If it wasn’t enough that Florida was playing one of their biggest rivals, or that the Gators lost this game a year ago when they outplayed the Bulldogs, or that their head coach used to play for Georgia, now they need to win the game to hit their biggest goal of the offseason.
There should be little chance that this team won’t be up for this game. Hopefully they won’t be too up.
Some keys to the game …
Florida Offense Vs. Georgia Defense:
Florida’s passing game is still trying to get cranked up but remains efficient when they actually throw the ball. Quarterback Jeff Driskel has thrown for eight touchdowns and only one interception in seven games. Georgia’s defense has only five interceptions on the season and has allowed nine touchdowns through the air.
But, Georgia’s defense appears to be worse against the run and that is the Gators’ strong suit so far this season. Florida has run strong with the triple thereat of Driskel, ‘wildcat quarterback’ Trey Burton, and running back Mike Gillislee. With the weather maybe rough and rainy on Saturday a good ground game may be the best way to go anyway. The Gators need to take advantage of the situation and control the ball.
Florida Defense Vs. Georgia Offense: Georgia is very versatile and the offense all revolves around junior quarterback Aaron Murray. He is accurate and smart with the ball. He’s thrown for 16 touchdowns and five interceptions on the year and he specializes on the big play and deep ball. His receivers are versatile as well, the position is deep with possession guys and speed merchants like Tavarres King and a tight end in Arthur Lynch that is a big play guy as well.
They complement the passing game with a young duo of running backs in freshmen Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. The two started off like gangbusters but have slowed down in the last two weeks in their production.
Florida will always set out to stop the run and force teams to be one dimensional. Georgia has given up 12 sacks this year, almost two a game, and getting them in throw only mode can put them in a tough spot. Florida’s rush defense is one of the best I the country and their pass efficiency on defense is just as good. They give up pass plays, but not long scores by air or land.
Georgia would win most one-on-one battles with their receivers, but Florida has proved against some of the best in the SEC that they are not afraid to play anyone man up. This allows them to play more in the box against the run and I think it will be the key matchup in the game.
Special Teams Florida has been better in just about every segment of special teams than Georgia. The one place that I see the Gators really making a statement in this game is at punt returner and I think Andre Debose can have a break out game. The Bulldogs are ranked 110th in punt return defense and Debose has been making a move lately in that part of the game. The weather could change this area, so that needs to be taken into account.
The Bottom Line: I think Florida wants to and will be able to run the ball. Georgia hasn’t stopped many yet this year and this certainly wasn’t supposed to be the case this season.
On defense The Gators will be going against the best quarterback they will see all year. Murray burned the Gators a year ago with two fourth-down jump ball passes for touchdowns and the secondary has been working to make sure that doesn’t happen again ever since. This currently is a great secondary for Florida and one of the deepest they have had in a while. I like the matchup in the passing game because of the secondary, even with Georgia’s tough receivers.
At the end of the day, I don’t think Florida would win every time by two touchdowns, but I am going to go 27-13 Gators for Saturday’s game.
Here is our body of work from earlier in the week…
Christy Named to Ray Guy Award List
Something ‘Special’ At Florida
Podcast: Gators and More
Rapid recap: Gators prepare for Murray
Muschamp SEC Teleconference Q&A
rapid Recap: Gators prepare for UGA
Danielson: Looking for Gator Passing Game
Gators Ignoring Statistics
Pease familiar with Georgia defense
Many Reasons for defense’s Success
Notebook: Linebackers Improving Every Week
Watkins finding motivation from a year ago
Purifoy gives opponents a warning
Elam added to Bednarik List
Hunter playing his best heading into Georgia
Quinn Notebook: Jenkins Welcomed Back
Easley unveils what fuels his fire
Video: Purifoy Likes ‘Violators’
LOOK AT THE OPPONENT
An Extensive Look at the Bulldogs
Murray poised in the pocket