FINAL: No. 7 Georgia 36, No. 9 Florida 17

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Florida running back Jordan Scarlett (25) reaches out to try and grab a ball after fumbling on the Gators opening drive Saturday against Georgia at TIAA Bank Stadium in Jacksonville. [Brad McClenny/ The Gainesville Sun]

Live blog from the No. 9 Florida vs. No. 7 Georgia college football game Saturday at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville:

The Gators win the toss and defer to the second half, they’ll defend the north end zone.

First quarter

Rodrigo Blackenship hits a 21-yard field goal at the 8:11 mark to give Georgia a 3-0 lead on its opening drive, a 12-play, 71-yard march.

Florida runs a flea flicker on the first play. Van Jefferson is wide open down the field and QB Feleipe Franks overthrew him.

Two plays later, Jordan Scarlett fumbles after picking up a first down. Georgia returns it inside the 15.

Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm completes a 16-yard TD pass to receiver Jeremiah Holloman with 6:07 left in the period.

Another promising UF drive ends on a turnover, a Feleipe Franks interception. Georgia takes over at its 29 with 3:34 left.  Star Tyrique McGhee made the pick.

UF cornerback CJ Henderson is out of the injury tent and headed to the locker room. CBS is saying it’s a lower back injury.

Florida freshman QB Emory Jones is in after a first down. He gains five yards.

What went right: Basically nothing. The only positive was the defense forced the Bulldogs to settle for a 23-yard field goal after getting gutted on the ground on the game’s opening possession.

What went wrong: Basically everything. The Gators came into the game knowing they had to take care of the football and they went out and turned the ball over on their first two possessions. Jordan Scarlett lost a fumble that led to Georgia’s touchdown and then Feleipe Franks badly underthrew a pass on a potential scoring drive that was intercepted by Tyrique McGee on the UF 29.

Play of the quarter: Scarlett’s fumble, which was returned 32 yards, set the  negative tone in the quarter.

Trending: The Gators put themselves on the ropes with their careless play.

Robbie Andreu

Florida       0

Georgia    10


Second quarter

Franks back at quarterback.

Franks scored from a yard out to cap a 14-play, 76-yard drive to cut the deficit to 10-7.

Blackenship hits a 22-yard field goal with :02 left for Georgia to cap a seven-play, 75-yard drive, as Fromm completed 5-of-6 passes.

What went right: The Gators got back into the game with a 76-yard touchdown drive that started late in the first quarter and culminated with a 1-yard touchdown dive by Franks with 9:57 left in the half. While the offense started to steadily move the ball, the defense, which got gutted by the UGA running game in the first quarter, tightened up and got two quick three-and-outs.

What went wrong: The Gators, and outside linebacker Vosean Joseph in particular, could not cover tight end Isaac Nauta in the final 50 seconds of the first half, and the result was a 22-yard FG with two seconds remaining that gave the Bulldogs a 13-7 lead. Nauta caught four consecutive passes that moved the Bulldogs from their own 20 to the UF 13-yard line. The Gators were fortunate Kirby Smart decided to play it safe and kick the FG with six seconds remaining and the Bulldogs still holding two timeouts.

Play of the quarter: A pass interference call against UGA on a failed fourth-and-one pass attempt that kept UF’s scoring drive alive.

Trending: Isaac Nauta.

— Robbie Andreu

Florida       0    7

Georgia    10   3


Third quarter

Franks with a 36-yard TD strike to Freddie Swain at the 13:35 mark for the Gators’ first lead at 14-13.

Kadarius Toney had taken the kickoff all the way into UGA territory to start the half.

Georgia goes right back on top at 20-14 with the 12-yard TD pass from Fromm to Holloman to cap the seven-play, 72-yard drive at the 10:33 mark.

DB CJ Henderson stayed in the locker room at halftime.

Franks fumbles at the UF 1-yard line, the Gators third turnover of the game.

