I had the pleasure of heading down to Jacksonville, FL last weekend to shoot the annual Border War between the University of Georgia and the University of Florida. They call it a border war, but no matter if the game goes to the Bulldogs or the Gators, Jacksonville and Duval County at large remain firmly in the Sunshine State.
I went into the day feeling pretty warmed up for SEC football despite having not shot any since the SEC Championship last year. The handful of Mercer University games this fall left me in good shape.
So after the military style siege necessary to get to EverBank Field, I hit the tailgate to check out the debauchery.
Enough of that. Let's make with the game.
The Bulldogs took to the field with some injuries. Florida was about the same. Still, even with the stands hollowed out by diminished expectations on both sides of the game there was some electricity in the air.
Todd Gurley scored early.
Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray passes near the end zone in the second quarter against Florida. This pass and the next were incomplete. Georgia ended the drive with a field goal.
I kind of wondered if this fan was truly rabid.
In keeping with the injury story line that has plagued Georgia this season, Todd Gurley left the field after his second touchdown. He came back in the game, but he was running at something less than 100%.
Routine play but some radical angles.
Georgia spent the first half firmly in control of the game only to give up a safety, shown here, a touchdown and essentially every bit of momentum in the second half.
A number of miscues, like an illegal substitution shown here, were a drain on Georgia's efforts.
Fighting in full pads. I'll never get that.
Florida had a hard time keeping it together, too. Here Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray. left, and offensive tackle John Theus applaud the Florida defense after a personal foul handed Georgia a first down on the last, clock draining drive of Georgia's win.
From left, Georgia punter Adam Erickson, place kicker Marshall Morgan and tail back Brandon Harton celebrate with fans after the Bulldogs beat Florida by only three points. You should love your kicker with a 23-20 score.
By the end of the game, even Georgia head coach Mark Richt, slapping skin with some fans, was limping off the field.
So Georgia won for the third straight year. It wasn't pretty, but bragging rights are bragging rights.