Friday, October 31, 2008

Georgia-Florida Preview and Prediction

Georgia vs Florida (Jacksonville, FL)
Saturday 3:30PM
Line: Florida -6.5

This game has BCS championship implications and SEC East Division ramifications. The winner of this game is likely headed to Atlanta to play in the SEC Championship Game. After last year's on field celebration and upset by Georgia, the Bulldogs wrote a new chapter in this rivalry recently dominated by Florida.

Georgia Offense vs Florida Defense
Georgia's offense finally clicked last week against what was thought to be a tough defense in LSU. RB Knowshon Moreno is the catalyst and had another 100+yard game. That will be a key statistic for Bulldog fans to watch for this week. QB Matt Stafford had a solid game as well hooking up with his new favorite target WR A.J. Green. One weakness for UGA has been their offensive line. Last week, the young unit performed very well in Baton Rouge. But this unit has struggled and was pushed around by Alabama earlier in the year.

Florida's defense was a weak spot for them last year, but has vastly improved over the 2007 team. The Gators are allowing under 12 ppg and under 280 total yards of offense. LB Brandon Spikes is the leader of the defense. If there is a weak spot in this defense it is the secondary. Last year, this unit was very young and although they have improved breakdowns from this unit cost Florida its only loss of the year.

Florida Offense vs Georgia Defense
The Florida offense had a big awakening last week against a good defense in Kentucky. QB Tim Tebow is not having the year statistically he did last season, but that is fine with Urban Meyer because Tebow was beat up too much in '07. Although Florida does not have the inside runner they need, they have found a potent combination in Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps who have superb speed. Tebow will spread the ball around to multiple receivers including Rainey, and Demps, and the versatile Percy Harvin. The offensive line struggled with injuries early on, but is starting to come around. Any mention of scoring by Florida must be accompanied by a mention of KR Brandon James.

Georgia's defense has been the backbone of Mark Richt's success in Athens. The defense line awoke last week at LSU pressuring the Tiger QBs all day. LB Danell Ellerbe should be back this week from injury and his teammate Rennie Curran is one of the hardest hitters in the SEC. This talented front seven is allowing just 77 ypg on the ground. Like Florida's secondary, Georgia's is their weakness on defense. The unit is giving up over 22o ypg through the air.

This game will be full of emotion from both sides. Georgia says they are planning something bigger than last year while Florida has talked about what the celebration and loss meant to them. I think this game will be high scoring like many are predicting. It reminds of USC-Texas in the 2006 Rose Bowl with offensive talent on the field. I think this game comes down to who can run the ball the best. Last year, Georgia ran the ball every play on their opening drive and made a big statement. I thought Georgia would 1-1 against LSU and Florida and I still think that. Florida wins a wild one, but can't cover 6.5

Florida 35 Georgia 31
Georgia Covers 6.5

Last Week: 3-2 ATS, 3-2 SU
Season: 23-9-2 ATS, 23-11 SU

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