The Gators defense keeps the Bulldogs out of the end zone. Blackenship’s chip-shot FG extends the Dawgs lead to nine points with sevens seconds left.

Three turnovers (leading to 10 points for Bulldogs) have been huge.

What went right: The Gators got off to a great start. Two plays after Kadarius Toney returned the opening kickoff 51 yards to the UGA 48, Franks threw a 36-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Freddie Swain to give the Gators a 14-13 lead. It may have been Franks’ best pass this season. Perhaps even more impressive was the goal-line stand the defense pulled off late in the quarter. After Franks lost a fumble on his own 1-yard line, the Gators held the Bulldogs out of the end zone for six consecutive plays to make UGA settle for a field goal. The Gators had a third-down stop negated by a questionable pass interference call that gave the Bulldogs three more shots.

What went wrong: Until the goal-line stand, the defense could not stop the UGA offense, giving up a quick touchdown drive after the Gators had taken the lead. UF did not force a punt in the quarter.

Plays of the quarter: We’ve changed it to plays because that six-play goal-line stand is one of the greatest in school history.

Trending: The Gators are clearly fired up after slamming the door on the goal-line in the closing minutes of the quarter.

— Robbie Andreu

 

Florida       0    7     7

Georgia    10   3   10


Fourth quarter

Evan McPherson hits a 42-yard field goal at the 11:12 mark to bring the Gators to 23-17. The kick caps a seven-play, 50-yard drive in 3:55.

Again on third down and long, Fromm gets Georgia a TD, this time a 24-yard scoring pass to Terry Godwin at 8:39 to cap a nine-play, 75-yard drive. The try for 2 failed, leaving the score at 29-17.

Fromm is 16 of 23 for 218 yards and three touchdowns. He finished 17-of-24 for 240 yards and the three scores.

Running back D’Andre Swift scores on a 33-yard run for UGA to cap a six-play, 66-yard drive to seal the game at the 4:29 mark, making for a 36-17 lead.

Florida falls to 6-2 overall, 4-2 in the SEC, while Georgia improves to 7-1, 5-1. Georgia outgained UF 429-275 and were 8-for-14 on third down.

What went right: The Gators made it a one-score game, 23-17, early in the quarter, but that’s about the only thing that went right.

What went wrong: The injury-depleted secondary, especially at cornerback, could not stop Jake Fromm and the UGA passing game. The Bulldogs converted third down after third down with big pass plays (to wide-open receivers) and pulled away for the victory. After the goal-line stand at the end of the third quarter, the Gator defense seemingly had nothing left for the fourth quarter.

Play of the quarter: A 20-yard run by Franks on the first play of the quarter that got the Gators’ field-goal drive started.

— Robbie Andreu

 

Florida       0    7     7     3 — 17

Georgia    10   3   10   13 — 36

126 COMMENTS

  1. I think the game started as I envisioned it. Georgia is focused after the loss and Florida is playing tentative. We’re going to get some answers as to whether these players finally have it mentally or was it just coaching carrying these players.. Either way, the way I see it is that they’ve overachieved and losing this game doesn’t set them back. Losing badly will however so they need to settle down and do battle. That said, number 12 is going to picked on all day, and Franks need to stop making bad throws AND Scarlett will have to shake that fumble off and have a big game a la Fred Taylor (Florida-FSU 1997).. But most of that will be a moot point if defense can’t stop Georgia. Let’s see if defense can keep it close.

    • I can go along with everything you said. Good coaching will always be negated by careless ball handling. Coach Mullen won’t be able to correct 7 or 8 years of bad coaching in just a few months. The only coaching decision I might question is letting a true, untested, freshman QB play as much as he has today. This is disappointing but the future is still bright.

  2. We have to feel good about the score. Being down only by 6 points when this team has proven to be a 2nd half team. The score could have gotten out of hand easily but glad to see our players keep their composure and make it a game. Hopefully, they can keep the 2nd half trend up. Go Gators!!!

