Georgia Bulldogs (5-2 SU, 2-5 ATS) vs. Florida Gators (6-1 SU, 5-2 ATS)
College Football Week 9
Date/Time: Saturday October 31st, 3:30PM EST
Where: EverBank Stadium Jacksonville, F.L.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: UGA +3/UF -3
Over/Under Total: 48
The Worlds Largest Cocktail Party will resume again this Saturday when the Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs renew their rivalry at EverBank Stadium in Jacksonville. A little extra spice will be added to this years cocktails as the battle for supremacy in the SEC East comes full circle. In fact, the winner of this Saturdays showdown in Jacksonville will officially take full control of the SEC East. It has been a surprisingly long wait for the Gators since their last SEC Championship Appearance back in the Tim Tebow era. However a win over Georgia this Saturday would all but book the Gators ticket back to Atlanta for a chance at the SEC Title.
The Gators are led by an extremely talented defense that is bound to make things tough for Georgias offense. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, they have not been the same offense since the loss of running back Nick Chubb early in the Tennessee game. Backup Sony Michel has a ton of potential and is a very good runner. However, Chubb was a very special kind of tailback that completely changed games similar to the way Leonard Fournette has done for LSU. Since losing Chubb, Georgia has lost their explosiveness which was evident in their last outing against Missouri two weeks ago where the Bulldogs squeaked out a 9-6 victory.
The Bulldogs offense has remained heavily reliant on their rushing attack with Michel now as the focal point. However, I do not think that strategy will work if it is employed again this week against Florida. The Gators are very talented among the defensive front and do a great job of stopping the run. If Georgia sticks to that style of keeping the ball on the ground, I feel like they will have another minimal production outing like they had against Missouri. Instead, I believe the offense has to put the game on the arm of quarterback Greyson Lambert. The Bulldogs junior quarterback has a tough start to the season but has progressed rather nicely over the last few weeks. For the Bulldogs to shine this Saturday, I think coach Mark Richt has to take the reins off his quarterback and attack this Florida defense through the air.
If that happens, I think Georgia WR Malcolm Mitchell can have a big game and potentially help lead the Bulldogs to a victory. However, I am not convinced that will be Richts approach. Richt is kind of known to sticking to the game plan to sustain success. The problem is when that does not work people starting to question your game plan ability. It will be very interesting to see how Georgia approaches this game offensively. If they come out and play timid against Floridas defense, they are going to have a tough time getting things going. I think Georgia needs a fast start in this game to get their confidence back and I am not sure that will happen by trying to run over the Gators defense.
Regardless of how Georgia starts offensively, they are going to need an equal effort on the defensive side of the football as well. Georgias defense has been for the large part inconsistent this season. However the good news for Georgia fans is that Florida is not the same offense they were at the early part of the year either. Similar to the way Chubbs injury effected Georgias offense, the same can be said for the loss of quarterback Will Grier and how it has effected Floridas offense.
Grier was suspended for testing positive PEDs and their offense has definitely not been the same under Treon Harris. Harris has not performed poorly but you can tell the coaching staff does not have as much faith in Harris just by the play calling. However like Georgia, Florida will put a big focus on running the football and look to make a few big plays to change the swing of this game. The team that is able to hit the big plays and get a few turnovers will win this football game.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Look for this to be an old school Georgia vs. Florida type of football game with low scoring, hard hitting, and plenty of defense. Take the under 48 to the bank!
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