It’s finally time for the Georgia-Florida game, or some might call it the Florida-Georgia game depending on if you like jorts, the Swamp, a mullet, the color Orange, jorts, Tebow, Spurrier, Gainesville or jorts.
Regardless, all fans can agree it’s finally time for the Worlds Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, and Gators wear jeans shorts
Gators Wear Jean Shorts
Georgia comes into this game on a five game winning streak, while Florida comes in on a three game losing streak.
But flip the teams schedules, and the exact opposite might be said, so DON’T look to much into that. The Gators have lost to Alabama, LSU and Auburn, while Georgia has beaten Coastal Carolina, Ole Miss, Miss. State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
This isn’t to say the five game winning streak isn’t impressive, it is. However, the three game losing streak for Florida was expected. The Gators are still a fairly good football team.
Now to the actual game itself that will kickoff at 3:30 this Saturday on CBS.
Georgia is a team that has battled through early season losses, suspensions and injuries, but the Bulldogs have shown that they can do something special.
Through the first seven games, the defense has played great. It is one of the best in the SEC behind the NFL teams of LSU and Alabama, but the scary part is that the defense hasn’t reached their full potential.
Now, I know using the word potential is a dangerous word to use, because that means it hasn’t been reached yet. But heading into the Florida game, the Georgia defense will be the healthiest it’s been all year.
Linebacker Alec Ogletree returns after sitting out the last six games following an injury he suffered in the Boise State game. Outside linebacker Cornelius Washington returns after a two-game suspension for being a dumbass. (DUI and Speeding — 92 in a 55).
The Bulldogs will be without Shawn Williams and Kwame Geathers for the first half, but defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has shown that he can still have a solid unit even when starters go down. Not to mention that Geathers and Williams will have fresh legs in the second half — an area where the defense has struggled in recent games.
For the Georgia defense to be successful in this game, they must get pressure on John Brantley, or whoever the quarterback is. I’m talking about blitzing and throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Charlie Weis and the Florida offense. The Gators will try to get outside with Demps and Rainey, so another key will be containing the edge. Because if Florida can break contain, it will cause headaches for Grantham and the defense.
That’s why the most important players for the Georgia defense are outside linebackers Cornelius Washington and Jarvis Jones. With how those two have played so far this year, I feel very confident that they will contain the Florida offense. Behind them, Alec Ogletree, Michael Gilliard, Amarlo Herrera and Christian Robinson will rotate at inside linebacker and make plays.
On the offensive side of the ball, the key to the game is simple. Run the ball, run the ball, don’t turn the football over, and run the ball.
Murray needs to make smart decisions. He needs to know when to tuck and run, when to just throw the ball out of bounds. But most importantly, he must connect on the deep posts that Georgia runs a couple times throughout the game. Malcolm Mitchell is the best option for that play, but he is questionable for the game. Other than him, the Bulldogs will have to rely on Tavarres King and Marlon Brown.
Now, onto that team that resides in Gainesville, Fla.
It’s been a tale of two seasons so far in Gainesville. The Gators went 4-0 in September with wins against Florida Atlantic, UAB, Tennessee and Kentucky, but are 0-3 in the month of October.
Granted, the schedule has everything to do with it, and if Georgia played that schedule, the Bulldogs would be 4-3 and the Gators would be sitting at 5-2.
The one thing that has changed for the Gators is the quarterback position. However, all reports indicate that John Brantley will be the starting quarterback. He started the first five games, but was injured in the _ game, and hasn’t played since.
Defensively, the Florida defense is very talented like past years, but are fairly young and inexperienced. Regardless, Murray and the Georgia offense will have their hands full on Saturday.
Last year, Georgia was the better team on the field, but literally threw the game away because of Aaron Murray’s three interceptions.
Despite the turnovers, Georgia scored 17 fourth-quarter points and took the game into overtime for the first time in series history, but Murray threw an interception on Georgia’s first drive and Florida kicked the game winning field goal on their next drive.
But enough of last year, the 2010 game is in the past.
This year is going to be different. In fact, this year will be different that 18 of the last 21 years.
The Georgia Bulldogs will win this game, and in the words of Larry Munson, “Some property will be destroyed in St. Simons.”
Georgia is the better team, and while that won’t win the game for the Bulldogs this year.
This is the most important game of the season. This is the most important game concerning Mark Richt’s future at Georgia. This is the most important game left in terms of the SEC East race for Georgia.
Most importantly, this is a game that Georgia has to win for the players, coaches, and most importantly, the fans.
With a win, the Bulldogs will go onto a 10-2 regular season and have the opportunity to get destroyed by the winner of the National Championship game between LSU and Alabama on Nov. 5.
Back to the game on Saturday, here’s my final prediction:
Aaron Murray will throw for 250 yards and 2 touchdowns. Isaiah Crowell will rush for 110 yards and a touchdown. On the defensive side of the ball, Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree will have monster days.
Georgia is a 3 point favorite, but give Florida all of those points, it doesn’t matter. The Bulldogs will win this game by 14 points.