Danielson says the Gators loss of Jeff Driskel was big in and of itself, but Florida finds itself more worried if they lose the backup quarterback because they don’t like what is going on behind current starter Tyler Murphy.
“Jeff Driskel’s injury had a compound effect on this team,” Danielson said in a release from CBS who will air the game Saturday at 3:30. “He wasn’t having a great year, but they felt comfortable with their back-up quarterback at the time (Murphy) and were willing to let Driskel run enough to give another dimension to their offense. There is nobody behind Tyler Murphy they feel comfortable with, so they have to be more conservative and can’t afford to let him run around. They don’t have a great offensive attack and that has limited them even further.
“They have had to hide their quarterback and that’s exposed their inability to pass protect.”
The Gators have key injuries all over the roster including both offensive tackles missing the game with the injury to starting left tackle D.J. Humphries in practice on Monday. They also are missing their top defender in defensive tackle Dominique Easley who is gone for the season a few games ago.
Georgia likewise is missing a lot including most of their top receivers and injuries to their top two running backs. Running back Todd Gurley will see his first action in several games, but is expected to be hindered a bit as well. The Bulldogs have had it hard with their skill positions on offense.
“Had Florida and Georgia stayed healthy they were the two most talented teams in the SEC East,” Danielson maintains from his early season talks. “They play a different style of football, but were the two top teams in the East going into the season and legitimate threats to win the SEC in a one game shootout versus Alabama, LSU or Texas A&M.
“Both teams have just been ravaged by injuries. Georgia has lost so many playmakers. The Bulldogs were in control of the Vanderbilt game before the injuries started piling up. They could have won that game easily if the breaks had not gone against them.”
Both teams are on a two game losing streak and both sit at 4-3 on the season. Whichever team pulls out the game on Saturday will at least have something to rally behind on the season.
“The reason this game means so much is because it means so little,” Danielson said. “Both of these teams entered the season thinking they could compete for the National Championship, and the loser of this game is going to have a devastated season. That creates a whole lot of pressure in this football game."
In the end, it will be Georgia senior quarterback Aaron Murray and Gurley against Florida’s defense that will decide the game according to Danielson.
“It’s going to be up to Georgia to handle the match-up that Will Muschamp presents with his defense,” he said. “I’m looking for them to load the box and play man-to-man on the outside, believing their corners can cover Georgia’s injured wide receiver core and not let Todd Gurley beat them. Florida has been run on the last two weeks. Georgia needs to pierce that game plan, expose Florida’s secondary and produce some big plays.”