Dawgs win while East rivals stumble

ATHENS, Ga. -- While the arrest and subsequent two-game suspension of starting outside line-backer Cornelius Washington put a damper on the evening, Saturday's events worked out well for Georgia otherwise.

The Bulldogs (3-2, 2-1 SEC) won their second consecutive SEC game, while SEC East rivals Florida (4-1, 2-1) and South Carolina (4-1, 2-1) each suffered its first conference loss of the season. The three teams are tied atop the division standings.

"I know tiebreakers, we lose out right now, but there's still an awful lot of football to be played," Richt said Sunday. "We know we don't control our own destiny, but we know there's a good chance that everybody's going to get knocked around. We'll see who ends up on top at the end, but we're definitely closer than we were a week ago, so that's a good thing for us."

CBS TV analyst Gary Danielson predicted at the conclusion of Alabama's 38-10 win over Florida that Georgia is in the driver's seat to win the East Division title.

But Richt doesn't want to look too far ahead -- not with a game ahead at Tennessee, where Georgia lost 35-14 and 45-19 in its last two visits.

"This game versus Tennessee at Tennessee, that's a big challenge," Richt said. "It's very difficult to beat them there. We haven't done that in quite some time, so that's our main focus now. But it certainly generated excitement as we watched South Carolina play and Florida play."

Ogletree on the mend
Richt said sophomore inside linebacker Alec Ogletree is making progress in his return from a broken foot suffered in the first quarter of the opener against Boise State.

Ogletree was on the sidelines without crutches or a walking boot during the Mississippi State game and was scheduled to have an X-ray on the foot Saturday night, although as of Sunday afternoon Richt did not yet know the results.

"He's really pain-free now when he walks and is not having any more swelling or throbbing or anything like that," Richt said, "so it's just a matter of whether they think that bone's healed enough to decide how far to progress, as far as jogging and things of that nature."

Extra points
ESPN announced that the game at Tennessee will air at 7 p.m. ET Saturday on ESPN2. Auburn-Arkansas will air at 7 p.m. on ESPN, and Vanderbilt-Alabama will air at 7 p.m. on ESPNU. ... Georgia now ranks second in the nation in third-down defense, allowing opponents to convert for first downs 25.4 percent of the time. The Bulldogs are also fourth nationally in passing defense (151.6 yards per game), 32nd in run defense (107 ypg) and seventh in total defense (258.6 ypg).

David Ching covers University of Georgia sports for DawgNation. He can be reached at davidchingespn@gmail.com.