Florida vs. Georgia game: Pick, prediction, spread, odds, line, time, watch live stream, TV channel

By Adam Silverstein
November 7, 2020
Florida vs. Georgia game: Pick, prediction, spread, odds, line, time, watch live stream, TV channel
Football

Image Credit: Michael Nash

The 2020 edition of the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party has arrived — and it could not have come at a better time for the college football world or really the United States as a whole. With just a couple months left in a wild year, the No. 8 Florida Gators and No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs will renew their hostilities by meeting as top-10 opponents for the third straight season in what is a first in rivalry history.

The winner of the Florida-Georgia game has gone on to capture the SEC East crown in five straight seasons, meaning everything is on the line Saturday as the Gators and Dawgs square off at TIAA Bank Field. Despite each team suffering losses to SEC West foes (Texas A&M and Alabama, respectively), Florida and Georgia have their destinies in their hands.

A victory not only gives the winner the equivalent of a two-game lead on the loser in the SEC East, it likely secures an opportunity for a College Football Playoff play-in game and (at worst) probably a New Year’s Six bowl game.

For a Gators team that has been trying to live up to their massive offseason expectations, 2020 has been a difficult beast to slay. Not only did Florida lose spring practice and its planned summer program, it has not played with their entire personnel on defense all season due to a combination of injuries and absences amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Oh yeah, there was also an outbreak that kept the program off the field for two weeks.

While the offense has been lights out, the defense has been slow to gel. Head coach Dan Mullen has called some incredible games while simultaneously making himself the subject of a few negative headlines for his comments and antics. The fallout of the Missouri game has been massively blown out of proportion, and there should be no doubt that Mullen — as with Urban Meyer before him — is motivated to shut some people up while in the national spotlight. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the game.

Aspirations of contending for the SEC title and the program’s first opportunity in the College Football Playoff remain heavy on Florida’s shoulders. The Gators are in complete control of their fate with the SEC East likely on the line Saturday. What will go down in the latest edition of Florida-Georgia? Let’s find out.

Tale of the tape

No. 8 Florida GatorsNo. 5 Georgia Bulldogs
Head coachDan MullenKirby Smart
Record3-14-1
ConferenceSECSEC

Injuries and absences

Active (6): DB Marco Wilson, DB Shawn Davis, DB Donovan Stiner, DB Chester Kimbrough, K Evan McPherson, OL Ethan White (knee)
Probable / questionable (?): ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Out for season (1): DB Ethan Pouncey (hip)
Inactives: DB Trey Dean, DB Mordecai McDaniel, DL Jaelin Humphries

Viewing information

Date: Saturday, Nov. 7 | Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: TIAA Bank Field — Jacksonville, Florida [18,000]

TV: CBS (Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson)
Live stream: CBSSports.com | SiriusXM: 206/191| Radio: WRUF, TuneIn
Live updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

Game notes

» Georgia holds a 52-43-2 edge all-time against Florida, though the Gators are 21-9 in the last 20 meetings since 1990 and the teams are 7-7 in their last 14 games. The Dawgs are also 46-40-1 all-time with the teams playing in Jacksonville.
» UGA has won three straight games over UF (and six of the last nine) by a combined score of 102-41, an average margin of victory of 20.3 points.
» The teams have swapped three-game winning streaks a total of four times since 2008.
» The Gators and Dawgs are meeting as top-10 opponents for the third straight season. This is a first in series history.
» UF is 9-5 against UGA since 1990 when they square off as ranked teams.
» Under Mullen, Florida is 18-1 when scoring first, 20-1 when leading after the third quarter, 16-0 when allowing 20 points or fewer, 6-2 in games decided by fewer than 10 points and 19-0 when outrushing their opponent.
» UF lost for the first time when scoring first and leading after the third quarter this season vs. Texas A&M. It is now 5-6 when being outrushed by an opponent.
» Florida is 4-4 against ranked opponents under Mullen (3-3 against top 10 teams), beating three ranked teams in a single season in 2018 for the first time since 2012. It is 19-2 against unranked teams under Mullen.
» The Gators have scored 24+ points in 19 of their last 21 games dating back to 2018. One of those two failures were against the Dawgs last season.
» Florida has scored 168 points through its first four SEC games, its highest-scoring start in league play since 1996. It’s the highest-scoring four-game stretch for the program in SEC play since 2008 (178 points).
» The Gators have scored 126 offensive touchdowns in 30 games under Mullen. They scored 93 in 38 games from 2015-17.
» Redshirt senior quarterback Kyle Trask is the first player in program history to throw 4+ touchdowns in four consecutive games. His 18 TD passes set an SEC record for most through the first four games of a season.
» UF has scored in 402 consecutive games, an NCAA record.
» Florida is one of only two FBS teams (Alabama) that has not lost to an opponent that finished the season with a losing record dating back to the 2008 season.
» UF in 2019 finished a season undefeated in The Swamp for the first time since 2016, third time this decade and 14th time in program history.

Prediction and analysis

Spread: Florida +3.5 | O/U: 54

The SEC Game of the Week should live up to its billing. This edition of Florida-Georgia is an incredible meeting of one of the nation’s best offenses and one of the nation’s best defenses. We’ve already detailed that here. What’s particularly interesting entering this edition of the rivalry is that we do not know who the Gators will have available as the team continues to recover from a COVID-19 outbreak. What we do know is who the Dawgs will not have available — multiple defensive starters and reportedly their top wide receiver.

There is no doubt in my mind that Florida has spent the entire week focusing on stopping the run. That does not necessarily mean it will be completely effective, but there must be a solid plan in place from defensive coordinator Todd Grantham (who, by the way, had a couple extra weeks at home doing nothing to watch Georgia film). The defensive backfield appeared to make strides last week, and it’s ultimately not facing a significant threat in Stetson Bennett IV, especially without his top pass catcher. So if UF can slow UGA down and limit its possessions, that’s already a win.

Then the question is whether the Dawgs defense can stop the Gators’ high-powered offense. We saw what happened when Georgia tried to stop Alabama — it succeeded until it failed. Florida may not have as strong a running game as Bama, but it has enough offensive weapons — and Mullen has enough creativity — to keep UGA on its tip toes. This is not to say that the Gators will win in a blowout like some national pundits believe. But if you’re giving me the better offense and an improving defense plus a field goal and a hook, I’m taking it any day.

The total is a tough gamble, and our decision last week to blindly roll with the over completely failed when Missouri was surprisingly unable to score on Florida. I respect Georgia’s defense too much to think this will be a high-scoring game in either direction, so let’s side with the under.

2020 records: ATS picks 3-1 | O/U picks 1-3 | Overall: 4-4

Odds and ends

» Florida will wear its classic orange helmets, white jerseys and blue pants as the de facto road team in this game. The teams switch home and away designations every year they meet in this neutral-site contests.

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