Florida was handed its first loss of the season Saturday when Georgia beat the Gators 17-9 in Jacksonville. Both defenses played well, but Florida’s inept offense finally proved it never deserved to be No. 2 in the BCS.
The Gators were on a date with destiny this Saturday, and Florida fans knew it was coming. This team didn’t have enough to make it to the BCS and win big. The defense is ready for championship football, but the offense has a long way to go.
This season has brought a lot of upset football, shaking the foundation of the rankings and traditional thinking that surrounds the polls. The upsets that came with each passing week pushed the Gators up the polls until they reached No. 2.
It was the fastest rise in the BCS era, but the stay was short. Florida was this year’s early season Cinderella. Now, it’s midnight.
Florida does have a handful of quality wins—defeating Tennessee, South Carolina and LSU—which has helped the climb up the polls, but the team has been incomplete, and everyone watching the Gators play has noticed.
Mike Gillislee has been able to save this Florida offense in the past, but after 22 carries only rendered 77 yards, it became apparent that he didn’t have the answers.
Jeff Driskel finished with negative rushing yards and two interceptions against the Bulldogs. The lightening-in-a-bottle sophomore has taken the country by storm, but he was corralled easily and efficiently by Georgia. Florida couldn’t find a counterpunch.
The Georgia defense was playing in the backfield of Florida all night, with Jarvis Jones creating a lot of problems for Driskel leading to the loss.
Georgia came with a plan defensively, and it worked perfectly. The Bulldogs focused on closing down the Gators one-dimensional offense.
Another key for Georgia was turnovers. The Gators lost four fumbles and tossed two interceptions. A fumble at the end of the game ended a possible Florida comeback. Aaron Murray returned the favor three times with three picks, but six total turnovers were too much to overcome for Florida.
The Gators looked sloppy throughout this game. There was a lack of execution on offense and breakdowns on defense that led to big plays for Aaron Murray and the Georgia passing game. A secondary breakdown led to the game-sealing touchdown in the fourth quarter.
This was not a championship squad that took the field for Florida. It is a talented team that can win a lot of football this season, but climbing to No. 2 in the BCS was premature, and it showed against Georgia.
Every national title team has a point in a season where they have a bad game and things just go their way, but this was too bad of a performance to overcome for this young Muschamp led squad.