Friday, October 29, 2010

Georgia - Florida Prediction: Bulldogs Try To Break Gator Hex In Jacksonville

For the first time since 2004, UGA is favored against Florida in the game formerly known as the World's Largest Cocktail Party.

Georgia won that game as well as 2007. Those two wins plus 1997 are the Bulldogs only three wins in the last 20 meetings.

But this may be the worst Gator team in those 20 years coming off three straight losses in the SEC.

Here are three reasons why I like Georgia to win:

1. Headed In Opposite Directions
After a slow start, Georgia is averaging 413 yards per game on offense in their last three games, all wins. The defense has shown improvement allowing just 277 yards per game.

Meanwhile, Florida is gaining just 295 yards on offense and giving up 301 losing three in a row.

2. Georgia's Defense Will Make Florida's Offense One-Dimensional
UGA's defense has been very stout against the run this year allowing just 2.9 yards per attempt. Surprisingly, that number is even better in SEC play at 2.7. Florida is averaging a very pedestrian 3.6 rush yards per attempt.

Florida QB John Brantley has struggled to pass the ball down the field averaging just 6.6 yards per attempt.

3. Georgia's Special Teams Are Better
When you have two evenly talented teams many times one big play on special teams can make the difference. UGA has one of the best kickers in the nation, Blair Walsh, as well as last year's punter of the year who can change field position in one series.

Florida's specialty used to special teams coached by the head man Urban Meyer. But the kicking game has been woeful since kicker Caleb Sturgis went down a few weeks ago. Punter Chas Henry tried to fill in, but missed two field goals including a game tying on as time expired versus Miss State.

Line Analysis
As previously stated, UGA is a favorite for the first since 2004. Georgia was favored every year from 2002-2004, but won just once. Combine that with 17 out of 20 wins for Florida and you see why the line has moved from -3 to -2.5.

Being a neutral site with tickets split 50/50 no home field is being awarded. However, many Bulldog fans don't see Jacksonville as a neutral site despite UGA owning the series record.

Prediction
Georgia is totally different team with AJ Green on the field. His return has opened up the rushing game and given QB Aaron Murray a legitimate deep threat.

Florida will show improvement after a week off, but Georgia's kicker makes the difference in a tight game.

Georgia 27 Florida 24

2 comments:

  1. I think you're wrong on this one. I think UF should get back to running the spread zone-option with the other QB, and that should cause some problems with UGA's defense.

    UF wins in an upset.

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  2. Not sure it would be an upset now. Game down to a pick'em. Must be a lot of late money coming in on the Gators.

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