the game and when you don’t, it eats at you for a long time. When you’re thinking about it or when you put the film on during the offseason to start on the study for them … and then certainly the number of times we’ve seen that sequence of plays this year, during this week especially, is hard."
Georgia took a 24-20 lead early in the fourth quarter, but UF’s offense could only manage 7 yards in three possessions. UF’s defense forced back-to-back three-and-outs on Georgia’s two possessions after the touchdown, but then faltered late.
The Bulldogs took over on their own 41-yard line with 5:32 to play. A Richard Samuel run on first down lost 2 yards. An Aaron Murray run on second down gained 8. On third down, Murray’s pass to WR Michael Bennett was incomplete -- but CB Marcus Roberson was penalized for pass interference and the Bulldogs kept the ball.
Georgia ran the ball on six of its next seven plays to run out the clock.
"You knew you had a chance to maybe make a stop and give us a chance to win the game and we weren’t able to get that done," Quinn said. "So that was certainly one for us in terms of winning the line of scrimmage, we weren’t able to do. And as you know here how important that is for us and how we do it, so we’re certainly looking forward to the challenge."