Georgia squeaked out a tight win against Kentucky this past Saturday in a game that the country is hoping was a wake-up call. The Bulldogs face a tough test in Florida this coming week, but if they make five adjustments, the win could come.
Florida is ranked No. 2 in the BCS and is doing work on opponents through the first half of the year.
Georgia is 6-1, but it is a team that struggled with a bad Kentucky squad last Saturday after getting blasted by 28 points against South Carolina two weeks prior.
The Bulldogs are not poised for the upset, but it could come. Florida is approaching this game as one of its final two tests before the Gators make a run at the SEC title. A lot rides on this outcome, with both teams needing the win.
The Gators have mounted a dangerous rushing attack this fall relying on star quarterback Jeff Driskel and running back Mike Gillislee. The two have earned Florida the No. 25 rushing unit in the country.
The run game is how the Gators were able to defeat LSU and it also helped Florida control the clock against South Carolina.
Georgia can’t afford the same results against the Gators. The Bulldogs have to ensure that the offense is able to maneuver at full capacity and avoid being crippled with time.
Focusing on stopping the Florida rushing attack will also put pressure on an unproven Jeff Driskel. The Gators don’t want the game to fall into his hands to win.
If Georgia can force that to happen, it stands a chance at gaining a victory.
In Georgia’s one loss this season Aaron Murray looked terrible. He threw for only 109 yards and tossed an interception. In Georgia’s big wins, he has looked unstoppable.
Last week, he tossed for 427 yards and four touchdowns. That type of success would lead to a Georgia win.
This Florida defense is no pushover, so it won’t be an easy task. The Gators are No. 20 in pass defense, only giving up 184 yards through the air game. Murray will have to be very selective with his throws—something he has had trouble with, tossing interceptions in four of seven games.
Murray is the key to this game for Georgia. Without big numbers from the star quarterback, the Bulldogs will fall short in this rivalry matchup.
Jarvis Jones has been a force for the Bulldogs so far this season and the Gators don’t appear to have an answer to his pass-rushing ability. Jones has six total sacks on the season and 11 tackles for loss.
Florida is giving up three sacks a game and is ranked No. 105 in the country in sacks allowed. Jones should be salivating.
Jeff Driskel has proven that he is dangerous when outside the pocket, but the Bulldogs have the speed to contain him. If the Bulldogs can meet Driskel in the backfield consistently, he will get frustrated and make questionable decisions.
Driskel has yet to be tested by a defense like the Jones-led Bulldogs.
Georgia relied heavily on its stud freshmen running backs early in the year. Now, the Bulldogs have pushed away from the run game, with the offensive success taking a dive with it.
Against South Carolina, Georgia rushed the ball with Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall a total of 25 times. Against Kentucky, they only combined for 18 rushes.
The tandem of backs bring a balance to the offense and a big-play ability that is unmatched in the SEC. Why Georgia has crept away from pumping these guys with carries makes no sense.
Moving forward, the offense needs Gurley and Marshall to be more involved. It starts this weekend against Florida.
Georgia is not having its best season in the turnover game, ranking No. 55 in the country in turnover margin. Florida, on the other hand, is No. 9 in the country in the same category.
The Gators defense will be stingy. If Georgia hands the ball over on more than one occasion, this will be a big Florida win.
Aaron Murray may not toss a ton of interceptions, but the Bulldogs have put the ball on the ground on more than one inopportune occasion this fall. That can’t happen this Saturday.