Florida vs. Georgia fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, October 27
Game Time: 3:30 ET
Venue: TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, FL
Florida (6-1) vs. Georgia (6-1) Game Preview
One Reason Why Florida Will Win
The Gators are playing with house money … in a rivalry game.
Ask Oklahoma how Texas played when on a neutral field when it turn its intensity on the lines up a few notches.
Of course Florida has its eyes on making a big step in the SEC East race, and of course the SEC Championship is still on the table – it needs a Kentucky loss, though – but for now, being 6-1 going into the Cocktail Party against Georgia? The season has already been a positive. Why does this matter?
Georgia came into the year with realistic national title-or-failure expectations. Florida can come in and be relatively loose.
But more than that, the Gator defense is good enough to bog down the Georgia offense. If Florida’s secondary isn’t the best in the country, it’s right there with LSU’s and Georgia’s – the Gators lead the SEC in pass defense – and the pass rush continues to be terrific.
On the other side, the offense hasn’t been scintillating, but the line has been solid, the ground game good enough, and it’s working within a formula that could offset the Georgia talent level.
Florida isn’t going to lose the turnover battle, it’s going to keep the Georgia receivers from making anything big happen deep, and it’s going to keep the non-existent Bulldog pass rush from bothering Feleipe Franks.
And let it rip.
One Reason Why Georgia Will Win
Georgia got its wake-up call.
It was good enough to get by on talent and a few big plays in wins over South Carolina and Missouri, but if it seemed like head coach Kirby Smart was always looking like he was about to blow his top, it’s because his team wasn’t sharp overall. And then, it all came home to roost in the 36-16 loss to LSU.
Had Georgia been able to slip by the Tigers somehow and stay unbeaten, this would be the trap. This would be the moment when a tight Gator squad would bog down and power its way through the sloppy Bulldogs.
With two weeks off after what happened in Death Valley, that’s not happening now.
Yeah, yeah, different year, different team, but how did Georgia respond after getting whacked by Auburn 40-17 last season? It was dominant over the final three games, including the SEC Championship.
This will be all about early momentum. Florida is terrific, but even though it’s had a few big gams with lots or points, it’s not built to keep up in shootouts or make a big comeback if it gets down early.
Jake Fromm has had to hear for the last two weeks about how bad he was against LSU. Expect plenty of quick-hitting passes just to get him into a rhythm right away – he’s not going to challenge the Gator corners deep – but he’ll move the chains. He’s not going to have the same bad game twice.
On the other side of the ball, it’s all about holding up against the Gator ground game. Florida hasn’t passed the 160-yard mark on the ground over the last five games, and while Franks has been solid, Georgia will take its chances on this coming down to Fromm/Justin Fields vs. Franks.
What’s Going To Happen
The intensity will be off the charts. But through all the emotion, and all of the craziness, Fromm will be cool, calm, and get through the early struggles against the jacked up Gator D – and then the game will slow down for him.
The Georgia secondary will come up with two big picks, the offense won’t miss on any of its opportunities, and it’ll come down to Franks having to throw Florida back into the game late.
Again, had Georgia gotten past LSU, this would be different. But with two weeks off after that, this is where the Bulldogs look the part again.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Georgia 30, Florida 17
Line: Georgia -7, o/u: 52
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
Must See Rating: 5
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