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Florida Gators vs. Georgia Bulldogs: Picks, Predictions and Takes

The AllGators staff shares its picks and predictions for Florida vs. Georgia.

There aren't many reasons for Florida fans to be partying given the results of the Gators' season thus far, but that won't stop the UF faithful from their annual trip to Jacksonville for the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party and the Gators' matchup with the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs this Saturday.

SEC Championship hopes, which usually receive a significant boost or fall apart for Florida based on the result of the annual Georgia game, are already out of the window for the 4-3 Gators. At this point, Florida is playing for pride and a chance to play spoiler to the 7-0 Bulldogs.

Such a feat will require tremendous effort and near-perfect execution from Dan Mullen's Gators. Georgia is considered a 14-points favorite over Florida, per Sports Illustrated Sportsbook, and the over/under is set at 51 points. You can find the AllGators' staff picks and predictions for the game below.

Zach Goodall (5-2): Georgia 28, Florida 17

Even though Florida is considered a heavy underdog, I'm at least confident in Dan Mullen's offense finding ways to put up some points and cover the spread. The final score could even be closer than my current projection as Mullen tends to put together his best game plans in big matchups, but with that being said, the score won't totally reflect how the game unfolds in my opinion.

I get the feeling that Georgia will create a lead and build it up to two possessions rather quickly, leaving Florida in catch-up mode for the remainder of the contest. A late score or two from the Gators will make this game seem closer on the scoreboard than it was from start to finish.

Now, why do I believe Florida will be left in catch-up mode early on? Because, even though I felt different right after the loss to LSU, I think Mullen will start Emory Jones at quarterback. And even though I'm not as down on Jones' performance this year as a lot of the Florida fanbase is, I don't think he will be able to create much offensively against the stout Georgia defense. His turnovers concern me greatly against a unit that is generating over an interception per game this year.

Anthony Richardson could be asked to step in and play hero for the second game in a row, which is a daunting task for a backup redshirt freshman quarterback. But as seen against the Tigers, he simply finds ways to create explosive plays in unideal circumstances. I think he'll do so again on Saturday.

Demetrius Harvey (5-2): Georgia 21, Florida 7

It's crazy to think that a year after Florida beat down on Georgia I would think so negatively about the Gators' chances of winning this weekend, but here we are. The Gators are heading on a downward spiral right now.

The team won just four games this year, losing most recently to the LSU Tigers 49-42 in a game where the defense never looked competitive, allowing over 300 yards on the ground. This week, Florida will face another brutal run game, and an even tougher defense. While it's not a road game, there will certainly be one section cheering a bit louder as Georgia enters the contest at 7-0 and in the driver's seat to win the SEC East, and perhaps the SEC in general when they face off against Georgia.

For Florida, this is an opportunity to play spoiler, but I simply cannot predict them to win. At 14.5-point underdogs, I do believe they'll be able to cover, this is a game that both sides always play up to, or at least have typically done. Without any sort of reason to think optimistically, Florida will lose this one in a heartbreaker, ultimately.

Brandon Carroll (5-2): Georgia 31, Gators 23

The Gators' chances to win this season in Jacksonville are slim, and the quarterback controversy exasperates the reality of falling to .500 against the Dawgs.

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Defensively, Florida will have to limit Georgia’s dynamic rushing attack headlined by Zeus White. That will be paramount for them as UGA’s offense is the weak link — if you can even call it that. 

Offensively, the Gators need splash plays and chunk yardage.

Without a true sense of continuity and consistency at the most important position in football, Florida is not in the spot to contend play-by-play with the most talented defenses in college football.

If they give quarterback Anthony Richardson the reins early of the snaps, home-run hitting plays are imminent and Florida has their best chance — albeit still minimal — to steal one from the No. 1 team in the nation.

I think they look to Richardson early and often, but not on the first series.

The Gators post enough points to keep it close heading into the halftime break. However, in the final 30 minutes, Georgia’s quickness and physicality will overpower the Gators' offense.

As a result, the Bulldogs maintain their undefeated status and stay atop the AP Poll as the favorite to win the College Football Playoff in 2021.

Ethan Budowsky (5-2): Georgia 35, Florida 24

There are so many possible ways this game can go. While many are predicting doomsday for the Gators, it seems Dan Mullen always pulls out his best performances in the biggest games. Arguably the best game he has called in his Florida career was last year’s drubbing of Georgia.

This year is quite different, however. Georgia is much better and the Gators offense is, well, not quite as good. The running game that has been a strength for the Gators could get swallowed up by a Bulldog defensive front that is maybe the best we have ever seen.

Nevertheless, I expect the Gators to be competitive and keep it a game. I don’t see a 2017 scenario where Georgia is up 21-0 inside 7.5 minutes. If that happens then Mullen needs to start looking over his shoulder even more than he is now. Whereas, if UF pulls off the improbable, it could be one of the great wins in program history.

I expect Mullen to throw everything he has at Georgia, including Anthony Richardson, as one last effort to salvage something from this season. Unfortunately, I don’t think it will be enough. I see a similar game to Mullen’s first year against Georgia on the horizon, where the Bulldogs tack on late to make it look worse than it was. 

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