UGA Football

Georgia vs. Florida Preview & Predictions


With hypocrisy on their lips, the NCAA has spoken, and Todd Gurley will not return until November 15th against the Auburn Tigers. In reality, it could be a blessing in disguise for the Georgia Bulldogs. If they can win their next two games, they will have a healthy and fresh Todd Gurley back for a stretch run at the national championship.

However, before any of that can become a reality, the Bulldogs have to put away their hated rival, the Florida Gators. Make no mistake about it, inferior Florida teams have beaten Georgia teams in the past and cost them a shot at a national championship – 2002 comes to mind.

Will the Bulldogs win and take another step toward a national championship or will Will Muschamp take a huge step in saving his job?

Why Florida Can Win This Game

Some times a change is simply needed. Don’t get me wrong, the failure of the Florida Gators offense over the last two years is not quarterback Jeff Driskel’s fault. He has not shown a lot of growth, but that happens when you have four new offensive coordinators in as many years.

With that said, this Florida offense needed a spark, and the Gators are looking for Treon Harris to fill that need. Harris doesn’t have a lot of experience, but he has shined when called upon. On the season, he has completed 12-of-18 passes for 263 yards and three touchdowns. He has also carried the ball 15 times for 51 yards.

Florida will have a run-oriented game plan with a first-time starter, but Harris has to be able to make plays when called upon. When Harris extends the play with his legs, the Bulldogs must have someone locked in on Demarcus Robinson. The sophomore has 524 yards on 34 receptions and four touchdowns. Robinson has been inconsistent, but when he is good, he is dominant.

The Florida defense has taken a step back this season, but they are still good against the run ranking third in the SEC in rush defense. With Gurley and Michel out once again, the Gators are hopeful they can slow the potent Georgia rushing offense down.

Why Georgia Can Win This Game

Perhaps the best way to say it is, everything Florida is good at Georgia has a great counter-punch for. For example, the Florida Gators are No. 5 in the nation in average punt return yards with an 18.25 average. However, UGA is No. 4 in the nation in average opponent punt return yards, allowing just 13 total yards all season on seven returns.

Todd Gurley is out, but the rushing game is in safe hands with Nick Chubb. Chubb is no longer a star in the making– he is simply a star. Moreover, the Florida defense has struggled with physical runners this year, LSU’s Leonard Fournette and Alabama’s Derrick Henry combined for 251 yards and three touchdowns on 47 carries. I would argue that Chubb is better than either of those running backs at this stage of his career. Keith Marshall could be back, but I would rather see Brendan Douglas, who had six carries for 36 yards last season.

The Gators also have to be cautious of Hutson Mason, who has regained his confidence. Moreover, the return of Malcolm Mitchell and a healthier Chris Conley is opening things up in the passing game. Add to that the positive notes coming out of practice about Justin Scott-Wesley, the offense should be able to hit more big plays in the passing game.

With all of that positive news, I have not even mentioned the improved play of Jeremy Pruitt’s defense. The upgrade in coaching is showing up on the field as the unit as a whole is improving weekly.


The easy answer is turnovers. I know this is a very vanilla answer, but these two teams have been opposite extremes this season. The Gators have turned the ball over 15 times in the past five games. The Bulldogs, on the other hand, are No. 1 in the SEC in turnover margin at +13.

The Bulldogs don’t have to win this column by a wide margin, but they can’t lose it. In fact, if they can break even, they will likely win the game.

The other X-Factor is Georgia’s offense inside the red zone. I said this prior to the South Carolina game, and the Bulldogs cannot settle for field goal attempts. They did against the Gamecocks, and ultimately were defeated. The Gators are too talented and this rivalry is too heated. The Bulldogs must score touchdowns and go for it on fourth and short if needed.

How This Game Will Play Out

On offense, the game plan doesn’t change without Gurley. They will run the ball the majority of the game but will strategically use the passing game to soften up the defense. The game plan for Florida will be identical to the one against Missouri. Expect to see quick screens and passes to Mitchell and a whole lot of Chubb.

On defense, the Bulldogs are putting eight and nine in the box. It’s no secret that Florida is committed to the run this game with Harris making his first start. Although Harris has been impressive in limited duty, he is only 5-11 and 178 pounds.

I expect quarterback killer Jordan Jenkins and sack master Leonard Floyd to be locked in on Harris most of the game. I firmly believe Harris will start the game, but I don’t expect him to finish it.

UGA knows they’ve got to hold the fort down two more games before Gurley returns. They will, and in unusual fashion, Georgia will have this one wrapped up before the final moments.

