Andreu’s Analysis: Gators closing the gap

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Florida players warm up before a game. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Based on what I’ve been hearing on talk radio and seeing on social media, Gator fans can be broken down into two camps concerning Saturday’s big game in Jacksonville.

In one, there is the belief that the Gators will beat the Bulldogs. There is  absolutely no doubt. Florida beat LSU and LSU beat Georgia by 20 points two weeks ago, so you do the math. Gators are going to roll.

In the other, there is a fear that the Gators will get blown out. These are the fans who can’t seem to separate last year’s Georgia team (which won the SEC, went to the national title game and beat the Gators by 35 points) from this year’s Georgia team (which has shown some flaws, fatal ones in that loss to LSU).

I’m somewhere in between. I don’t think the Gators are going to get blown out. At the same time, I’m not sure they’re going to win this game. Let’s just say I think they have a chance, a good chance

For that to happen, Feleipe Franks and the offense are going to have to take care of the football and Dan Mullen is going to have to come up with another game plan that will help the Gators to continue showing improvement on that side of the ball. Defensively, the Gators have to slow down the run. If they can’t, if they don’t, it’s going to be a long, frustrating afternoon. The defense also has to limit explosive plays, which have been a recent problem.

This is a well-coach Florida team, and a team whose confidence is starting to soar. Because of those factors, I’m confident the Gators will play well Saturday and will be in the game heading into the fourth quarter. I just don’t know if they’re going to play well enough to be able to pull off the upset.

Playing well and staying in the game isn’t a bad thing. It would keep the momentum going for Mullen’s program, and it would show that the gap between UF and UGA is not nearly as wide as everyone perceived at the start of the season.

Prediction: Georgia 27, Florida 17

 

38 COMMENTS

  1. I know Robbie will get some thank you but I think him for being honest. Of course I disagree but I’d rather honest disagreement now than a surprise mind change later.

    One last thing. Georgia likes to pick a fight when they are behind. I hope the Gators coaches take the precaution. And since I see us winning I see that happening. If Georgia doesn’t I will be surprised and it bwill take years for them to unbrand themselves in my mind.

      • Agree, Carlton. I actually could have written everything he said except the final score. I dont do score predictions but after he said he didnt know which way it would go, how does he then predict a GA win? I wouldnt have, it doesnt jive with what he wrote. Personally I can see it both ways which only proves nobody can predict this game, its up in the air, only a guess. I actually found a way to bet UF, even though I dont do anything but a sure bet. I consider it a loss and counteracted it with a sure bet elsewhere, so it will be a wash if they lose by much, a small winner if they lose by 7, and a big win if they win. Couldnt help myself! Im a fan, what can I say!

  2. Some things this team has shown albeit against different competition. We can come from behind. We can slug it out. We went toe to toe with #5 and stunned them. (the reporters all jumped on LSU and said they were overrated, then turned in a week and moved them right back to #5). Since they have stayed there I am guessing we are a little better than they want to admit. I like the writers here though I often disagree with them. If we play like we have been a disrupt their rhythm and force them to their weaknesses I agree that UGA seems to like to start fights. PLEASE GUYS AS MUCH AS IT HURTS DON”T BUY INTO IT. They have done some things to us in the past and use it to fuel your drive don’t let it lead to penalties. We have the endurance thanks to N Savage to go the distance. You guys have proven what you can do when you are well coached and well disciplined. If your goal is SECC in Atlanta you have to continue to improve and execute better. I watched the SEC net film room show on AL they execute flawlessly. That is their secret. We can do that and better but it starts on the road to the end of the season. That road is in a ‘ville as GI has said and we need to come home with a W.

    • I wouldnt call letting Tamu score 23 or Arkansas score 31 or Tn score 21, “flawless”! I would say it shows alot of missed assignments and a weak defense! 2 of those teams are at the bottom of the SEC! I believe LSU is going to expose Bama’s weak schedule. Its easy on offense to look “flawless” against weak opponents, not so against a real defense. Look what happened to Ga, they also had a weak schedule, allowed opponents to score alot of points, yet scored prolifically on offense, then they met LSU!

  3. Andreau must have checked the Vegas line (UGA by 6.5 points) and the CBS model (UGA 28, UF 18). Not very original, and not supportive of the Gator Nation. When it comes to intangibles, the Gators have playmakers who have yet to show us their full potential. Such playmakers tend to show what they are really made of in big games, and this is the biggest game of the season (at least so far) for the Gators. I pick UF over UGA by 4 – say 27 to 23. The Gator “D” needs to step up and play at their best for all 60 minutes with minimal mistakes. The Gator O-Line needs to finally become the wall we all believe they can and should be. If this happeens, we will win this game and make up for last year. GO GATORS – BEAT DAWGS!!!

  4. I think this team was ”talented” last year, but just not coached up very well. Now they’re getting coached up, and that’s the biggest difference between last year’s talent and this year’s. While Florida’s win against L.S.U. will do NOTHING for Florida tomorrow, playing like they did against L.S.U. is what will make it a game in J’ville. The Gator ‘O’ needs some explosive plays, and like always in these games, the team that rushes the best usually wins. So I see Perine and Scarlett being instrumental in the Gator ‘O’ for a Gator win. And the Gators on ‘D’ just need to tackle the U.G.A. R.B.s early, before they get into the secondary because then it’s usually too late. I think if Florida gets back to getting TURNOVERS, then they will certainly win. No score prediction, I just can’t ever pick U.G.A. Even when they had #34, Herschel Walker, I never picked U.G.A. And I damn sure won’t start now! Go Gators! Work those ugly dogs silly!

