Currently come the world-beaters.
Whether theoretically or actually, the gorge in between the Gators (5-2, 3-1) and the No. 1-ranked, two-time ruling national-champion Georgia Bulldogs (7-0, 4-0), with their 24-game win touch dating to 2021, is enormous. There might not be a location on either side of the sphere or any type of stage of the video game where UF has a benefit, thus UGA’s 14 1/2- factor preferred line in Las Vegas. Florida has actually shed 5 of the previous 6 conferences of the fabled competition by an ordinary margin of 22 factors, consisting of in 2015’s 42-20 blowout loss.
That claimed, UF will certainly most likely to EverBank Stadium on Saturday with its Southeastern Conference destiny in its hands. The champion presumes control of the East Division and course to the SEC Championship Game, though both groups have sturdy roadways in advance (keep reading).
[Read senior writer Scott Carter’s comprehensive “Opening Kickoff” setup here]
To defeat a group like the Bulldogs, certainly all the typical football elements (do not transform the sphere over, make use of red-zone possibilities, remain on timetable with down and range) have to use. Also examining all those boxes will not do it.
The Gators will certainly need to play a phenomenal video game throughout the board. On crime, quarterback Graham Mertz (1,897 backyards, 12 TD, 2 INT), the SEC leader in passing percent (76.2) has actually delighted in back-to-back efficiencies versus 2 of the most awful pass defenses in the organization (Vanderbilt and South Carolina). This will certainly be a various job. Georgia rates 5th across the country in pass effectiveness protection (a 100.4 opposing QB ranking and simply 171.1 backyards per video game) and likewise initially in the nation on quiting 3rd down (simply 23.6 percent conversions). The Gators likely will require some aid from Montrell Johnson Jr. (438 backyards, 4 TD), Trevor Etienne (407 backyards, 3 TD) and a running video game that was entirely stonewalled by the 2 ideal defenses it has actually encountered to day, Utah and Kentucky, when they incorporated for simply 82 backyards on 60 brings. That’s 1.7 per effort. Envision the stress Mertz will certainly be encountering on lengthy and 3rd if that’s the going price versus Georgia. Wideout Ricky Pearsall (44 catches, 619 backyards, 3 TD) can just bail his QB out a lot..
Defensively, Florida should support its indoor play by restricting the Bulldogs’ operating video game, led by Daijun Edwards (460 backyards, 6 TD) and placing some stress on quarterback Carson Beck (2,147 backyards, 12 TD, 4 INT), the Jacksonville indigenous making a victorious homecoming. A pair short-field supports would certainly aid the UF crime, yet the Gators have actually compelled just 4 turn overs this period. That’s linked for 129th across the country and last in the organization.
It’s worth keeping in mind, certainly, that Georgia will certainly lack among the leading playmakers in the nation in limited end Brock Bowers, that went through ankle joint surgical treatment 2 weeks earlier and is anticipated to be out for the rest of the normal period, a minimum of. That implies the Bulldogs, that have yet to encounter a placed challenger, will certainly be Bowers-less when it handles No. 16 Missouri and No. 12 Ole Miss in the house the following 2 weeks, adhered to by a day at No. 21 Tennessee prior to covering the regular-season slate at cross-state competing Georgia Tech when driving. That’s a quite backloaded timetable, yet Coach Kirby Smart and his soldiers will certainly not be forgeting the Gators; not also a middling variation.
UF has actually had a relatively difficult timetable to day (those roadway losses at Utah and Kentucky, plus a large home triumph versus Tennessee), yet still has journeys to placed Missouri and No. 15 LSU and covers at home with fourth-ranked Florida State.
With such a conga line of placed adversaries down the home stretch, might also begin with the largest heavyweight of ’em all, right?
First is established for 3:30 p.m. on CBS, with the network’s A-team team of Brad Nessler on play-by-play, Gary Danielson supplying evaluation and Jenny Dell functioning the sidelines. The Gators Sports Network from Learfield will certainly broadcast with pregame insurance coverage starting at 1 p.m. and ultimately pave the way to the group of Sean Kelley, previous UF quarterback and two-time SEC Player of the Year Shane Matthews with shade and sideline press reporter Tate Casey for first. For terminals, click on this link.
The video game will certainly be repeated Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. and once more Thursday at 1 a.m., both on SEC Network.
Comply with elderly author Scott Carter (@GatorsScott) for discourse and evaluation throughout the video game. FloridaGators.com will certainly have full post-game insurance coverage from the video game Saturday.