Florida Gators vs Georgia Bulldogs Breakdown
Date: Saturday, October 31, 2015
Time: 3:30 PM
Last meeting: 2014 Florida defeated Georgia 38-20 in Jacksonville. Georgia leads the all-time series 49-41-2.
Last time out:
• Florida lost to LSU 35-28
• Georgia defeated Missouri 9-6
Meet the Bulldogs:
• Head Coach: Mark Richt (141-50 in his 15th season at Georgia)
• Conference: Southeastern Conference Eastern Division
• 2015 Overall Record: 5-2
• 2015 Conference Record: 3-2
• Rank: NR in AP Poll/#23 in Coaches Poll
Player(s) to Watch:
• Sophomore Running Back, Sony Michel. Since Chubb’s injury Michel has been the primary option for Georgia. He finished the Tennessee game with 145 rushing yards and 188 all-purpose yards. It was Michel’s second career 100+ yard rushing effort. In his start against Missouri, Michel had a career-high 26 carries for 87 yards.
• Senior Linebacker, Jordan Jenkins. Jenkins is one of the anchors on the Georgia defense. He has totaled 29 tackles with 7.5 tackles for loss and 3 sacks. Before sitting out the Missouri game with a groin injury, he had started 32 consecutive games.
5 Things to Know About Georgia
- Georgia has lost 9-of-14 games to Florida under the leadership of Mark Richt
- Georgia ranks ninth in the SEC in sacks with 13 while Florida is third with 21. The Bulldogs have surrendered only eight sacks, which is tied for second in the league, while the Gators are 11th in the SEC after allowing 20.
- Greyson Lambert Ranks fourth in the SEC in pass efficiency (149.3) and completion percentage (64.1)
- Georgia has started the same offensive line every game this season, four of which have made at least 20 consecutive starts
- The Bulldogs are one of the most balanced teams in the conference averaging 215 yards rushing and 213 yards passing per game.
5 Things to Pay Attention To
1. Treon’s Winning Throws.
Winning throws are made on 3rd downs and in end of the half and end of the game situations. Treon finished the LSU game going 2-12 and missed on some easy throws. In big games these situations occur frequently. We can’t expect him to complete them all but if Florida is to win on Saturday Treon will need to make the winning throws consistently.
2. Sony Michel’s Rushing Attempts.
In two games where Michel has replaced Nick Chubb as the primary back, he has carried 48 times for 232 yards. He is coming off a groin injury and, if Georgia wants to win, it will be on the back of Sony Michel. He has been used in multiple positions because of his versatility, but that may not be as much of a factor moving forward if he will be getting a majority of the carries. Of all the players on both teams, the bye week was severely needed for him to recover.
3. Greyson Lambert’s Leash.
Georgia will be relying on Sony Michel and Malcolm Mitchell to be the primary playmakers. But Georgia’s offensive production will come down to how they manage quarterback Greyson Lambert, he has been very suspect since the Alabama game and at some point on Saturday, he will need to make some plays to win. Georgia has been sharing starting reps in amongst three quarterbacks during the week. It will be interesting to see how Richt manages his quarterbacks and if he pulls Lambert once again if things go south.
4. Which team wins the momentum early?
In 2007 it was Georgia’s bench clearing end zone dance. In 2008 it was Brandon Spikes burying Knowshon Moreno. Last year it was the fake field goal. Something drastic typically happens in this game that swings momentum in the other teams favor. Look for that play or moment that creates even more confidence for either team and pushes them to victory.
5. Who is winning on the one on ones?
Whoever is consistently winning the one on one battles will determine how successful each quarterback is. For different reasons both quarterbacks need help. Harris holds the advantage in athleticism and the ability to create when plays breakdown, but depending on that is not a good strategy over the course of the game, Harris will need help to complete some passes from the pocket. Lambert will need receivers to get open or else he could be a sitting duck or an interception waiting to happen.
5 Things to Expect
1. New wrinkles from both offenses.
Both teams are coming off of bye weeks and are looking for ways to spark areas on offense. Florida will be playing their second game with Treon as the full time starter. As for Georgia, they are still trying to find an identity without Nick Chubb. Expect a few new wrinkles from both teams to create some success for both quarterbacks and offenses against two quality defenses.
2. More carries from Jordan Scarlett.
Fans have been waiting for Jordan Scarlett to make his presence known on the field. In his only carry against LSU he nearly scored a touchdown on an 11 yard run. Saying Florida struggled to run the ball against LSU would be an understatement. They averaged less than two yards per carry, but I believe Florida will mix in Scarlett to create a more physical run presence than what Kelvin Taylor can provide.
3. Treon to throw more than six passes.
Last year Florida Gators football team absolutely steam rolled Georgia to the tune of 418 yards on the ground, that was the quintessential definition of ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.’ Georgia will most likely be smarter this time around and attempt to force Harris into throwing situations by loading the box and challenging the young quarterback.
