Gameday: No. 2 Florida Gators vs. No. 10 Georgia

Location: EverBank Field – Jacksonville, FL [Capacity: 84,000]
Weather Forecast: 75°F, few showers (30% precipitation), winds NNW at 20 mph
Time: 3:30 p.m. EDT

Tickets: Starting at $98 on TiqIQ

TV: CBS/CBSHD (Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson, Tracy Wolfson)
SiriusXM: 91 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: CBSSports.com | Mobile Video: CBS Sports app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter and SportsYapper

No. 2 FLORIDA GATORS No. 10 GEORGIA BULLDOGS
Head Coach: Will Muschamp Head Coach: Mark Richt
Record: 7-0 (6-0 SEC) Record: 6-1 (4-1 SEC)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -6.5, O/U 45

HOMEWORK

Need to catch up on what has been going on with the Gators over the last week? No problem. OGGOA has been here the whole time posting a ton of information so you can do your homework on the team before its next exam on Saturday.

Muschamp has managed expectations, set team intensity level | Florida running Boise State’s offense, SEC-style | No special approach for UF-UGA game says Muschamp | Dan Quinn talks defense

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Georgia leads Florida 47-40-2 in the all-time series and boasts a 42-38-2 advantage in neutral sites. The two teams have played annually since 1944 with the Gators holding a 36-31-1 advantage in those 68 games. UF is also 18-4 in the last 22 meetings with UGA and has not dropped consecutive games to the Bulldogs since 1987-89.
» Muschamp, who played college football for Georgia, will be facing his alma mater for the ninth time in his coaching career; he is 3-5 in the prior eight contests. He is also 0-5 all-time in the UF-UGA series as a player and head coach, going 0-4 as a player and losing his sole game as a head coach in 2011.
» Richt is 3-8 against Florida since taking over as head coach.
» The Gators can clinch the SEC East for the first time since 2009 with a victory on Saturday. The Bulldogs cannot clinch the division but can put themselves in a prime position to win it with a victory.
» The Okefenokee Oar is up for grabs on Saturday and has been a trophy awarded to the game’s victor since 2009. It was fashioned from a 1,000-year-old cypress tree and represents the Okefenokee Swamp, which separates the states and was once part of a border dispute. The Oar is awarded to the student body president of the winning university and is not presented on the field.
» Florida is one of two teams nationally (Notre Dame) with three victories over ranked opponents this season. UF is the only team in the country with a pair of top-10 wins and earned them in consecutive home victories for the first time in school history.
» The Gators are 11-1 against unranked opponents and 3-5 against ranked teams under Muschamp since he took over in 2011. Florida earned all three victories over ranked opponents this season, defeating Tennessee, LSU and South Carolina.
» UF has started the season 7-0 for the first time since 2009 and sixth time in history.
» Florida was 0-5 when trailing at the half in 2011 but have started the 2012 season 3-0 in that category with all three victories vs. SEC opponents (two ranked).
» The Gators are 9-0 under Muschamp when rushing for more than 150 yards and 1-4 when rushing for fewer than 100 yards. UF is also 11-2 when holding opponents to fewer than 21 points, 9-3 when scoring first and 11-1 when leading at the half.
» Florida has scored on 25-of-27 red zone trips (92.6 percent) but have only converted 17 of those possessions (63 percent) into touchdowns.
» UF has converted 39-of-99 of its third-down attempts (39.3 percent) this season.
» The Gators have held their opponents to 29-of-106 on third down conversions (27.4 percent), which is good for fifth-best in the nation. UF was second nationally in third-down defense (27.3 percent) last season.
» Florida is averaging 34:07 in time of possession through seven games, a margin that ranks third nationally and just 25 seconds behind the country’s leader.
» The Gators are outscoring opponents 121-28 in the second half and 61-13 in the fourth quarter. UF was the only team in the nation that had not allowed a fourth-quarter point until two weeks ago.
» Florida had a stretch of not allowing a touchdown in nine-straight quarters and is fourth in scoring defense nationally (12.14 points per game).
» The Gators are +11 in turnover margin through seven games after being -12 in 2011. UF has forced the most turnovers in the SEC (333) since 2000.
» Florida has grabbed eight interceptions so far in 2012 (three games with two each) and has already tied its 2011 total of eight picks. UF has registered at least one pick in six-of-seven games and has also forced seven fumbles.
» The Gators are third nationally in pass efficiency defense (90.60), seventh in total defense (282.0 yards per game) and 10th in rushing defense (97.29 yards per game).
» Florida has at least two kickoff returns for touchdowns in each of the last two seasons after never having more than one in a single season before 2010. UF has not yet registered a kick return (or punt return) in 2012.
» The Gators are first nationally in net punt average (44.24 yards per punt).
» Georgia has an even turnover margin this season (10 gained, 10 lost).
» The Bulldogs have scored on 23-of-27 red zone trips (85.2 percent) and have converted 21 of those possessions (77.8 percent) into touchdowns.
» Georgia leads the nation in plays of 20+ yards this season with 45.
» Richt is the fourth-winningest active head coach (minimum 100 games) having been victorious in 74.1 percent of his games with the Bulldogs. He is 8-of-21 (29.6 percent) against top 10 opponents.
» Georgia is ranked anywhere from 47th to 75th nationally in every major defensive category except pass defense, in which UGA is 28th in the country.
» The Bulldogs have allowed 40-of-110 third-down attempts to be converted this season (36.36 percent), which is 49th nationally, 44 spots behind the Gators.
» Georgia is 109th nationally in net punt average (33.82 yards per punt), 108 spots behind Florida in the same category.

