JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — As Chas Henry's field goal split the uprights, Florida coach Urban Meyer dropped to the ground in sheer relief.
The first overtime game in the storied Florida-Georgia rivalry was over. So was the longest losing streak of Meyer's coaching career.
Henry, a punter thrust into kicking duties, drilled a 37-yarder in overtime to lift the Gators to a wild, 34-31 victory over Georgia on Saturday and snap a three-game losing streak.
"This is the biggest win we've had," Meyer said. "We've had some great wins around here and maybe some people would say more important. I'd probably argue that one. This is the biggest one that I can remember, and I've coached a long time."
Aaron Murray's third interception — his fourth turnover of the game — nearly ended it on the first series of overtime. Jelani Jenkins tipped Murray's pass over the middle. Will Hill intercepted it and nearly returned it for the winning score. But Hill stepped out at the 4.
The Gators (5-3, 3-3 Southeastern Conference) did little with their turn and settled for Henry's winner. It was a redeeming moment for Henry, who missed three field goals in close losses to LSU and Mississippi State while filling in for injured kicker Caleb Sturgis.
"I knew I let them down one time and I was never going to let that happen again," said Henry, who missed two field goals in a three-point loss to Mississippi State. "That was the most gratifying feeling. I kept saying all week this is my redemption week, my redemption week. It felt great."
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