Georgia football will have to watch out on Saturday for the number of explosive plays the Gators will try and attempt because they are one of the best in the country at them.
Florida has one of the top-rated offenses in terms of explosive plays, including run plays of at least 20 yards and throws of 30 yards or more.
According to Team Rankings, the Gators are No. 3 in the country in yards per play, averaging seven yards.
The Dawgs are close behind them at 6.7 yards a play as they tie with Cincinnati, Texas, Baylor, and Texas Tech.
Head coach Kirby Smart brought up in his Monday press conference that the explosive plays are one of the biggest things Georgia will have to avoid giving up against the Gators. If the Dawgs can limit those explosive plays, then they can find more success.
"“They’re either first in the SEC or top 10 in the country in explosive plays,” Smart said in his Monday press conference. “They’re a very explosive team. In terms of what they do, their run game has been very special because you talk about the quarterback in the run game, plus their ability to get the ball to three good backs.”"
On the season, the Gators average 34.43 points, 254.3 yards on the ground, 247.43 through the air and 501.7 total offensive yards a game.
However, while they can produce numbers, Florida still has three losses on the season. They fell to Alabama, Kentucky and LSU.
Those opponents forced them to become one-dimensional, and they limited their rushing attack. The Gators went from averaging 322.5 rushing yards a game through the first four games to averaging just 163.33 in the last three.
Through seven games, the Gators have 34 explosive plays on the year, averaging 4.8 a game. The only game Florida recorded none was against Kentucky.
One of the reasons they have so many explosive plays is because, against Florida Atlantic and South Florida, they had eight explosive plays each game.
The Gators had seven rush plays for 20-plus yards against Florida Atlantic and one pass play for 30-plus yards.
Against the Bulls, they had four of each. The Gators had three of the four explosive plays against Alabama happen on the ground.
Vanderbilt gave up four explosive pass plays and two run ones. Most recently, in their loss against the Bayou Bengals, Flordia had three explosive pass plays, two of which were for touchdowns and two explosive runs.
The point here is most of their explosive plays happen on the ground, and well, they haven’t quite played a defense like Georgia.
Alabama is the closest, and well, the last couple of weeks after falling to Texas, A&M has helped their defensive stats.
Georgia opponents average 63.43 yards on the ground a game. The last run-heavy opponent like the Gators was Kentucky, and well, the Dawgs held them to 55 yards on the ground all game.
So if the Gators want to have explosive plays, they will have to be through the air.
"“People take shots, they’re gonna take shots, we know that going into every game,” Smart said in his Monday press conference. “We got to play well on the perimeter, we got tackle well, we got affect their quarterback.”"
Georgia gave up one run of over 20 yards all season, which came against UAB in Week 2. The Dawgs front seven is a monster who lives and dies on stopping the run.
South Carolina had a run go for 16 yards, and Arkansas had one go for 14 yards, but only one that went over 20-yards. That stat alone should tell opponents just how dominant the Dawgs are in their rush defense.
Jordan Davis also spoke to the media on Monday, and the defense heard all about how explosive Florida is.
"“We have played explosive offenses before and Florida comes in with that challenge of having two QBs and not knowing which one,” Jordan Davis said in his interview on Monday. “We have a scheme for both, we have a scheme for everybody. We are just going to go in there and hopefully we can stop and contain them and do our best.”"
Georgia has given up one rushing touchdown all year and three passing touchdowns. The Gators will have to work hard, and they could score points.
However, the Dawgs are on a mission this season and hate letting opponents in their endzones.
Even though Florida has had a ton of explosive plays this season, the Dawgs are the best defense they will face. It’ll be interesting to see how Georgia chooses to cover Florida.
The Gators won’t be a pushover, but neither will the Dawgs. If Georgia can go into Jacksonville focused on the game and play to their strengths, they should be able to slow down the explosiveness.
After not playing great against Kentucky, it’s time for the Dawgs to put down the hammer again and make sure the Gators don’t have any explosive plays just like the Wildcats did.
If Kentucky can do it, then Georgia can too.