Florida Gators vs Georgia Bulldogs
Jacksonville, FL 3:30 CBS
Line: Florida -14.5
One of the greatest spectacles in all of college football convenes on Saturday afternoon when Georgia and Florida meet in Jacksonville. The number one Gators come into this game stumbling a bit after three tough games against SEC West foes, but have survived all three to remain undefeated.
Georgia had a bye week last week, but is suffering through a disappointing 4-3 campaign thus far. Back to that bye week because the team with it has won the last 13 times. UGA had one before their 2007 win. Vegas has installed the Gators as a 14.5 point favorite after opening up at 16.
Three Keys For A Georgia Cover
1. Establish A Running Game
Even as disappointing as Florida's offense has been this season, I think Georgia's has been even more disappointing. A big reason for this is the lack of running game where the Bulldogs rank last in the SEC at 108 ypg. If UGA wants to pull off the upset they have to establish the run like they did on their first drive in 2007.
2. Pressure Tebow
The Gators offensive line has struggled the last two weeks allowing Arkansas and Miss State to hit the former Heisman Trophy winner plenty. That pressure created two turnovers that turned into two touchdowns for Miss State. Tebow is the type that never wants to give up on a play and UGA can force him into bad ones by getting in his face.
3. AJ Green Superstar
The sophomore wide receiver has to be the best player on the field. It will tough against two of the best corners in the country, but Green is probably the most talented receiver in the country. Green needs to have his best game of the season.
Three Keys for a Florida Cover
1. Hold Onto The Ball
The Gators have turned the ball over 13 times this season, including nine fumbles. Six of those turnovers have come in their last two ball games, arguably their two worst of the season. If Florida wins the turnover battle, I think they cruise. But if not then they give a talented UGA team a chance at the upset.
2. Move the Ball Vertically
Florida's lack of play makers on the outside has been much discussed and is still not solved. I expect UGA to come out stacking the box making Florida throw the ball deep. If the Gators can then it is game over, but if they cannot they are forced to grind out drives where turnovers and field goals are more likely to happen. Deonte Thompson needs to step up for the Gators at wideout.
3. Get Up Early
Much has been discussed of Florida's recent dominance winning 16 out of the last 19. These two teams have relatively equal talent each year, but a big difference has been the confidence and intimidation Florida has brought ever since Spurrier arrived in 1990. If Florida gets up early by two scores then I think doubt creeps into the Bulldogs' heads. If not, then a talented and hungry UGA team will hang around and you never know what the final quarter may bring.
I think Florida's offense is ready to bounce back this week and plays better than it has as of late. I also think Georgia comes out playing much better off the bye week.
I really want to pick Georgia to cover this game and maybe even win it. The Gators are beat up physically while Georgia is rested. Also, this season resembles 2007 for Georgia and this game is when they got it on track.But I just can't do it. Florida's defense is too much for UGA to consistently move the ball. And unlike 2007, Tebow is relatively healthy. I like Florida to break this one open in the second half.
Florida Wins by 17
Florida Covers -14.5