It’s that time of year again for the last Saturday in October: Georgia-Florida, The Cocktail Party, The Border War. We don’t like Auburn very much. We consider Tennessee as beneath us. We look at South Carolina a never-has-been. We think of Georgia Tech as the little brother that we have to give a bloody nose at every opportunity. As a Bulldog Nation, we can all say we truly detest the reptiles from the south, the Florida Gators. This game is the one on the schedule that gets my blood boiling from the Saturday night of the previous week’s game.
About 7:00 tomorrow night, I don’t want to be reading about how Jacksonville isn’t a neutral site, Penn Wagers’ officiating crew giving us the business, or the heat of a certain coach’s seat. Tomorrow is the opportunity to change the series back into the good guys’ favor.
When Florida Has the Ball
While the defense had an off week two weeks ago against Vanderbilt, I look for Coach Grantham to come after the Florida quarterbacks hard and often especially if John Brantley plays as expected. I expect that the Gators will try to get Chris “The Texting Stalker” Rainey and Jeff Demps involved in the offense early to try to establish a running game to keep the Georgia defense off balance. If Brantley plays and is able to remain upright, he has the weapons to make plays in the passing game if the Gators can establish balance. On the Georgia side, welcome back to Alec Ogletree (injury) and Cornelius Washington (suspension). If Washington, in particular, can establish an outside pass rush, Brantley will quickly begin to keep his eyes on the pass rush and not down the field. If Brantley plays, I expect we’ll try to do our best Colt Brennan impression on him. If he doesn’t, I expect that we’re going to see 8-man and 9-man fronts all night long.
When Georgia Has the Ball
The key to the game is whether the Georgia offense makes the kind of mistakes that have plagued us especially the last 3 years in Jacksonville. Last year, Aaron Murray came into the game too hyped up and played poorly in the 1st half to cost us the game. A more mature and calmer Murray should lead the offense to opportunities to score points against the Gator defense, which has had its share of problems during their losing streak. If Georgia can control the game on the ground with Isaiah Crowell, look for Murray to have a big day against Will Muschamp’s defense. This defense isn’t your normal Gator defense, but they are talented and fast. The last quick defense (Boise) controlled our offensive line and beat Murray senseless. If that happens, Georgia will end up on the wrong end of the score Saturday night.
What Will Happen
The Dawgs appear to be more talented than the Gators at key positions this year. If Brantley shows any significant ill effects from the ankle injury suffered against Alabama, Georgia likely wins this game going away. If Jabba-the-Hut (Charlie Weis) can design an offense that keeps Brantley on the field, the Gators will have a chance to extend their 20-year hex over Georgia in Jacksonville.
Brantley keeps Florida in the game, but he probably shows the rust from a 3-week lay-off at quarterback. Murray makes enough plays to win the game and to start his campaign to be 3-1 on the banks of the St. Johns River on Saturday night. Here’s to seeing a replay of this tomorrow night in Jacksonville:
Final Score: Georgia 27, Florida 20