FLORIDA GATORS (7-0)
vs. GEORGIA BULLDOGS (6-0)
Everbank Field - Jacksonville, FL
Kickoff: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. EDT
Line: Florida -6.5, Total: 49
Unbeaten No. 2 Florida and 10th-ranked Georgia square off in Jacksonville for their annual neutral-site meeting on Saturday afternoon.
The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party hasn’t been much fun for Georgia, which is 4-18 in the past 22 meetings with Florida. But the Bulldogs barked loudly in last year’s 24-20 victory, outrushing the Gators 185 to minus-19 yards. This season, Florida’s defense has been stellar, allowing just 12.1 PPG (4th in FBS) and 282 total YPG (7th in nation), and posting six straight ATS wins. Georgia barely beat 26-point underdog Kentucky last week 29-24, marking its third straight ATS loss.
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Gators QB Jeff Driskel was quite efficient in last week's 44-11 rout of South Carolina, as four of his 11 completions went for touchdowns. In the previous game, Driskel rushed for 177 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Vanderbilt. His Gators team was held to a mere 89 yards on 48 carries last week, but South Carolina's run-stop unit is much tougher than Georgia's rushing defense which has allowed 211 rushing YPG in its past three contests. If Florida's offense is to get back on track, it will need to know where UGa star linebacker Jarvis Jones is at all times. Jones had four sacks in last year's matchup in Jacksonville, and already has 5.5 sacks this season. Defensively, Florida has helped itself with 15 takeaways this season, including 11 over the past four games. But the strength of the team is its rushing defense that ranks 10th in the country (97 rush YPG) and has allowed a paltry 68 rushing YPG on 2.1 yards per carry in the past three contests.
Although Murray has been tremendous this season (9.6 YPA, 16 TD, 4 INT), he wasn't great in last year's meeting with Florida, completing just 15-of-34 passes for 169 yards (5.0 YPA), 2 TD and 1 INT. Bulldogs leading receiver Tavarres King (511 rec. yds, 5 TD) is coming off a season-high 188 receiving yards and 2 TD versus Kentucky, and has scored in each of the past two meetings with the Gators. But for Georgia's passing attack to be more efficient this time around, the ground game has to improve. In the past two weeks, the Bulldogs have rushed for only 192 yards on 68 carries (2.8 YPC). Leading rusher, freshman Todd Gurley (622 rush yds, 9 TD), has just 86 yards on 25 carries (3.4 YPC) in this two-game span. Georgia shouldn't have much trouble with Florida's passing game, considering it allows less than 200 passing YPG this year (28th in FBS), but its 74th-ranked rushing defense could have its problems stopping Florida's multi-player ground attack. The Bulldogs have not forced a turnover in either of its past two games.