Andreu's Answers: Win over Georgia a team victory for Gators
Before every Florida game, veteran college football beat writer Robbie Andreu comes up with five pertinent questions and then answers them after the game. Here's Week 5:
Can Florida’s receivers get separation from Georgia’s tight-covering secondary?
They did. And even when they didn’t, they won a whole bunch of 50-50 balls against the best secondary the Gators have seen this season. And it wasn’t just the wide receivers and tight ends doing it. The three running backs — Dameon Pierce, Malik Davis and Nay’Quan Wright — looked like accomplished wide receivers the way they ran precise routes and made tough catches down the field. They were an instrumental part of the passing game, combining for 212 yards in receptions.
Do the Gators have any chance of containing the Bulldogs’ powerful running game?
After the first play of the game, that 75-yard touchdown run by Zamir White where he wasn’t even touched, the Bulldogs had to be thinking they were going to have their way in the running game for the rest of the game. Wrong. That one play was really the only success the Bulldogs would have on the ground. The Gators shut down the run for the rest of the game, limiting UGA to just 90 yards from that point on.
Can the offensive line and backs protect quarterback Kyle Trask?
The offensive line did its job. The big guys gave Trask ample time to pick apart the UGA secondary. Trask completed 30 of 43 passes for 474 yards and four touchdowns. You don’t put up those kind of numbers without getting excellent protection, and that’s what he got. He was sacked only once and hurried just four times. The line helped its own cause by getting consistent push in the running game, which took some of the pressure off Trask and the passing game.
Will the UF defense get off the field on third down, or does the Georgia offense control the ball and the clock?
The Gators, who struggled on third down earlier in the season, especially in the loss to Texas A&M, came up big on the money down against the Bulldogs. Georgia converted only two of 13 third-down situations. The defense kept giving the ball back to the offense, and the UF offense kept flying up and down the field, scoring points and taking all kinds of time off the clock. The Gators did what would have been the unthinkable coming into the game. They won the time of possession battle by almost an entire quarter — 37:26 to 22:34.
Will the Bulldogs hit some explosive plays in the passing game?
The Bulldogs had one early in the game, a 32-yard TD reception by Marcus Rosemy-Jacksait, and another late in the third quarter, Kearis Jackson’s 25-yard TD reception. But they had none in between, when the defense was shutting down the UGA offense. During that period when the Gators were pulling away, the longest pass play by the Bulldogs was a 13-yard swing pass to running back James Cook. So, the Gators had more interceptions (three) than explosive passing plays allowed — a winning formula, for sure.
Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or email@example.com. Also check out Andreu's blog at Gatorsports.com.
Who: Arkansas (3-3) vs. No. 5 Florida (4-1)
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
Radio: 103.7-FM, AM-850