  3. Looks like Stewart is suspended after all. With the injury to our best cover CB also our secondary is a bit thin. Shawn Davis has stepped up. Let’s hope for one of our strong 2nd half performances and win this game. Surprised to see Emory Jones at qb instead of toney at wildcat

    • Agree…Franks has been awful. What continually confuses me though is the apparent corollary belief that we have a better option. Mullen has had plenty of time to get to see and assess all 3 options. He says Franks gives us the best chance to win now. I fully and unequivocally trust his assessment on that point. – Unless you are also saying you don’t support Mullen’s judgment. Gator1

      • I for one keep saying it I don’t trust Mullen’s judgement on Franks, he said the same thing Mac said” he gives us the best chance of winning” if he does what are you losing by putting someone else in? they are all the same he said so himself what a whisperer

  4. The only thing stopping the Gators is the Gators. Not a good decision to ask the inexperienced Jones to make that read on 3rd and 1, but I guess that’s hindsight. Still, the Gators are in good shape if they can open the 2nd half with a strong drive.

  5. It would be sweet if the Gators drove down and scored to open the second half to turn the momentom. Except for mistakes, the Gators have looked like the better team, especially on defense. They can win this. The Gators find a way.

  6. Despite my comments above supporting Mullen hitching his wagon to Franks – the one thing I have repeatedly wondered about is calling his number on run plays. Clearly a long, lanky, upright runner whose athletic gifts don’t fit running the ball. Wildcat with Toney, jones, Scarlett, whoever you want, but Franks’ running isn’t gonna take us to the promise land. His tape shows that.

      • We’re splitting hairs, I’ll say this and surrender. It’s not that it’s an indictment of Mullen. What I’m saying is I trust his opinion that Franks is the best option we’ve got. That’s a significant difference. I believe Mullen would be the first person to step in line to have another option. And it seems that everyone that points out Franks’ deficiencies fail to acknowledge that you have to have a better option to make things better. Mullen doesn’t think we do, and that’s the opinion I trust.

        • Not true at all. One can point out deficiency all day long. Never once have I mentioned go to someone else. It seems that YOU have missed the point. Franks is abysmal – a result of a coach that basically quit, hired buy an AD who had some very big hits, but also some very big misses

          • Go troll some other site, picking and sticking with Franks is no indictment on anyone. Franks had a bad game, he has a few very decent games. CDM’s play calling was what kept this game so close into the 4th quarter. Gators were playing on house money. We still have an opportunity to win 9-10 games. That would be one of the more impressive turn-around of all time.

      • It is an indictment of Mullen when he calls Franks’ number to run it out of his own end zone. If you want to eliminate the risk of a bad hand-off, then put Scarlett or Perine in the wildcat. Let your running backs do their job.

  7. Just not deep enough yet to overcome that many injuries in the secondary. Turnovers were the difference in the game. They played tough and were in it till the end. One thing’s for certain, Georgia can pump the breaks on thinking they’re going to own the East for a while.

  8. UF played okay today. The defense was inconsistent. The offense is always inconsistent. Just hope they don’t allow UGA to blow em out at the end. Just can’t count on Franks to make more than a few good-great throws a game. Inconsistent. He’s made progress since last year let’s hope he can make as much progress going into next season. Mullen has really protected him this year with probably more than half of his throws being within 3 yards of the LOS either way. The difference in UGA last year was at QB. That’s where our offense stops and ends. It’s all based on the qb. A great game for Franks right now is 150 yards+ and no turnovers.

  9. I defended Franks up to this game. But I can now see he is awful. He lost the game. He is too inconsistent throwing the ball. It is clear that the coach does not trust him with the game on the line. If you can’t trust your QB why is he in there? Its time to bench him.

    The defense played well but the corners were toast all game. Brutal.

      • True, that was a TD strike pass without the pass interference. That’s amazing composure for a true freshman to go after that throw when he’s basically not completed many passes in college. I think we need to find out how much he can do, whether it was a fluke or a preview of the future. I bet he gets a couple more opportunities the rest of a way and hopefully Trask does too! That said, Franks should still remain the starting QB unless he’s loses his confidence and start laying eggs in the remaining games.