    • Actually, I think if Fla beats Ga by anywhere close to the 20 LSU hung on them, then we leapfrog LSU in the polls. Only logical since they beat Ga and we would have beaten both. Don’t count this team out in the 4th quarter, S&C has been showing itself all season. I haven’t been to this game in J’ville since college because of the fights, not on the field but in and out of the stands. Time for this dog to be put down!!

      • Dont think you are correct. The pollsters will keep LSU right where they are till the Bama game. If LSU wins that, UF will not jump them. If LSU loses we will, otherwise we have to beat them in the SEC champ. to jump them. Thats the breaks for being so low in the polls when we beat them, plus doing so with swampfield advantage(which the pollsters know is a big advantage). Im not sure we beat them again on a neutral field like Atlanta, unless we get alot better. Without exception, everyone who commented, said that LSU game was deafening in the swamp, if you dont know that gave us a big advantage you dont know football. The 12th man is strong with that one!

  5. I think this is a very fair analysis. The gators have shown a good bit of improvement over this season, but they have also been very inconsistent. Generally, the game is won or lost at the line of scrimmage, and this is precisely where the gators have been the most inconsistent this year. Good coaching has helped a great deal so far, so hopefully we are not looking at an embarrassment like last year.

  6. Robbie and Pat clearly drank the Koolaid. They look at the talent on Ga. and say we can’t equal it.
    Too many 5* When will they learn? It’s not the talent, it’s how you use it.
    In every game, the Gators have been coached up and have played progressively better and found a way to win. Relentless effort is now an ingrained Mantra on this team. The Dawgs, by comparison, have skated by on their talent and press clippings. Then the fist time they play a solid team, LSU, they get trounced. Arguably, Fromm and Co. have regressed. This is not the 2017 Dawgs. We are catching the Dawgs at just the right time- at our best. Robbie and Pat, read it and weep: Gators 24-21.

    • You could certainly be right, GatorNaught, and I’d take that score in a heartbeat, but if you’re that confident, why only a 3 point win? A 3 point game is basically a toss-up. With your confidence in how the Gators are using their talent and progressing (and they certainly are) and your assessment of UGA as regressing, I would think you’d predict something like 10 point win or better.

      If UGA is regressing, there’s room for them to fall off considerably from last season and still be a very good team. Let’s not forget, they also got “trounced” at Auburn last season and still came within a play of winning the NC.

      I’m sure Robbie’s a Gator fan at heart, but his job calls for him to pick with his head, not his heart. My heart wants a Gator blow-out, but my head and my eyes tell me Fromm is better than Franks, despite Feleipe’s improvement this season, and it may come down to which one plays better. I think Robbie’s pick is reasonable, but I’m rooting for yours. Go Gators!

  7. If we can stop the run and pressure Fromm and have a offense move the ball we have a good chance. Gotta keep the big plays down and have special teams make the difference. UGA is a good team and Death Valley is a tough place to play but UGA is not Bama. Its going to be a good game but I feel the Gators are a realistic season away from the real breakout season. We’ve accomplished a lot this season and more is to come before the season is over. If we can execute on all three phases of the game this game will be the eye opener for CFB and the playoff committee that we are knocking on the door and we should be ranked in the top 5. Gators 17-14

  8. I’m with everyone else but Robbie and Pat. Their weekly picks indicate those two best friends of decades both figured Mullen’s first team at Florida to be worth about four to five wins. While opinions on the Gators have brightened with each win amid the obvious progression of this Gator team, Pat and Robbie basically remain the same pessimists they were in August.

    Florida will win for several reasons: 1) With the exceptions of Taven Bryan and Marco Wilson from last year, each of the other nine starting positions on defense and every position on offense us being manned by a better or improved player in 2018. And Adam Shuler and Trey Dean have been pretty good. 2) All three units have gotten better this year, the defense and offense every game since the Kentucky game. 3) Nick Savage Strong has been demonstrated repeatedly in fourth quarters and will again Saturday in Jacksonville. And 4) this isn’t the same Georgia team we faced a year ago. The Bullpuppies miss Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and Isaiah Wynn plus a bunch of talented leaders on defense.

    We’ll win, maybe 24-21 or 27-17.

  9. I’m on the side that believes the Gators will win. Definitely. Everyone is convinced Ga has more talent. BS. They’re slightly better statistically, but they’ve played a weaker schedule and got their ass kicked by the first good team they played. And we ran that team off the field. 23-17 Gators.

  10. So far Grantham has been a wizard. He’s been super aggressive and teams have not been able to capitalize on his high risk high reward methods. After watching breakdown from people much smarter than me there have been opportunities for the other team to counter his aggressiveness and take the advantage. However, the other teams thus far have not been able to capitalize on those opportunities. As history has shown with Grantham’s aggressiveness, there will be times it backfires and hurts us. I’m terrified this will be the week that the law of averages well, averages out. Here’s to hoping my fears are unfounded for another week and that I’m wrong. I’ve been wrong at least once or twice before. Go Gators!

    • “I’ve been wrong at least once or twice before.” My brother used to get mad at me when i said that!
      Its that 3-4 defense and blitzes out of it. It lends itself to big plays occurring occasionally. Give me a 4-3 any day. The 2008 Gators were a 4-3 and the best college defense, hands down, that Ive ever seen!

  11. Some of you guys picking UF to win, and a few of you picking the Gators to win by a big margin are confident. I’m not. I love the Gators as much as anyone else but I don’t see Florida winning the game this year.

    I hope I am dead wrong. Georgia, 31, Florida 13.

  12. 31-13 to the Fightin Dan Mullens… Jachai Polite single handedly undresses UGA’s 2-headed QB. Perine 100 yds rec & running. Herschel returns his Heisman. Chris Collinsworth become the most interesting man in the world.

    Go Gators!