This Saturday will showcase the No. 1 Florida Gators and the Georgia Bulldogs in their annual showdown in Jacksonville, FL. The Gators will continue on the road to Atlanta and Pasadena as the Bulldogs attempt to salvage what many thought would be a rebuilding year.
For the Gators, this game is more than just another stop on the road to the National Championship.
Rewind to 2007 when the Georgia Bulldogs felt it necessary to charge the field in celebration when Knowshon Moreno scored the first touchdown of the game. Coach Mark Richt asked his team to celebrate, and claims he had no idea the team would rush the field.
Too bad, because all it did was motivate and anger Coach Urban Meyer and the Gator Nation.
The 2008 game was a blow-out as the Gators embarrassed the Bulldogs 49-10. The Georgia Bulldogs did very little celebrating that day.
This year, the Bulldogs come limping in to Jacksonville with a 4-3 overall record, and 3-2 in the conference. They are ranked No. 90 in Total Offense, and No. 70 in Total Defense.
Compared to the Florida Gators, who are ranked No. 8 in total offense and No. 1 in total defense, conventional wisdom would lead one to believe that this year's game will be worse for Georgia than the 2008 meeting.
Well, don't let the stats fool you. The Gators have struggled offensively this season, and Heisman Trophy candidate Tim Tebow has yet to figure out how to better utilize his wide receivers in the passing game. Also, RB Jeff Demps was seen walking around this week with a neck brace, so the Gators may be without his services this week.
However, the Gators defense has been nothing short of stellar. In seven games this season, they have given up only six touchdowns while grabbing 10 interceptions. They have only given up 135 yards per game in the air and 94.57 yards per game on the ground.
Georgia better bring their A+ game to Jacksonville, and Coach Richt would be smart to not order any more celebrations.
Coach Meyer hasn't forgotten that little stunt in 2007, and don't think for a moment that hasn't come up in conversation this week while the team has prepared. Georgia is Florida's most hated rival, and with an offense that is struggling, you can be sure that Meyer is pulling everything out of the bag to motivate his team to score.
For Georgia to win, they will need to get the run game going and greatly improve their average of 108 yards per game. As for their passing game, they average 226.71 yards per game, but Georgia cannot afford to rely on solely on the pass as they are facing the No. 2 passing defense in the country.
Good luck, Georgia.
Florida will win easily, and my only concern is if I have to stay the entire game, or if I can leave at half-time so I can meet up with my son to go trick-or-treating later that evening.
Perhaps the Bulldogs fans may choose to just stay home and trick-or-treat instead of witnessing another loss to Florida.
The Gator Nation will make several toasts at this year's Cocktail Party.
Florida 31 and Georgia 10.