Georgia Football travels to Jacksonville Florida this Saturday to face the Florida Gators.
Georgia football returns to action after a much-needed bye week. Mental breakdowns and lack of identity lead to Georgia going 1-3 in their last four games, with each win being devastating in its own way and the win being more stressful than it should have been.
This week the Bulldogs play their biggest rival, Florida, who happens to be leading the SEC East. The Gators have just one loss and have played much better since giving up the comeback to Tennessee.
Having said all that, is there any thing Georgia can lean on to build some confidence going into their game this weekend? Here are the advantages and disadvantages the Georgia Bulldogs face against the Florida Gators.
Advantage One: Solid Defense vs. mediocre offense
Georgia has leaned on their defense for much of the season and while the unit hasn’t been great, it has been good enough. Without the defense playing as well as they do, Georgia probably would have losses to North Carolina, Nicholls State and South Carolina, and they would have never been competitive against Tennessee.
Florida’s offense on the other hand is not one that many would describe as “good enough”. They needed their defense to supply a pair of touchdowns to blow out Missouri, and barely got passed Vanderbilt. The defense gave up the comeback to Tennessee, but the offense didn’t do their part to clinch the victory.
Georgia’s defense should have a lot of success against the Gators. If they can force a few turnovers Georgia may leave Jacksonville as winners.
Disadvantage One: Struggling offense vs. a great defense
Georgia has a solid defense, but Florida has one of the best defenses in college football. As mentioned before, the defense turned the Missouri game into a blowout with a pair of touchdowns. They kept Vanderbilt down and Kentucky was never competitive.
Georgia, however has a better offense than Florida. Quarterback and running back play is more trustworthy for Georgia than it is for Florida. But Florida has the best defense the Bulldogs have seen all year.
This game will be a defensive ball game, but Georgia’s offense has more potential to score the crucial points than Florida’s. The question is, will they?
Advantage Two: Georgia has played more recently
Georgia and Florida are both coming off of bye weeks, but Florida was given a bye week with the postponing of their game with LSU. Meaning in the pas three weeks, Florida has only played once.
Bye weeks aren’t always blessings, sometimes they are curses. They can bring a halt to a teams momentum. And Florida would be just fine with one-off week, but two in three weeks will have negative effects.
Florida’s offense is a work in progress, they played terrible in the second half against Tennessee. They got an off week to repair some issues on offense before they played Missouri, and those didn’t really work. Then they got another off week.
The coaching staff for the Gators has not had a time to implement offensive adjustments that will work. Instead they will be doing so against Georgia. And those adjustments could very well lead to a disaster.
Disadvantage Two: Jacob Eason in Jacksonville
Yes Jacob Eason has appeared in a neutral site game already and has even played on hostile grounds. But nothing is like Jacksonville.
There will be no 80-to-20 ratio in favor of Georgia fans in Jacksonville like there was in Atlanta. And while the crowd will not reach the volume it will on true road games, the atmosphere itself is overwhelming.
Eason is playing his first game in a rivalry that his team has not played well in since the 1980’s. And it’s on one of, if not the biggest stage in the regular season in the SEC. Quarterbacks making their first start against Florida have not beaten the Gators since Greg Talley in 1989.
Eric Zeier, Mike Bobo, Quincy Carter, David Greene, Joe Tereshinski III, Matthew Stafford, Joe Cox, Aaron Murray, Hutson Mason and Faton Bauta all lost to the Gators their first try. The odds and histroy are not in Eason’s favor.