Read the rest of the Florida-Georgia preview including injuries and absences and which players to look out for from both sidelines.

LAST TIME OUT

Despite holding a dominant series advantage over the last 22 years, Florida did not celebrate following its 2011 showdown with Georgia as the Bulldogs came back from a 14-point first-half deficit and twice negated leads by the Gators in the second half to pull out a hard-fought 24-20 victory. Florida jumped out to an early 17-3 advantage thanks to quarterback John Brantley throwing a 31-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jordan Reed in the first quarter and running back Jeff Demps adding a 99-yard kickoff return touchdown early in the second quarter. With the first half nearly in the box and the offense stalled in the red zone, Georgia QB Aaron Murray completed a 20-yard touchdown pass on fourth down to cut his team’s deficit in half. Murray repeated that action one quarter later, tossing another fourth-down touchdown to tie the game at 17 with six minutes left in the third. UF re-took the lead on a 40-yard field goal by Brad Phillips, but UGA drove right back down the field for a rushing touchdown and concluded the game with a nine-play 53 yard drive that lasted the final 5:32 of regulation. The Gators only had two drives of more than seven plays in the game, coughed up two fumbles and were unable to get off the field on defense when it counted.

INJURIES AND ABSENCES*

» Active (1): Freshman wide receiver Latroy Pittman (ankle)
» Inactive (9): Junior defensive tackle Damien Jacobs (hamstring), Junior DB Cody Riggs (foot), redshirt junior tackle Matt Patchan (pectoral), junior long snapper Drew Ferris (collarbone), redshirt freshman guard Tommy Jordan (shoulder), junior Buck LB Ronald Powell (ACL), freshman TE Colin Thompson (foot), redshirt junior DE Kedric Johnson (knee), senior defensive lineman Nick Alajajian (knee)

* As of Sunday at 12 a.m.

PLAYERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON

FLORIDA
» Senior running back Mike Gillislee (#23)…who is entrenched as the Gators’ starter, a role he has worked towards achieving over four years. He registered a career-high 34 carries for 146 rushing yards three weeks ago and has averaged 4.7 yards per carry and a touchdown per game this season. Gillislee has totaled 652 yards on 139 carries with seven scores, and his 93.1 yards per game is fourth in the SEC.
» Sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel (#6)…who was officially named the starter in week two and has shown remarkable improvement with each passing game. He has completed 66.9 percent of his passes (85-of-127) this season for 929 yards, eight touchdowns and one interception and has added 321 net rushing yards as well as four touchdowns on the ground.
» Redshirt junior tight end Jordan Reed (#11)…who is leading the Gators in receptions (25) and receiving yards (281) through seven games. His 25 catches are most at his position in the SEC. Reed became a full-time tight end in 2011 but missed four games that season due to injury. He has the ability to be a major receiving threat and big-time mismatch for Florida offensively.
» Senior Mike linebacker Jon Bostic (#1)…who is the straw that stirs the drink for the Gators on defense. He is second on the team in solo tackles (27) and third in total tackles (38) but comes in first in tackles for loss (six) and quarterback sacks (three).
» Junior defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd (#94)…who is back to playing his natural position and is looking to breakout as a former five-star prospect that joined the team in 2009. Floyd has registered five tackles for loss (out of 26 total tackles) and three quarterback hurries this season. He appears to be improving with each passing game.
» Junior safety Matt Elam (#22)…who has grown into his role as a leader and is undoubtedly the Gators’ most dynamic playmaker on defense. He leads the team in solo tackles (28) this season and is second in total tackles (39) with four for lost yardage as well as a sack, interception and forced fumble. Elam had arguably his best game at Florida three weeks ago vs. LSU (seven solo tackles, forced fumble).
» Senior S Josh Evans (#9)…who matured and improved as a junior but has taken yet another step in 2012. Evans leads the Gators with 44 total tackles and is third with 26 solo tackles. He has a nose for the ball carrier and is one reason why Florida’s tackling is much-improved this season, having registered hard-hitting sacks in consecutive weeks.
» Redshirt senior kicker Caleb Sturgis (#19)…who is starting for the Gators for the fourth-straight season. He has already kicked three of the four longest field goals of all-time for the Gators and is just 10 made field goals away from passing Jeff Chandler’s 67 for most in school history.
» Sophomore punter Kyle Christy (#4)…who is having a breakout campaign in his second season and posted the best punting performance in school history last week, averaging 54.3 yards per boot on seven punts against South Carolina. He ranks first nationally with an average of 47.9 yards per punt and is the main reason why Florida ranks first in the country with a 44.24 net punting average.

GEORGIA
» Freshmen RBs Todd Gurley (#3) and Keith Marshall (#4)…who are getting the vast majority of carries out of the backfield for the Bulldogs and have combined for 1,110 yards on 163 carries this season (6.81 yards per touch) with 14 rushing touchdowns. The duo are also roommates and good friends off the field and is a big reason why Georgia’s offense has been so successful and balanced this season.
» Junior QB Aaron Murray (#11)…who has 22 wins as a starter with a 55-12 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He currently leads the SEC in total offense for a career among active players with the seventh-most touchdowns in league history (85) and the ninth-most touchdown passes (75). Murray is completing 65.3 percent of his passes this year with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions.
» Junior LB Jarvis Jones (#29)…who was a finalist for the 2011 Butkus Award and is the best player on the Bulldogs’ defense. He has amassed 19 career sacks over the last two seasons and leads the country with an average of one sack per game. Jones has amassed 36 tackles (9.5 for loss) and 5.5 sacks this season along with one interception and three forced fumbles in just five games.
» Freshman LB Jordan Jenkins (#59)…who is in his first year at Georgia but is already making an impact defensively. Jenkins has registered 5.5 tackles for loss and three sacks already this season along with a forced fumble and fumble recovery.

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3 Responses to “Gameday: No. 2 Florida Gators vs. No. 10 Georgia”

  1. VO2max says:

    This game will likely be a mudfest. It will definitely be a very windy affair. You have to like Florida’s chances in a throwing impaired game that comes down to ball control. I’m curious to see what the wind will do to the kicking game.

    Take back the Okefenokee Oar boys. (yes I feel funny saying that) That trophy should definitely be at the game for the winners to take. Watching Iowa seize the Floyd of Rosedale trophy this year was one of the things that makes College football so great.

  2. joe says:

    And Ga beats the Gators again

  3. dp says:

    Can someone please explain why Jordan felt the need to jump in that situation instead of running someone’s ass over? Seriously?! Great decision. Way to play offense Gators. Way to choke.

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