So far this year, Florida looks to be the big money maker going against the spread, while Georgia is just 2-5. In a game that could decide who wins the SEC East, the Gators battle the Bulldogs at The Cocktail Party in Jacksonville.
This week’s #FootballFriday focuses on the Florida / Georgia college football rivalry. This game played every year by the University of Florida Gators and the University of Georgia Bulldogs has been an annual event since 1926. This matchup of Southeastern Conference opponents is one of the most prominent rivalry games in college football, and one of the few remaining neutral site rivalry games still played. The game attracts huge crows in Jacksonville, FL and has become known as the “world’s largest cocktail party” which, of course, sounds just like the kind of place where Greenland Apparel loves to be.
While the two universities agree that Georgia leads the overall series, they disagree as to the overall series record due to the disputed 1904 game. The designated “home” team alternated from year to year, with ticket distribution split evenly between fans of the two teams. By playing the game at a neutral site, rather than on their respective campuses both universities’ athletic programs derive more revenue from the game.
According to Odd Shark point spread the Gators opened as 2.5 point favorites. However, the football pick computer estimates a 39-25 Bulldog win.
UGA came out of a two game losing streak last time out, beating Missouri two weeks ago 9-6. Georgia outgained Missouri 298-164, outrushed them 120-21 and won the time of possession by a lopsided 39-21 margin. But–they had to settle for three field goals on excursions inside the Missouri red zone and missed another short attempt. Nonetheless, the victory kept Georgia’s hopes of a division title alive, following consecutive losses to Alabama and Tennessee.
After starting the season 6-0, Florida suffered its first loss last time out, that 35-28 decision at LSU two weeks ago. Florida, who led the Tigers 7-0 early on, fell down by two touchdowns at the half and rallied to tie the game at 28-28 in the third quarter. Florida then lost what they gained by allowing the winning score on a fake field goal early in the fourth quarter. Prior to this game, Florida won at Missouri 21-3, holding them to just 257 total yards of offense. Just before that, they beat Ole Miss 38-10 allowing 328 yards winning that game outright. Prior to Ole Miss, they rallied to stun Tennessee 28-27, and Kentucky 14-9. Florida isn’t wowing anyone on offense, but its defense ranks in the top 20 in the country in several key categories.
Even before the season started, Georgia was the favorite to win the SEC East. But as we see time and time again in college football, pre-season predictions mean nothing once SEC play gets underway. With that truth in mind, the Bulldogs lost back to back games against the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Tennessee Volunteers. The good news for Georgia is that beating Florida this weekend in Jacksonville still leaves them in the race for the top spot in the SEC East. Georgia’s Greyson Lambert is ranked fifth overall in the SEC in passer rating and could easily have the Bulldogs back on track for a double digit win season. A win this weekend could put Georgia back in the national spotlight and keep their coach Mark Richt that much farther away from the hot seat.
Meanwhile, Treon Harris will start for the Gators due to the suspension of early season starter Will Grier. Believe it or not, Harris has a higher QB rating than Will Grier, due to the fact that Harris has not thrown any interceptions. Gators coach Jim McElwain has done an amazing job transforming this year’s squad. If the Gators win this game, they clinch a spot in the SEC title game. Harris doesn’t have to have a big day. If he plays mistake-free football, the Gators will get will get that victory, and McElwain may very well find himself in the conversation for coach of the year.
Go ahead and throw both teams’ records out the window for this one. Anything can happen in this rivalry game. The Gators look to have the power to slow down the Bulldogs’ rushing game and if that happens, the Bulldogs will have to win it through the air. Georgia will need to have a balanced offense in order to stay in this battle. The Gators will likely prevail in this one, but don’t be surprised if this game stays close all afternoon. We see Florida winning this game 34-31.