Florida-Georgia prediction time

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After listening in on numerous conversations all week, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are two factions of Gator fans out there with two very different views of Saturday’s game in Jacksonville.

There are the young fans who think Florida football started in 1990 with Steve Spurrier. These fans are calm, confident, certain the Gators will walk over the ‘Dogs and win the Eastern Division title while hardly breaking a sweat.  Their positive feelings are wrapped around the fact the Gators have dominated the rivalry since 1990 and the fact Georgia lost to South Carolina by 28 points (the same team the Gators beat by 33 points last week) and struggled mightily at Kentucky last Saturday.

Here’s my warning to these fans: never compare scores. That never seems to work out. Each game stands on its own, and this is a very dangerous Georgia team with a great quarterback (Aaron Murray) and the best offense the Gators have faced all season. And although the UGA defense has struggled and not even come close to meeting preseason expectations, the Bulldogs will play a lot better than they have mainly because the Florida offense is not generating many yards, especially in the passing game.

Now, to the second faction. These are the older Gators, the ones who lived through and remember the many heartbreaks inflicted on Florida by Georgia back in the 1970s and ‘80s. Despite these many wins over Georgia since 1990, these fans are always going to feel uncomfortable and nervous about going to Jacksonville and facing the Bulldogs. It’s just the way it is.

My advice to these fans is: relax. The Gators may have a hard time moving the ball Saturday, but overall, this Florida team is better than Georgia. Better on defense. Superior on special teams. And highly motivated to erase last season’s bitter memories and earn a trip back to Atlanta for the first time since 2009.

I’m guessing Florida will struggle early on offense (what’s new, right?), but the defense and special teams will control the game until offensive coordinator Brent Pease makes his halftime adjustments and gets the offense moving.

It’s not going to be easy, but the Gators will again find a way to win the game with another team effort. But it’s going to be a lot closer than those younger Gator fans are anticipating.

Prediction: Florida 21, Georgia 20.

18 COMMENTS

  1. This game will be hard-fought and close.
    My feelings are that GA will pull it out, 27-16 (I hope I am wrong).
    I am a realist and the outcome of the game has nothing to do with the history of other games played other than when the same players are involved. To that extent, many of the same players on these teams were involved in last years win. QB Murray in a great QB and I subscribe to the theory that a great QB is the difference when all other things are close to being equal. For example, GA offense is better than FLA, but FLA defense is better than GA. Special teams is FLA adv, but QB Murray (75 TD’s in 2 1/2 yrs) can make up for that.

  2. Louisiana Monroe 21-14 last game against Bama!

    Bama 1 SEC title in last 12 years!

    Florida most SEC title game appearances of any school. Florida most SEC title game wins of any school. Most SEC title game losses? Bama.
    With each and every loss to Florida.

    I wonder how many National titles “roll tide” was actually alive to see?

  3. For those who keep saying FLA has won 18 out of 22, my question is how many years should we go back and recite the record. This leads to over-confidence on FLA’s part. More accurate would be to only look at a running 4 year record because that is the time period in which you have current players who actually played in the games. So, the better record to quote would be: FLA has won 3 out of the last 4, but GA won the last one which is the most important.

  4. In the end, it may simply be turnovers that decide the game. No one can predict turnovers. FLA looked great in turnover dept vs SC, but my view (after watching game 2x), those turnovers were not due to “hard hits” and are preventable by GA.

  5. This game reminds me of 1997 FLA vs LSU when Spurrier/Gators were riding an incredible 25 consec wins in SEC. Only 2 wins away from tying ALA record of 27 consec wins in SEC. In Baton Rouge, Final LSU 24, FLA 21.

    The uproar over one of GA players calling his defensive players “soft” this week reminds me of several years ago when Pat Dye (GA gred and former AUBURN coach) stated that GA was not “MAN ENOUGH” to beat ALA. Final: GA won that game.

    I hope WM and all of his coaches and all of our FLA players are “LOCKED IN” as to the possible upset minded GA.

  6. Dave,

    Murray is going to struggle because he is going to have make passes in 25-35 mph wind gust. That is extremly difficult to do. UF will shut down the UGA run and Richt’s offense has to have play action in order to function properly. UGA can’t stop our ground game for 4 quarters. The more physical team will win and that is UF.

    UF 24-14.

  7. Hi Dave,
    I remember the ’97 FLA vs LSU game. It was in Baton Rouge and Doug Johnson was the QB for FLA. He threw 5 picks on that game!!!, thats why we lost. I still remember it.

    I think the Gators will win big. It will be a close game in the beginning and then the Gators will separate from UGA and win by a larger margin than the spread. Once Aaron Murray gets harrassed a few times by the strong Gators D, he will start making mistakes and getting desperate and our secondary will make picks and intercept him twice.
    Gators win 31 to 14. That’s my prediction.
    GO GATORS!!!

  8. I was there in 1980 when Georgia won the game on the pass from Buck Belue to Lindsay Scott that propelled them to the National Championship. I will never forget that. I see that happening to Georgia this time when Trey Burton beaks loose on a long run from a pass and we beat Gergia in a thriller with over a minute left 26 to 21. Go Gators and Beat them Dawgs!!

  9. Roll Tide: Pride is the beginning of self-destruction. Hope you hang around with us still for a while until Bama gets knocked out. Nothing last forever you know.
    Go GATORS! Everybody has a bad game; is unevitable. Hang in there guys!