10 quick thoughts on Georgia’s 24-17 win over Florida.
Georgia 24, Florida 17
10. The Georgia lines are just so good. The defensive front owns what little Florida running game there was, and the offensive line gave Jake Fromm just enough time to be Jake Fromm. That Fromm got so much time to hit his midrange throws against this devastating pass rush is all on that offensive front, and …
9. Jake Fromm. Good luck finding a more unflappable college quarterback. He was the coolest guy in the room as a freshman in the College Football Playoff National Championship – whatever on the stats – and with the game on the line and the fearsome Gator defensive front blitzing, he cooly and calmly hit the third down throw to effectively ice the game.
20-of-30 for 279 yards and two touchdowns, no interceptions, 3-0 vs. Florida. (Sorry, America, to make you do the work for me, but if you can find/remember a starting quarterback besides Buck Belue who went 3-0 against the Gators, PLEASE fire it over to me @PeteFiutak). Ol’ Jake is alright.
8. Kyle Trask is Kyle Trask. He’s not Tua, he’s not Trevor, he’s not Burrow, and he’s not Jake. But he hung in there with absolutely no support whatsoever from the running game, and he gutted it out. He might have missed on too many plays and throws, but he also hit 21-of-33 passes for 257 yards and two scores. He wasn’t the problem. The issue was …
7. Florida didn’t even try working with the running game. It didn’t commit to it, abandoned it early on, ignored it throughout, and it never worked against the great Georgia defensive front. With sacks figured in, it ended up with 21 yards on 19 carries with no run longer than nine yards. Lamical Perine and Dameon Pierce combined for ten carries for 42 yards. Again, Trask didn’t get a whole lot of help.
6. It’s not like the Georgia running game was humming, either. Fromm was good enough on his midrange throws to get by, but outside of one big dash from D’Andre Swift – who finished with 86 yards – the Bulldogs were stuffed for just 119 yards and barely over three yards per carry. Fortunately …
5. Lawrence Cager just had himself a day. He got the benefit of a whiffed replay call in his favor, but the Miami transfer came up with seven catches for 132 yards and a touchdown. He was the big play threat Florida was missing, and when the game needed to be taken over, he did it with one big move to get wide open …
4. The Gator receivers showed up just enough to make it interesting. It would’ve been nice to have just a bit more happening early on. Freddie Swain caught eight passes for 91 yards and a score, Kyle Pitts caught four passes for 78 yards, and there were just enough good catches and plays late to make it a game. It would’ve been nice if there was a running game, though.
3. 35:48. That’s how long Georgia held on to the ball for. It was a clean game with no turnovers, and the Gators needed a few big plays just to give its struggling offense more of a chance. It all came down to the third down plays – again. Last year, Georgia won partly because it converted 8-of-14 third down tries. This year, it converted on 12-of-18 chances to keep control of the clock for what seemed like an eternity at times. Florida? 2-of-9 on third downs.
2. Florida isn’t totally out of the SEC championship hunt. The Bulldogs still have three interesting games to go, but asking them to lose two of those final three is too much. However, if the Gators can take care of Vanderbilt and win at Missouri, and then take down Florida State, they’ll be 10-2 with losses at LSU and to Georgia. They’ll be a mortal lock for a New Year’s Six bowl. That’s not what this team was hoping for, but that’s really not bad – if it happens.
1. Georgia didn’t just win the SEC East, but it basically did. It still has to get through Missouri, at Auburn, and Texas A&M – none of those are givens with the way this team plays.
There were just enough explosive plays to get by, but this isn’t LSU or Alabama when it comes to bombing away and making big things happen. This is a more methodical, tough team that relies on the line play and Fromm to get by. The defense is national championship-caliber, but can this team get through those three final regular season games, AND LSU or Bama, AND two games in the College Football Playoff against two more explosive teams?
Probably not, but at least this win was a massive step. Everything is still in play, and everything is still the same since the loss to South Carolina – win out, and Georgia is the national champion.