Georgia Bulldogs (4-3 SU, 1-5-1 ATS) vs. Florida Gators (4-3 SU, 2-5 ATS)
College Football Week 10
Date and Time: Saturday November 2nd, 2013. 3:30PM Eastern
Where: Everbank Field Jacksonville, F.L.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: UGA -2.5/FLA +2.5
Over/Under Total: 47.5
This Saturday marks the return of the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party when the Georgia Bulldogs and Florida Gators meet in Jacksonville, Florida. Typically this annual meeting has SEC Championship implications on the line. However the Bulldogs and Gators have underachieved this season as both teams sport a 4-3 SU mark on the year. In fact, this will be just the 2nd time since 1979 that Florida and Georgia will both meet as unranked teams.
Over the years the Gators have had the upper hand in this series winning 16 of the last 21 meetings. With that being stated, Florida has lost each of the last two meetings against Georgia and the Gators will be slight dogs again this Saturday. Just like Georgia, Florida will enter the weekend off a bye last week. The Gators really needed an extra week to heal considering several players came out of their 36-17 loss to Missouri nursing injuries. Injuries have seemingly plagued the Gators this year especially on the offensive side of the ball where both quarterback Jeff Driskel and running back Matt Jones went down with season ending injuries.
As a result, the Gators offense has struggled tremendously averaging just 21.1 points per game which is currently rated the 108th worse scoring offense in college football. Despite a healthy running attack, Florida's passing offense has been awful behind quarterback Tyler Murphy. Therefore defenses have been able to stack the box to stop the run. Florida only managed to post 23 points combined in their last two outings which resulted in losses to LSU and Missouri. Rest assured Georgia's defensive coordinator Todd Grantham will attempt to do the same and keep 7-8 guys in the box. The Bulldogs defense has not defended the run well this year so it will be interesting to see how that match-up shakes out throughout the game.
Georgia's defense has not only played poorly against the run but has also relinquished 33.3 points per game (103rd in FBS) this year. The Bulldogs were able to overcome the poor defensive play with the help of a quick striking offense led by quarterback Aaron Murray and running back Todd Gurley. However Todd Gurley went down with an ankle injury and it really put a strain on the Bulldogs' offensive firepower. Gurley is one of the nation's best tailbacks and he has missed the last 3 games. Early reports have indicated that Gurley is close to returning and it would be a big boost for the Bulldogs if he is able to have an effective return this Saturday.
When Georgia's offense is healthy, the Bulldogs are one of the most dangerous groups in the SEC. QB Aaron Murray is an experienced veteran with an NFL caliber arm. Murray has completed 62% passing this season for 1,938 yards with 17 scores and 6 picks. Obviously Murray has been able to capitalize off of defenses that have focused to stop the run with Gurley and Keith Marshall in the backfield. Georgia's balance on offense makes them very difficult to defend. The Gators have a ton of talent on the defensive side of the football that should be able to match-up well and at least slow down this fast paced Georgia offense. However if the Gators are going to pull out a victory the defense is going to have to play tough for all 4 quarters and more importantly they are going to have to get some help from the Florida offense to keep them off the short side of the field.
Jay's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I expect the public to be all over Georgia in this game with the small spread but I also believe the sharp play is with Florida. The Gators defense is really good but often the scoreboard does not reflect just how good because of their poor offensive play. I expect Florida's rushing offense to make some plays and keep the chains moving against Georgia's poor defense. As a result, the Gators defense flexes their muscle and helps pull out the win. Take Florida +2.5!
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