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Georgia Seeking Rare Victory Over Old Nemesis Florida

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia has lost eight of its last nine games and 15 of its last 17 played at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, called a neutral field, but it doesn't seem to be neutral at all for the Georgia Bulldogs.

Will this be one of those rare years when the No. 20 Bulldogs find a way to beat the ninth-ranked Florida Gators in a game in which each side gets half the tickets?

Georgia coach Mark Richt is getting tired of playing this game every year in Florida. Coach Urban Meyer of the Gators likes it just like it is.

"Everyone says Jacksonville's a neutral site, so lets play a neutral site in the state of Georgia, too," Richt said.

"This is my favorite one, by far my favorite game," Meyer said. "I've heard about this forever. I love the fact that it's at a neutral site."

Richt would prefer to go home-and-home at campus sites or alternate the site every other year, bringing Atlanta's Georgia Dome into the equation.

Nothing will change that situation this week. Georgia will face what almost has been an impossible mission - trying to beat the Gators.

To do so, they'll have to stop the most proficient passer in the nation - southpaw Tim Tebow, who has a gaudy 177.5 pass rating. He has passed for 1,711 yards and 17 touchdowns, and adding to the problem faced by foes, he also has rushed for 578 yards and 10 touchdown.

"Face it, Tebow hasn't had much trouble against anyone they've played," Richt said. "I've seen quarterbacks who can run, but not with that kind of power and toughness," Richt said. "And he's throwing the ball extremely well. He's a leader, and he's just tough. And that makes that whole football team tough."

Tebow is nursing a bruised right shoulder and Meyer is concerned that he could get hurt worse with a lot of carries against the Bulldogs.

The Gators are a 9-point favorite, but is this going to be Georgia's year? Nope. Florida 28-17.

Elsewhere around the SEC this week, with No. 22 Alabama and No. 3 LSU having open dates:

Florida International (plus 39½) at Arkansas: FIU is still look for its first victory of the year. It won't find it here. Darren McFadden and Felix Jones each will top the 100-yard mark again. Arkansas 49-10.

Mississippi (plus 17½) at No. 23 Auburn: Ole Miss is 0-5 in the SEC for the first time since 1984 when it finished 1-5. Don't look for the "1" to come this week. Auburn 31-17.

Mississippi State (plus 13½) at No. 14 Kentucky: The Bulldogs have the misfortune of facing a talented, nationally ranked offensive machine for the second week in a row. Andre Woodson gives the Cats a decided edge. Kentucky 38-14.

No. 15 South Carolina (plus 3) at Tennessee: Both teams are coming off disappointing performances. The Gamecocks won at Knoxville two years ago, lost to the Vols at home last year and trail in the series 20-3-2. Erik Ainge gives the Vols the edge. Tennessee 17-13.

Miami, Ohio (plus 13½) at Vanderbilt: The focus in this one will be on Earl Bennett, who needs one pass reception to tie the SEC career record of 108 held by Kentucky's Craig Yeast. Vanderbilt 28-10.
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Last week's totals: 4-2 straight, 2-4 vs. spread. For year: 49-14 straight, 22-33 vs. spread.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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