JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - In the SEC East, some wins just mean more.
There was no denying that following Florida's 41-28 throttling of Georgia on Saturday here at TIAA Bank Field. The No. 8-ranked Gators (4-1) hung out on the field to soak in the moment well after the fifth-ranked Bulldogs (4-2) headed for cover. Meanwhile, UF coach Dan Mullen celebrated with fans along the Gators' sideline by climbing up on the railing for a few backslaps and selfies.
For the first time since 2016, the Gators' chomp was stronger than the Bulldogs' bite.
"It felt very sweet that this time I walked off the field, we won this game,'' fourth-year junior tight end Kemore Gamble said. "'Bout time, 'bout time. It means a lot."
Mullen has enjoyed some notable wins among his 25 victories as Florida's head coach, but none matched the one over the Bulldogs for what it means for the program. The Gators, staring a potential four-game losing streak to the Bulldogs in the face - amplified in the early going when Georgia took a 14-0 lead - moved into the driver's seat for the SEC East title by beating the Bulldogs behind a career-high 474 yards passing by quarterback Kyle Trask.
Florida moved into sole possession of first place in the division and controls its own destiny. If the Gators win out, they advance to Atlanta for their first appearance in the SEC Championship Game since 2016, which is the last time Georgia did not represent the division.
"It feels great, obviously, winning this big-time game,'' Mullen said. "It puts us in a good and decent position."