Score Prediction: Georgia 31, Florida 17
Stat Prediction: Nick Chubb 25 carries for 137 yards and two touchdowns

Dr. SEC is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and at



  1. lemondrop87

    Oct 31, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    A Piece Of Cake..; Dawgs Have A Platter Full Of “Gator Tail”!! Really, Its Good!!!

  2. CJ

    Oct 31, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Wouldn’t say piece of cake, but I feel iur boys are as focused as a team as they’ve ever been. Let’s Go Dawgs!

  3. lemondrop87

    Nov 1, 2014 at 2:08 am

    Sorry, but think our boys can get them good, but if not, then serve the Gators some ‘BullDawg Rock.’…

    • uf wins

      Nov 2, 2014 at 12:20 pm

      Go gators!

  4. Thomas Brown UGA

    Nov 1, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Florida is a horrible football team.

    2002, we did not play for the national championship but 5-Loss # 23 FSU instead. We did so because we were 0-13 on 3rd Down Conversions, when even one of 13 would have won the game against the hapless crocodiles of Ron Zook no less who did not even make the Final AP Poll Top 25 even WITH their win over Mark Richt. For example, Terrence Edwards was wide open with nothing but turf between him and the end zone when David Greene overthrew him.

    As for national championship 2014, we have not beat anyone. No one. We beat Clemson who is # 21 now, but they played 2 teams all season and lost both, which is why we’re # 11 in the 1st College Football Play-Off Poll by the committee. This CFP Poll came out after Mark Richt had a 38-6 halftime lead in our last game. He and Mike Bobo called the 2nd half like jerks and put loads of pressure on our Defense you’re bragging about. This Defense has no secondary, and while our men run around back there chasing Quarterbacks, there are damn few sacks of opposing Quarterbacks to show for it, Leonard Floyd included.

    There is no one remaining or prior to today on Clemson’s schedule, other than their 2 losses. What their record reads and what our record reads is BAD LOSS by us to a sorry South Carolina team who not only does not even have a winning record, but 4 losses already. But they beat us.

    Hutson Mason getting his confidence back ? We have NO PASSING GAME whatsoever. Every team on our schedule loads the box against us because his deepest passes are only floating 4-yard varieties. This does not open up the running game, as you have seen, but actually FORCES every opponent to load the box for the run and short passes. You Open-Up your Running Game by throwing the pass DOWNFIELD, spreading the Defense out. We have not done this since Aaron Murray went down late last year.

    We did have, and still do have 2 Quarterbacks who NEVER IN EITHER OF THEIR LIFETIMES WILL BE CONSIDERED INFERIOR AS A QB COMPARED TO HUTSON MASON : Jacob Park, who tells us Mark Richt redshirted him this season and Brice Ramsey, who NEVER GETS ANY SNAPS.

    Had we played Brice Ramsey against South Carolina, as I called for on my blog prior to the game, South Carolina’s pitiful pass defense would have been exposed as it was EVERY OTHER GAME ALL SEASON : Thus, 4-4 and going nowhere.

    Instead, Hutson Mason, was a dear in headlights. Handed the ball on 1 of the many turnovers the Defense has created, just when all the South Carolina fans knew the game was over 1st and Goal from the 4-yard line, he did not check out of the play at the line, but ran the play where his lack of speed was put to test, and unable to throw the ball through the end zone, since it was more than 4-yards, he snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, while the officials picked up the debris from the fans in the end zone, sure they had LOST THE GAME.

    Florida has a Defense, unlike South Carolina. Florida does not have an Offense and Kurt Roper has done nothing to transform the recruits on Offense from nothingness to even slightly better than nothingness.

    Florida running game ?

    There is no Florida running game.

    What they might be able to do is to maybe pass on our Secondary. Everyone else certainly has.

    We’re # 11 because we have not played anyone.

    We better GATA and pass the ball downfield to open up the running game.

    You talk about Auburn, but that game is the only team we play all season before we either play them again, or play whoever is the # 1 Team in The SEC West in The SEC Championship Game Todd Gurley said he is sick and tired of going to and losing.

    Wishing and hoping we have a passing game, and beat someone, and quit losing to hapless unranked football teams, is the only road to this national championship you talk about prior to today’s game.

    A team who passes the football and who stops the run, is the game plan you talk about, but from the perspective of what we need to GATA and do to prepare ourselves for good teams, if and when we ever do play one this season.

    So far, we have not and are NOT PREPARED to.

