Florida defensive end Jeremy Mincey spent last weekend at home in Georgia, hoping to enjoy a few days away from football. No chance. At least not in...

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Florida defensive end Jeremy Mincey spent last weekend at home in Georgia, hoping to enjoy a few days away from football.


No chance. At least not in Statesboro, Ga., where he found himself surrounded by devout Bulldogs fans.


“It’s all they talked about: Bulldogs, Bulldogs, Bulldogs,” Mincey said. “I don’t want to hear about the Bulldogs. My own aunt was against me.”


Mincey had one response for his friends and family: “Get ready to be a Gator fan,” he said.


The annual celebration known as the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” strains relationships and fosters hostility well beyond the two border states. Today’s matchup also could define this season for No. 4 Georgia and No. 16 Florida.


“This is the game of the year,” Gators linebacker Todd McCullough said. “It’s my favorite game as a player. It was my favorite game as a young child. … I wish I could play the Florida-Georgia game every day for the rest of my life.”


This one could be memorable, especially considering the stakes.


The Bulldogs can clinch the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division with a win and secure a spot in the title game for the third time in four years. Georgia (7-0 overall, 5-0 SEC) also would keep alive national-title hopes.


“The way we’re sitting right now, this game has huge implications in the East,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said.


Florida (5-2, 3-2) could spoil the Bulldogs’ bid and stay in the hunt for the East title.


A loss against Georgia would leave the Gators out of the SEC title game for a fifth consecutive season and raise more questions about the school’s program, especially considering Florida would be in the same spot under first-year coach Urban Meyer that it was for three seasons under Ron Zook — playing for a second-tier bowl berth.


“Our goal is to compete for the SEC championship in November,” Meyer said. “Obviously, this one would end it. … We’re all well aware of the implications of this game.”


The Gators have won 13 of the last 15 in the series, a dominating run that began with coach Steve Spurrier’s arrival at Florida in 1990. He knocked off Georgia six straight times with Ray Goff at the helm and had a 4-1 edge on Jim Donnan before winning his lone meeting against Richt in 2001.


Richt got his first win over Florida last year. The Bulldogs are looking for back-to-back wins in the series for the first time since 1988-89.


They will try to do it with a backup quarterback making his first start. Joe Tereshinski III will start in place of D.J. Shockley, who sprained his knee against Arkansas last week. Tereshinski, a third-generation Georgia player, has worked mostly on special teams.


Notes


Justin Holland’s 15-yard touchdown pass to David Anderson in the fourth quarter capped off Colorado State’s second-half rally in a 35-25 win over New Mexico.


The Rams (5-3, 4-1 Mountain West), who trailed 25-12 at halftime, shut down the Lobos (5-4, 3-3 Mountain West) in the second half and converted three turnovers into 17 points.


New Mexico halfback DonTrell Moore ran for two touchdowns and 117 yards on 19 carries to become the sixth player in NCAA Division I history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in four consecutive seasons.


• Wake Forest suspended four players for breaking team and athletic-department rules.


Sophomore receiver Kevin Marion, junior defensive tackle Jyles Tucker, sophomore special-teams performer Travo Woods and redshirt freshman tackle Eric Gaskins were suspended indefinitely, according to a statement from school officials.


• Seven Chattanooga players were suspended for what the chancellor described as curfew violations. The violations coincided with a pre-dawn Oct. 21 sexual-assault complaint by a female student.


“They were there and they were suspended for being there,” lawyer Jerry Summers, who is representing some of the players, said.