Not a Huge Game, but a Huge Catch

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Fred Gibson promised Georgia fans a really big game. He didn't deliver.

The Bulldogs will have to settle for the biggest catch of Saturday's 31-24 win over Florida. Fred Gibson made a stabbing, one-handed grab on a pass from David Greene for a 15-yard touchdown that finally stopped the Gators' comeback momentum with 8:37 left in the game.

"I couldn't believe I caught it to tell you the truth," Gibson said. "Greenie did a great job of throwing it where it needed to be, and I just made a great catch."

Coach Mark Richt had an obstructed view of the play... and a very bad feeling when Greene let go of the ball.

"I thought it was a certain interception when David threw it," he said. "Then they said he caught it. I couldn't believe it."

Safety Cory Bailey was waiting for the ball to come to him when Gibson grabbed it right in front of his eyes. Florida coach Ron Zook said Bailey was playing too deep and should have come forward and hit Gibson.

Gibson, a senior who originally committed to Florida, agreed.

"I can't believe the safety didn't take the ball and go to the other end," Gibson said. "I was looking at the ball, and the safety was looking at me."

The drive came after Gibson had dropped a third down pass on the previous drive that would have resulted in a first down and on the heels of two drops by senior wide receiver Reggie Brown. After Gibson's drop, Greene convened a meeting of the three seniors on the sideline.

"We said, 'Look, we're seniors. It's our job to make these plays. We have to do it,'" Greene said. "We stepped up when we had to."

Greene and Brown started it off. Georgia took possession at its own 15-yard line after Florida had just scored to cut Georgia's lead to 24-21 and take every bit of the momentum.

The Bulldogs' first play on the ensuing drive looked like a busted play. Greene expected a blitz and called a short route, but the Gators dropped back into coverage, leaving Greene nowhere to throw the ball. He scrambled to his left almost to the sideline before Brown came free behind the Florida defense.

"Reggie ran a slant and he just kept on going," said Greene. Greene found Brown for a 51-yard gain to get Georgia into Florida territory. Five plays later, Gibson caught his scoring pass.

Until then, it had been a quiet night for Gibson. He and Brown each had five catches. Brown outgained him 90 yards to 59.

Greene finished 15 of 23 for 255 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

"We talked a lot about our seniors playing the best games of their lives," Richt said. "We felt like if they did, we'd have a pretty good chance of winning."

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