4. Florida tight ends to be more impactful.
We continue to see the involvement of the Florida tight ends grow and teams are having problems stopping them. This week Florida gets back Cyontai Lewis from a hand injury and in his only appearance this year he scored two touchdowns. With Treon under center, Florida will continue to utilize the tight ends to help Harris in the passing game. I expect some big plays from the group, McGee provides the consistency but Goolsby and Lewis can be matchup nightmares with their speed and versatility.
5. Georgia to lean on the offensive line.
The best way to get an offense back on track is to lean on a strong and consistent offensive line. Georgia may not be able to fully trust Lambert and receivers to consistently be effective against the Florida defense, but they will trust their offensive line. Georgia has one of the better lines in the nation and put this game in their hands to get them into the 4th quarter and a chance to win the game.
5 Keys to Victory
1. Embrace the moment.
The Florida and Georgia game is a deep-rooted rivalry that both teams and fan bases look forward to. I do not agree with those that try to see games like this, as just another game. In rivalry games, the effort and emotions go to another level. Georgia will be ready to play but if Florida can bring the intensity and continue to execute as they have, that will go a long way to winning this game.
2. At least 2 turnovers and 3 plus sacks.
Against LSU, Florida could not get Brandon Harris to the ground and could not get the game changing turnover they have in every SEC game to date. Greyson Lambert is not a mobile quarterback and Florida is good enough to get to him and if they can get the turnovers, Georgia has not been consistent enough on offense to erase a deficit against a defense like the Gators.
3. Control the lines of scrimmage.
Georgia has the ability to put pressure on Florida with their front seven. I expect Georgia to bring some pressure and try to bottle Harris up and keep him from making plays outside of the pocket. On the other side of the ball Florida will need to pressure Lambert into making mistakes, which will not be an easy job against a tough Georgia offensive line.
4. Win special teams.
Special teams could be the deciding in factor in a game against two evenly matched teams. Both teams have game breakers at returner. Antonio Callaway returned a punt against LSU two weeks ago and Georgia’s Isaiah McKenzie and Reggie Davis have shown explosion in the return game as well. Florida has been very good at putting the ball through the end zone on kick offs and holds a decided advantage at punter. The hidden yardage from special teams providing a short field or pinning the Georgia offense deep will be key for the Gators.
5. Get the running game going.
Florida’s running game has digressed since entering SEC play. Florida was able to move the ball against the LSU defense well enough to win, but if they can get Taylor and the Jordan’s going on the ground, it will open the offense up more and force Georgia to respect that part of the Florida offense. The Gators do not need be dominate like last year, but it has to be respectable. A running game will make life easier of Treon Harris.
5 Signs It Was a Good Day
1. Georgia quarterbacks completion percentage is 50% or below.
If Lambert or the other Georgia quarterbacks are inconsistent and not completing passes to threaten the Florida secondary, that allows Florida to beat on Michel and the Georgia running game that is limited on depth. Florida’s defensive backs hold an advantage over the Georgia receivers and should make life hard on their quarterbacks, allowing Florida’s defensive line to get after them.
2. Running game notches 100+ yards.
Florida’s run game has struggled to be consistent and explosive. Coach Skipper says they have fixed something’s in the run game. Once again, they do not have to be dominant but getting 100 yards on the ground, helps Treon in the passing game and will allow McElwain and Nussmeier to do what they have done a good job with is calling great game plan’s to help the offense move the ball.
3. Treon remains turnover free.
Treon has done a phenomenal job keeping turnovers at a minimum. If he can continue to play clean and efficient, that will be Florida’s best chance to win. Treon does not have do anything out of his character for Florida to win games. He is a playmaker when things breakdown, as he continues to grow in this offense he will be counted on more, but come Saturday, his first priority is not turning the ball over.
4. Sony Michel and Malcolm Mitchell are not a factor.
Georgia’s hope for any consistency offensively will come from Michel and Mitchell. For Georgia they have to make plays. If Florida is limiting their ability, Georgia does not have any other proven players at skill positions to beat a top tier defense like Florida’s. The Gators have the ability to limit both of them and I expect the Gators defense to be ready after their performance in Baton Rouge.
5. Win the Explosive Plays.
Florida has shown the ability to create big plays in the passing game as well as on defense and special teams. Kelvin Taylor has broken off some nice runs as well. If the Gators are getting big plays from each phase in the game as they did against Ole Miss, they have the ability to beat anyone. I believe with extra time to prepare, Mac and Nuss will have some new wrinkles to make those big plays happen.
The perception from outside both programs really favors the Gators. Despite the occurrences in the past month for both teams, this is a very even matchup. Both teams field quality defenses and offenses that still have flaws to overcome. Georgia is still talented and good enough to beat Florida, they will definitely come to play. I think this game will be tight late in the 3rd quarter, but I do not believe Georgia has the horses to overcome the Gators defense late in the game to pull out a win. Florida’s ability to spread the ball around on offense will be the difference. The Gators defense will lock down in the 2nd half and this time around Treon will make the plays he didn’t make in Baton Rouge to seal the deal.
Florida 24 Georgia 14