  10. 3 turnovers and asking to much from defense. This spells defeat. Defense has played well just not enough offense. Unfortunately Franks is the best option. I knew going into this game if we did not win turnover battle we would struggle to win. Game-Set-Match!

  11. I think maybe UGA fans were right about “Third and Grantham”. I feel like we have a much better chance of stopping third and one than we do third and long.

    We need a new QB next year, but I think Mullen has done a good job with what he has to work with, and Franks does his best.

  12. Gators hold your heads up! The ”experts” predicted you all would end up this season 7-5, or 8-4 best case scenario. But you all can still go 10-2, and go to a really good bowl game. Learn from the mistakes today, and the young U.F. Secondary needs to grow up and fast! But hold your heads up, because nobody saw you all competing for the SEC East this year, and before the U.G.A. game. I still believe in the future of this Florida Football program under Mullen. It’s all ahead of you, fellas!
    So don’t look back! GO GATORS! And just, ”BELIEVE!”

    • I’m down with that. No one expected us to be in the playoff hunt, but we still have a chance at a great season. Its improvement I’m looking for this year. I’ve seen it so far, but as CDM said at his presser, the team has to get after it each week. I am extremely encouraged by the season so far. Gators have a ways to go, because we have had so much inconsistency in the program.

    • I’m down with that. No one expected us to be in the playoff hunt, but we still have a chance at a great season. Its improvement I’m looking for this year. I’ve seen it so far, but as CDM said at his presser, the team has to get after it each week. I am extremely encouraged by the season so far. Gators have a ways to go, because we have had so much inconsistency in the program. U

  13. Franks gives us our best chance to win this year. He has improved above and beyond what I expected. For most of the game our run defense did it’s job but not much pass rush and the injuries in the secondary were too much to overcome. This is Georgia’s 3rd year under new coaches and our 1st. This year is by no means a failure and the future is very bright for us. We can still win 10 or 11 games (including a bowl). Go Gators and hold your heads high

  14. It is time for Emory Jones to take over QB duties. The loss is not Franks fault, I am not blaming him. It is just that he is not comfortable as our QB. The shot at the East tis done. Time to start planning for next year.

  15. I think it’s time to give Emory Jones a chance to get some experience. We are basically eliminated from the east and from what I saw today, I think it’s worth a shot to give him some game experience without burning his redshirt. The rule is 4 games and he may have 2 more games left after this. This game wasn’t all bad but it’s obvious that the loss of CJ Henderson was too much to overcome and the Franks fumble gave Georgia enough breathing room to open it up. Kudos to the defense for that goal line stand. Time to regroup and finish the season strong. Go Gators!

    BTW, to the negators who wants to pick on Mullen because I anticipate they will come out, please STOP! If you found yourself drinking of that Kool-Aid that was a 6-1 record and can start bashing those young kids in a heart beat for giving their all and coming short, then you need to seriously look at yourself in a mirror and grow up!!

  16. What we learned:

    Defense playcalling limited because of corner injuries; Georgia Offense went to passing game to exploit injury induced weakness is defense. Good coach with all his players will beat a good coach without all his players.

    Offense limited because they were nervous. The game intimidated then and they killed themselves. The plays were there.

    We’ve got one particular Olineman that is the main issue the the run game.

    Turnovers killed us.

    Main pount = UGA has a roster of top 5 recruiting classes, in year three of a legit, good coaching staff. we’ve got a roster of top 15 classes in their first year with a legit, good coaching staff.

  17. Well, to me the main difference in the game was that Georgia has an excellent QB and Franks, although I love his effort, is just not capable of playing the position at the same level. Felipe gave it everything he has, but was inconsistent, missed open throws. and didn’t always go to the right receiver. Fromm was almost perfect in big situations. The goal line stand after Franks’ fumble was a true classic, and despite the final score, I was proud of the way the team played. I think that Mullen has them on the right path, and am more confident about the future of Gator football than I have been since the Tebow era.

