Florida Gators (3-3 SU, 2-4 ATS) vs. No. 9 Georgia Bulldogs (6-1 SU, 4-3 ATS)
College Football Week 10
Date and Time: Saturday November 1st, 2014. 3:30PM EST
Where: EverBank Field Jacksonville, F.L.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: FLA +13/UGA -13
Over/Under Total: 50.5
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One of college footballs great rivalries will renew this Saturday when the Florida Gators and no. 9 Georgia Bulldogs meet at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. The Georgia-Florida rivalry is one of the few remaining rivalries in the country that continue to meet annually on a neutral field. Known as the Worlds Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party due to the enormous crowds this game brings into Jacksonville, this game has historically most often been for control of the SEC East. While Florida is not in contention for the SEC East crown this year, they could still play the spoiler role and knock Georgia off the top spot in the division this Saturday.
Despite Georgias dominance in recent years in the SEC East and in this rivalry, each of the last 4 meetings have been decided by one score or less. The Bulldogs have won 3 straight against the Gators and will be rather sizeable favorites this week. The Bulldogs are currently laying 13 points at most betting shops and that number seems fair if you consider what Georgia has done of the offensive side of the football this season. The Bulldogs have scored at least 34 points in every game this year and ranks 9th in the FBS in scoring averaging 43.4 points on the season. Even without star running back Todd Gurley, the Bulldogs have continued to dominate opponents on the ground by averaging 265 yards per game.
Freshman running back Nick Chubb has been sensational in Gurleys absence. Chubb has racked up 423 yards with 4 touchdowns in the 3 games since Gurleys suspension which have all come against SEC defenses. Georgia puts the bulk of their offensive focus on the running game so Chubbs success as a freshman in his role since Gurleys absence has shed some promising light on the future of Georgias offense. More importantly the rushing attack should be poised to give Floridas defense a tough challenge this week. However it is worth noting that the Bulldogs offense could possibly get Todd Gurley back this week. The Bulldogs are currently awaiting ruling from the NCAA that should come down sometime this week and potentially reinstate Gurley. If that happens, the Bulldogs entire offense will receive a tremendous boost as he was on a Heisman Trophy type of pace before the suspension over 3 weeks ago.
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Still, the Gators have a defense to make this game interesting despite who is carrying the rock for Georgia. At first glance on paper, the Gators defense may seem pretty average as they have given up 29.5 points per game which ranks 59th in the FBS. However this Gators defense is much better than most numbers will show. They have great talent and Coach Will Muschamp is a great defensive mind. The reason the numbers reflect poorly in terms of scoring has more to do with the offense than it does the defense. The Gators offense has been awful failing to sustain drives, turning the ball over, and keeping the defense pinned in their own territory. No question the offense has to get better for Florida to salvage their season but do not be surprised if the Gators defense keeps them in this game Saturday. The Gators own the 22nd ranked rushing defense in the country and you can expect Muschamp to come up with a game plan that forces Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason to throw the ball possibly more than he has had to do all year.
Still the play of the defense will be moot unless the offense finds ways to get into the end zone. Quarterback Jeff Driskel continues to struggle severely behind center. Driskel compled just 7 of 19 passing for 50 yards with 2 picks in last Saturdays blowout loss to Missouri. On the season, Driskel has tossed 6 touchdowns with 10 picks while completing just 53% of his passes. Obviously Driskel will have to play much better this Saturday to give the Gators offense a chance. The Gators will need to get the ball into the hands of receiver DeMarcus Robinson and running back Matt Jones in hopes for a few big plays to give their defense a chance.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I am going to stay away from the side in this game just because Florida point total on offense is very unpredictable. However, I do think Floridas defense will keep this game rather low in terms of scoring. Whether or not Floridas offense can give them a shot to win the game, remains to be seen. The best play on this game is the under 50.5, good luck!