    Even the worst team in The SEC West gave us all we could handle, even handed a 38-6 halftime lead where we scored 38 unanswered points. It’s the ONLY win by the SEC East against The SEC West all season.

    The fact that the SEC East is the SEC Least, is of no consolation to our own holes on Offense and Defense : Passing.

    1 would think that ranking us # 11 after that 2nd half “performance” in our latest game, just prior to the 1st College Football Play-Off Poll EVER, would be enough to sober-up our coaches and certainly our fans and spur us to GATA passing downfield to open-up the running game and start defending the pass for the 1st time all season to highlight both of our most glaring weaknesses.

    Will Muschamp is not keeping his job, no matter what.

    He has taken the highly touted Offensive recruits and had zero offense for 4 years. Even Kurt Roper can do nothing.

    This game is a 2 TD Las Vegas pick, and I hardly think it boils down to whether we put in a back-up TB to Nick Chubb who might fumble the ball, or not.

    This is a blow-out win.

    Instead of worrying about us being ranked # 11 in 1st ever CFP Poll, and bragging on our confident QB and dreaming about national championships which were not and which will not, we need to GATA and do something about our Passing Game, not that the South Carolina Game has not already exposed our Secondary and our total abject inability to pass the ball downfield against that horrid South Carolina secondary – even worse than our own.

    We really only have 1 TB because of the fumbles by his back-up. Brendan Douglas has not had enough carries to fumble like he did last season. Leonard Floyd has only 2 sacks all season and Jordan Jenkins has only 3 and a half.

    Brendan Douglas only has 122 yards all season, while really smart Nick Chubb already has more carries than Todd Gurley II. Isiah McKenzie only has 5 rushes all season, amazingly.

    Florida is 3-3.

    We are # 112 in Passing Offense.

    As bad as Florida is on Offense, they are significantly better passing than we are at # 93.

    The Florida running game you talk about is # 59 in the nation – hardly what I would game plan on against us, but passing.

    Florida should exploit the pass on both sides of the ball. They should be looking for the pass underneath to jump the route, because Hutson Mason only looks for those and get into those lanes. I fully suspect they will.

    Florida should not be trying to run at # 59 nationally rushing, but pass, because (1) we have no secondary and (2) because we do not sack our opponents, all of whom have been WEAK and (3) because we do stop the run but not the pass.

    There is no answer for our secondary this season, as that will require more talent – another year of recruiting. This is a hole which was exposed all off-season with NOTHING but BAD PRESS all about our Secondary – now, elsewhere.

    There certainly is an answer to our passing game, and it’s not throw more 4-yard floating passes. Those get intercepted downfield, and underneath does nothing but bunch-up the Defense even MORE.

    The Opposite of opening-up our running game.

    As it turns out, our schedule works against us.


    We certainly are facing a team today with a far better secondary than we.

    We have failed to beat anyone because we have not played anyone.

    What our record, or Clemson’s record is, only pinpoints why both are on the outside looking in.

    In our case, obviously, the HORRID LOSS to horrid South Carolina only makes who we have not played, all the more obvious.

    I’d also like to discuss CENSORSHIP because this is JUST WHEN we do not need to be talking about national championships, but focusing on our holes and how to do something, not brag on us after the 2nd half of our last game.

    The latest half we have played against the worst team in The SEC West, we LOST 7-26. It was excruciating timed just before the 1st Poll, and just when we had a 38-6 lead.

    Can we please have some voice of reason to have us all not brag about our men, but actually spur them on to GATA ?

    The difference between our halftime talk and adjustments in the most recent game and Arky, was that they played the 2nd half, and we did NOT.

    A week off, did not alter that fact so that we can now forget whom it is we have played, and brag about us just when we need to GATA.

    • uf wins

      Nov 2, 2014 at 12:20 pm

      Hahahaha go gators!

  5. Josh

    Nov 1, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    Yeah, you were all wrong.

    Go Gators!

  6. lemondrop87

    Nov 3, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    For ‘Thomas Brown, UGA’; I don’t know how you pinned that comment B4 the game was even played but you hit the nail on the head in all aspects. I do not know a lot about the game of F/B but do understand a little bit. I think any Coach or team manager should try other ones qualified for the same position to see if another could do better, so, they may not; but you never know til you try, right? I don’t want to sound illiterate and I have seen the symbols for quite some time but do not know what they stand for?!! They are:- GATA, I thought they had something to do with the ‘Gators’ since we would be playing them soon but guess not. Well “Take Care” and do not get so heated up about the F/B team, as my MoM used to tell me, “It will all come clean Washday.” In the meantime! Go Dawgs; Beat KY!!..

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