Georgia Bulldogs Game 8 Preview: Florida Gators


The Georgia Bulldogs are headed to Jacksonville, Fl. for the annual date with their arch-rivals, the Florida Gators.

More from Georgia Football

Date: 11/1/2014
Kickoff Time: 3:30 pm
Venue: EverBank Field – Jacksonville, Fl.
Series Record: Georgia leads 50–40–2
Last Meeting: November 2, 2013 – Georgia 23, Florida 20
Radio: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network from IMG;
Internet Stream: SEC Network +

Latest Line: Georgia by 12.5

The No. 11 Georgia Bulldogs (6-1, 4-1 SEC) will try for their fourth straight win over the Florida Gators (3-3, 2-3 SEC), as the annual Cocktail Party festivities are underway in Jacksonville.

Georgia is probably as healthy as they have been since the opener against Clemson, but will still be without star running back Todd Gurley, who had his suspension extended for two more games by the NCAA this week. Injured RB Keith Marshall has been upgraded to questionable by head coach Mark Richt, but the Dawgs will still not have freshman sensation Sony Michel back for this game.

Florida will be starting freshman QB Treon Harris in favor of the struggling Jeff Driskel, and that will put a different type of pressure on the rising Georgia defense.

Despite the large point spread, you can almost always throw out the records when the Bulldogs and Gators lock horns on the field. There is, and never will be, any love lost between the two schools, and record be damned, both will want to badly win this game.

Keys to the game:

Georgia needs to do what they did against Missouri and Arkansas – strike first, strike often, and pad the lead quickly. The Bulldogs built tremendous leads in both games and then the defense kept the pressure cooker going.

Florida is only giving up 117 yards per game on the ground, so if Georgia plans to run the ball the way they have all season, then Nick Chubb is going to have to be even better than he has in the last two games (if that’s even possible). Georgia may be well suited to open up passing the ball as they did against the Razorbacks, and loosen up that Gator front seven.

For the Gators, the task is simple. If they want to win this game, they have get Treon Harris to generate some sort of consistent offensive production, because Jeff Driskel sure wasn’t getting it done. The Gators have been known to have a few lapses in pass coverage, and they’ll have to tighten that oup.

Strengths and Weaknesses:

Right now it’s very difficult to pinpoint a single strength on this Georgia team. Everyone knows how well they run the ball, and Hutson Mason has become the most efficient and unrattled quarterback in the SEC. He may not strike fear into the hearts of defenses by going deep, but he’s also smart enough to find those soft spots, and can hit out patterns with the flick of a wrist.

Defensively the Dawgs are getting better every week. There are still issues in the secondary, but that’s something that just isn’t going to go away this season. Damian Swann’s move from corner back to safety has proven to be probably the best move the D.C. Jeremy Pruitt has made all season, as he’s helped to lead Georgia to a national best +13 turnover margin.

Oct 18, 2014; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators quarterback Treon Harris (3) runs with the ball as Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Harold Brantley (90) defends during the first half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Florida plays defense, and plays it well, as is the case with any Will Muschamp coached team. But that hasn’t been enough to get them wins this year, and there really isn’t anything you can point to on this Gator team that stands out other than their ability to stop the run.


Normally I’d call the Cocktail Party a pick’em no matter what, but every few years, one team or the creates a blowout. This is the year that the Bulldogs do that to the Gators and make it four straight wins. Take Georgia and the 12.5 points to cover.