Who: No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs vs. Florida Gators
When: Saturday, Oct. 28
Where: EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Fla.
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
How to watch online: CBSSports.com CBS Sports App
Odds: The Bulldogs are 14-point favorites, via Odds Shark
This is a rivalry that’s recently been dominated by the Gators. Florida has won the previous three meetings and 21 of the past 27. This was, of course, before Kirby Smart returned to Athens last year. Sure, the Gators won last year’s game 24-10, but the ‘Dawgs and freshman quarterback Jacob Eason weren’t very good on offense and UGa’s defense wasn’t this strong.
Florida offense vs. Georgia defense
This is where the game will be won or lost for Florida. Since Urban Meyer left Gainesville after the 2010 season, the Gators have had their share of troubles on offense. That’s the case again this season. Head coach Jim McElwain’s inability to find – or settle – on a quarterback is one of Florida’s major issues. For Florida to take down Georgia on Saturday, it needs quarterback Feleipe Franks to challenge the field vertically. The Gators can run the football, but they also haven’t faced a defense like they’re facing this weekend.
Georgia’s stout defense receives another boost this weekend as defensive lineman Trent Thompson returns.
Florida defense vs. Georgia offense
The only way Florida realistically wins this game is if it gets a big day from the defense. That means plenty of pressure on freshman passer Jake Fromm. The Gators, as usual, have plenty of talent on the defensive side of the ball. Florida should stack the box with eight defenders and make Fromm win the game. If Nick Chubb and Sony Michel are slowed down, the Gators have a shot. They also need to get pressure on Fromm, mixing in blitzes on every series. If Florida doesn’t send extra pressure, it won’t win this football game.
Fromm has managed games so well this season. He also hasn’t been challenged in some games with extra pressure. Florida must change that.
On paper, this looks like an easy win for the Bulldogs. They have the better team on both sides of the ball and are well-coached. However, this is a big rivalry and Florida’s recent history gives the Gators reasons to believe they can upset the third-ranked ‘Dawgs.
It’s not going to happen.
Georgia has all the momentum on the field and a week off gives it a chance to rest some key players for the stretch run. Chubb and Michel will receive plenty of opportunities and Chubb will go over 100 yards. Fromm is good enough, throwing for around 200 yards and only turns the ball over once. UGa’s defense is way too much for the Gators.
Final score: Georgia 34, Florida 13