The Florida/Georgia game or more affectionately known as The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, is always one of the most highly anticipated games in college football every year, regardless of records or stakes heading in. It’s a chance for these two bitter rivals to battle it out each year at the end of October. Usually when the two teams meet, the SEC East title is on the line, this year will be a little different though. Georgia is the number one ranked team in the country, while the Florida Gators are unranked and sitting at disappointing 4-3 record.
The Gators have numerous questions surrounding the program from fans and media alike heading into the heated rivalry game. Will Florida make a change at quarterback? Can the defense right the ship after an embarrassing performance against LSU? And what does the future look like for this Florida coaching staff? Many are hoping those questions will be answered on Saturday, but will it be the answers they want to hear?
There are a multitude of reasons why Georgia is the odds on favorite to win the game on Saturday, and rightfully so. But I’m going to pose a question: Could this possibly be déja vu? In 2014, Georgia was the number 11 team in the country with a 6-1 record, while Florida was unranked with a 3-3 record and had a lot of questions surrounding the program. Does that sound familiar? Florida was a double digit underdog and wasn’t playing as well as they were capable of. What ended up happening shocked the college football world.
They ran the ball 60 times for 418 yards in route to a dominating 38-20 win. Kelvin Taylor had 25 carries for 197 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Matt Jones had 25 carries for 192 yards and 2 touchdowns. I’m not saying that Florida will run for over 400 yards on Saturday, that’s virtually impossible against a front seven as talented as Georgia’s. But don’t think for one second that Florida isn’t capable of winning the game. They still have a very talented roster and have proven that they can play with anybody in the country.
This is a rivalry game, and anything can happen. Dan Mullen and the Florida Gators will definitely be ready to play, and they have a better chance to win than people believe.
There are three reasons why I believe Florida has a shot to pull off the upset. The first being Dan Mullen. We all know when he’s dialed in, he’s one of the best play callers in the country. He has the ability to put players in a position to succeed by drawing up plays that gets playmakers open and exploit a defense’s weakness.
The second reason is Florida’s wide receivers. As I just mentioned, Dan will draw up a scheme to get his best players the ball in open space and Jacob Copeland is a guy to watch out for. This season, when given the opportunity, he’s been able to find the soft spots in the coverage and make plays with the ball in his hands. Add in guys like Xzavier Henderson, Justin Shorter and Rick Wells, and the receiving corps could give Georgia’s secondary some problems.
The last reason is Anthony Richardson. We all saw the highlight plays he made against Florida Atlantic and South Florida, but in the game against LSU, he looked like a more complete quarterback. He has a strong arm, quick release and can use his legs to extend plays. If he is given the opportunity to run with the offense I think that what we saw against LSU is only the beginning. He’s as dynamic as they come and gives Florida the ability to push the ball down the field and soften up the box against a defense that will be looking to force the Gators to throw.
Florida has a huge opportunity to win and spoil UGA's undefeated season, but in order for that to happen, they have to play mistake free football and open up the offense.