Florida Gators picks: How are ESPN GameDay, experts predicting Saturday's game against Georgia?
This year's big battle in Jacksonville has a little more zest — Georgia vs. Florida always seems to hike up even more when one of the teams is ranked No. 1. This year, it's Georgia.
The Gators (4-3) are coming off a rough 49-42 loss to LSU in Baton Rouge, and had dealt with another loss to Kentucky two weeks before that. In addition, Florida isn't saying who will start at quarterback against Georgia. Emory Jones had the lion's share of time against Kentucky and Vanderbilt, but was benched in the loss to LSU in favor of Anthony Richardson.
The Bulldogs (7-0) enter the game as the nation's top-ranked team largely on the backs of their defense, which has allowed 46 total points this season. But, Georgia is also being very quiet about who will be their starting quarterback: JT Daniels could be back from a lat strain that has kept him out of several games, but Stetson Bennett has done well in his place.
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First, let's look at what the guys on ESPN GameDay think:
Who do ESPN GameDay's hosts think will win Florida Gators vs. Georgia Bulldogs?
Here's what the hosts think will happen:
Desmond Howard: Georgia
Guest picker Ken Jeong (star of The Hangover, Community): Georgia
Lee Corso: Georgia (adding that it'll be a one-point victory)
Kirk Herbstreit: Georgia
Here's what the experts think of Saturday's game:
Bill Bender, Sporting News: Bulldogs, 34-17
Both teams are coming off a bye week for this rivalry game. Georgia can clinch the SEC East behind that ridiculous defense, but Florida had an extra week to prepare. Will Anthony Richardson throw a wrinkle into this matchup? For all the quirkiness of this rivalry the last six years, the favorite has won and covered. Make it seven in a row.
Chris Hummer, 24-7 Sports: Bulldogs, 24-17
Say what you will about Dan Mullen, but he always has his teams ready for games like this. Since 2019 the Gators have played six top 10 teams in regular-season games, all of which have been decided by two scores or fewer. Given Mullen two weeks to scheme for Georgia? I feel great about a Gators cover.
Kerry Miller, Bleacher Report: Bulldogs, 35-13
Georgia's elite defense will bottle up whichever mobile quarterback Dan Mullen decides to trot out there, and the Bulldogs will take one more gigantic step toward a 12-0 regular season.
Joe Williams, USA TODAY SportsbookWire: Bulldogs, 31-17
Georgia hasn’t allowed more than 13 points in any of its seven games, so it requires a bit of a leap of faith to take the Gators. But this is a rivalry game and anything can happen in a tilt between these two.
Brad Crawford, 24-7 Sports: Bulldogs, 23-14
I picked Florida to keep it close with Alabama earlier this season and Mullen's team is going to need a similar effort to keep it within the number against the top-ranked team in the country, too. Anthony Richardson hits a gasher or two and the Bulldogs give up a couple surprising touchdowns.
Pete Fiutak, College Football News: Bulldogs, 31-16
Florida won’t win the turnover battle. As always, this will be among the most intense, hard-hitting battles of the season. However, for Georgia, it’s going to be about playing at an even keel and not getting caught up in the emotion, the huge hits, and the big plays on both sides of the ball that Florida will occasionally come up with. But the Georgia run defense really is just that good. The formula will continue to work. Rely on the offense to grind out enough yards to matter, don’t take unnecessary chances, expect the defense to own the game, especially in the second half.