Florida lost a significant amount of receivers last year. Headlined by Kyle Pitts and Kadarius Toney, the Gators had one of the best passing attacks in all of college football and helped the guy throwing the ball to these receivers in Kyle Trask. These playmakers helped him so much — he even finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting.
While they may not have as much firepower this year, junior Jacob Copeland has proved a valuable asset. This year, Copeland has 23 catches for 423 yards and four touchdowns. Those stats include a career-best 175 receiving yards in a game against South Florida in Week 2 of the season.
Copeland’s story is amazing. He grew up in Pensacola, Fla., where he lost close friends and family early in his life. In his locker, he has pictures of his late father and nephew and his grandmother.
All of these people are his inspiration for playing football, and you see that in the way he plays the game. If you haven’t heard much of his story, do a Google search when you get time.
Copeland is tough to bring down once the ball is in his hands. Florida does occasionally hand the ball off to him in some packages. He can create space once given the football and could be potentially used in some wheel routes that the Gators continuously burned the Georgia defense on in last year’s game.
Georgia’s secondary players like Lewis Cine, Kelee Ringo, and the rest of the Dawgs must be ready for Copeland to make plays and shut down those attempts when he gets targeted. Whoever ends up covering Copeland needs to make sure they don’t allow him to create any separation, but they don’t need to get penalties either. The Dawgs need to play clean football, and they should eventually wear out this Gator team.
There are others, but these are some of the six key players leading the Gators to battle against the Dawgs on Saturday. Best believe, however, that Smart will have his team ready to avenge the bitter loss from 2020 and get back in the win column in this historic rivalry.