  18. There’s glass half full and glass have empty. Glass half full: Mullen took a group of vagabond players who can’t get scholarship offers at Alabama or Georgia, and has them in position to be 10-2 for the season and a new years day bowl game. All of Florida’s upcoming schedule is winnable, even with this team. Mullen showed today he has the plays, but not the players. And I didn’t believe he had either. Glass half empty: you now have a clear understanding of how far your football program has to go. Alabama and Georgia have invested in their programs in coaching, facilities, and athletes. They are not everything schools. They are football schools. It’s now time for Florida to invest in their facilities and athletes, as we’re already behind the eight ball in paying off coaching mistakes. So, we have a coach in Mullen. Will we invest in the other two?

  19. Our coaching staff is outstanding. We had our chances to win this game. Losing the fumbles and interception was the difference. Our goal line stand was phenomenal. While losing this game stinks, I’m looking forward to the rest of the year.

    • What he said. While I’m disappointed losing, especially to UGAly, I’m energized about our coaching staff. What I saw today was that CDM is a better coach than Smart, but the clear difference was mainly at the quarterback and db position. Fromm was having a rebound game, but I will say he was exploiting young and depleted secondary. To me it’s not necessarily UF having a talent gap as much as having to play some young guys or backups due to lack of depth. The thing I was most disappointed with was our lack of pressure on Fromm.

  20. QB is first, second and last reason why our team will win or lose. The difference between BAMA barely beating teams last year and destroying them this year is the QB. They benched a qb who is arguably a better passer than our qb because he couldn’t pass well while being a crazy good runner. Our defense has kept us in the game all year this year. This team is like Muschamp’s second year. Our defense and our run game was everything while counting on not committing turnovers. Our qb was asked not to screw it up. Franks has all the physical skills that you look for in a qb but I’m not sure he has the ability to read defenses or “wants it” factor or the “it” factor. Kind of a reverse Tebow. If the game was on the line from the 2 yard line with :01 on the clock, I don’t think anybody would choose a qb run with Franks.

  21. I don’t think we will see Emory Jones play in more than 3 of the remaining games unless Franks gets hurt. Jones can still redshirt and compete with Frank’s again in spring ball for the starting job. Anybody without orange and blue glasses can still see that this team isn’t ready to compete for titles. Losing 2 All SEC cornerbacks almost assures that a good qb will hurt us. In Mullen we trust!

  22. Mullen and coaches are doing the best job possible with talent on hand. Did Gators sack Fromm ? Rush him?
    No.

    You lose by three scores and have three turnovers. … you have it.

    Scarlet fumble early not good on what could have been a a more competitive 1st half. You must play impeccable to beat a modestly better team.

    Gators D goal line stance epic, with referee calls helping UGA. Very pleased Mullen got the the penalty. ..

    Gators O… unable to respond to that jolt of sheer heroics… Let’s win out but this game was winnable and we failed and it’s on we know.

  23. My thoughts:

    1. The year has show some potential. I give the staff credit for that. I’m still advocating no contract extensions for anyone at the end of the season. We have been through this before.

    2. Staff will need to focus more on recruiting now. It’s crucial for annual success

    3. Franks HAS gotten better. I don’t care what anyone says but he is a functional college q.b now. Perhaps Jones can get more reps if coaches feel he is the future guy. I was really curious why they had him in there on key 3rd downs if he was not trustable.

    4. Florida was the better team in the first half. In the fourth UGA just took it to another level that the gators were not ready to match

  24. Defensive calling was terrible. Allowing repeated 3rd and long to be successful falls on the shoulder of Grantham. Because #12 CB McWilliams is terrible, Grantham needed to put pressure on Fromm. No pressure at all. Wasn’t he looking at the LS U films??? Blitzing was necessary. Grantham needs to look in the mirror and realize he lost that game. Even with the three turnovers, FL was in the game. GA is not that good. Alabama will kill them in the SEC championship game.

