Olandis Gary, running behind a battered offensive line, had 132 yards and two touchdowns, while No. 14 Georgia's defense stopped Mississippi twice at the 1-yard line for a 24-17 victory Saturday.
The Rebels squandered numerous chances to upset Georgia (8-2, 6-2 Southeastern Conference). They also had a pass intercepted at the Bulldogs 2 and missed a field goal.
"You've got to bow your back, play a little bit harder when a team gets down that close," safety Kirby Smart said. "That's what we did today."
The Rebels (6-4, 3-4) failed for the second week in a row to score from the 1. The previous week, Deuce McAllister fumbled against Arkansas while trying to stretch over the goal line, and Ole Miss went on to a 34-0 loss.
"It's been the same story all season for us ... getting down to the 1-yard line and not scoring," tight end Rufus French said. "It brings back a lot of bad memories -- Alabama, Arkansas, you name it -- having the chance to score and not scoring. I'm not sure if it's because we are a young team or what."
Ole Miss still made it close after blocking a punt and finally converting a critical fourth-down play. Romaro Miller threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Rufus French that deflected off teammate L.J. Taylor with 4:20 remaining.
But Georgia managed to run out most of the clock, the key play coming when Quincy Carter connected with Michael Greer on a 29-yard pass.
"I know you can dissect this game and find a lot of things wrong, but we did a lot of things right, too," coach Jim Donnan said. "I guess I should be a little more disappointed, but I'm real happy with this victory."
Gary, who had 130 yards the previous week for the first 100-yard game by a Georgia back this season, made it two in a row. He did so even though left tackle Matt Stinchcomb, a Lombardi Award finalist, missed the game because o a separated shoulder and center Miles Luckie hobbled off in the first quarter.
Gary scored on a 28-yard run in the first period, then gave the Bulldogs a 14-0 lead by scoring from the 4 early in the second.
"We've been running the ball more," Gary said. "Earlier, we had five running backs with eight to 10 carries each. No one was able to establish a rhythm. Now I'm getting a chance to establish my rhythm more."
Carter scored Georgia's other TD on a 6-yard run, while Hap Hines connected on an 18-yard field goal as the Bulldogs built a 24-10 halftime lead. Then they held on for dear life over the final two periods.
| Quarterback Quincy Carter scored one of Georgia's touchdowns on a six-yard run. (AP) |
On the opening possession, Ole Miss drove 82 yards to the Georgia 1. But Deuce McAllister was stopped for a short loss and Miller overthrew a pass in the end zone before McAllister was dragged down on fourth down by Orantes Grant.
After Ronnie Bradley fumbled on Georgia's first play of the second half, Ole Miss had a chance to cut into the 14-point deficit. But the drive stalled at the Bulldogs 20 and Carlisle McGee's 38-yard field goal was wide right.
Later in the third, Ole Miss had first down at the Georgia 13. But Miller was sacked for a 13-yard loss by Antonio Cochrane and wound up throwing a third-down pass into double coverage. It was picked off by Larry Mann at the 2.
On the second play of the fourth quarter, Miller threw a 45-yard pass to Taylor and Ole Miss wound up with third-and-goal at the 1. But Grant dragged down McAllister for a 4-yard loss and Miller threw incomplete on fourth down.
McAllister rushed for 109 yards on 22 carries, but couldn't get two yards he needed most.
"If you look back on it, I should have kicked field goals," coach Tommy Tuberville said. "I didn't know we were going to get down there so many times."
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