    • Sam. Grantham blitzed in the second half multiple times. Georgia blocked them well and the secondary did not cover well on third downs. Losing Henderson was a huge loss for the defense, especially with Wilson already out. And the turnovers were killers vs. a very talented team with a lot of depth. Wonder what the outcome would have been if Franks had not terribly overthrown Jefferson on the first series, Scarlett had not fumbled a on the second series, and Franks had not put the ball on the ground on his own one yard line? And Jones sure throws a nice deep ball. On to Missouri and try to finish strong unlike last season.

    • if you read my earlier comments at the end of the 1st half, I said I was surprised they weren’t going more at #12. The guy is a true freshman forced into his first start in a big game. Trey Dean was just as bad in his first few games starting. That’s to be expected. That said, I think Grantham called a fine game. It’s Frank’s fumble that allowed Georgia to take more chances and take advantage of his inexperience. The defense held but the 3 points were still huge because it made it a 2 score game. But, gotta give credit to Georgia, they forced those fumbles and hopefully Frank can get better at ball security.

  25. Something interesting for those who think we are in for a really long redbuild is that this game was essentially the same way the butt sniffers lost at LSU who we beat. The Swamp and one of two death valleys (who wants a stadium name someone else better has anyway) had something to do with it, but I don’t think we are as far as we might think from being top end.

  26. Just amazing how we’re afraid to throw down field screen and swing passes killing me this one on Mullen if u cant trust him sit him bc that’s not gonna cut it moving forward we gonna have to score against Mizzou

  27. It’s very simple boys and girls; you are getting ready to see a lot more of Emory Jones. The offense looks totally different with him in there. I have been a supporter of Frank’s. Emory Jones is the real deal and when they cut him loose it’s going to be scary for defensive coordinators.

  28. Was beat up early in year by some saying Franks just doesn’t have it. After today that is clear. Mullen tried his best today to manage his deficiencies. Great physical skills but he’s missing in other areas. Think they will redshirt Jones but he can play in 4 games. The future is bright and we can go 10-2/9-3 going into bowl game. Recruit well! Go Gators!!!

  29. At half, I believed we could win this game. Toney”s kickoff return plus quick strike drive gave us hope…. and then completely dormant Offense and D looking very hapless on pass plays. Multiple UGA drives with short strategic passes set tone for 2nd half key plays. Gators shut down run but are weak on pass.

    Goal line stance, heroic but no energetic response from Offense…killed it.

    We’re not yet an elite team but coaches working some magic with current talent level.

    Gators capable of beating spread today but did not, three major turnovers to zero. Game.

    9-2 season still possible which would be a success. Mullen is doing a fantastic job with talent level at his disposal.

    Go Gators.

  30. The Gators could have won this game. But the turnovers killed us. The defense was good overall. The goal line stand was epic. But we needed to blitz more. We needed to get pressure on their QB. No sacks no pressure the whole game. The defense played well overall, but the corners were horrible. Now on offense it is clear that Franks is just not good enough. He is too inconsistent throwing and he is not a runner despite the TD and the one nice run. Its time to change QB’s. We are not going anywhere this year or with him as the QB. We are not good enough to compete for the SEC championship. Bench Franks.

  31. OK, we lost the game. Big deal, so now we move on to the next game. We still have a great chance to have a great season. We can still win the next 4 games and go to a New Years bowl. Looking forward to watching next week’s game. Good Day……………..

  32. It’s disappointing to lose to UGA any year, and now two in a row, but it happens. The team did not play well. Hopefully, they learn and keep getting better. This is Mullen and company’s first year and they are still instilling winning habits- like putting two hands on the ball so it doesn’t get ripped out of your hands. I do think the online played very well, and that go alone stand deserves to be remembered as the stuff of legends!!!