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Preview: Georgia vs. Florida, Keys to the matchup

The eighth ranked Georgia Bulldogs are set to take on the the sixth ranked Florida Gators Saturday in Jacksonville. Here are the keys to the matchup.

The sense of urgency surrounding the Georgia Football program is at the season's all-time high. Georgia, along with several other one-loss teams, is in full "win out" mode. 

It's what makes college football so addictive, the idea that any given Saturday your team's national championship hopes can be ripped at the seams. It's unlike any other nationally recognized sport. Not even in the NFL, where apart from the Patriots, mostly every team is seemingly bouncing around between 7-9 and 9-7. 

Georgia has one hope of making it, not only to the College Football Playoff, but to the SEC championship game, and that's to win out. So here are the keys to Georgia's matchup with Florida. 

Keys to the Matchup


Florida's defense has created 18 turnovers this season, which ties them for third-most in the country. Georgia will have to protect the football during this matchup in order to win. The Bulldogs rank 11th in the country in Time of Possession, a stat that Kirby Smart and staff cherish if Georgia's offense can sustain drives they will eventually wear down that Florida front. 

Florida's defense is certainly sound, statistically speaking, against the run, and with pass rushers lined up every which way, the Georgia offensive line will be put to the test again Saturday. 

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As for Georgia's wide receivers, they will most likely be without graduate transfer and leader, Lawrence Cager who's been battling both ribs and a shoulder injury. And Florida's defensive back group, as per usual, is no joke. I would venture to say separation will be at a minimum Saturday, so coming down with contested footballs will be Georgia's main hope.

Florida QB, Kyle Trask

Florida QB, Kyle Trask


This game stacks up as a relatively solid matchup for the Bulldogs defensively. Though Florida's offense has seemed to experience a lift by Kyle Trask entering the lineup, the Gators have failed to run the ball effectively for the majority of the season (ranked 91st in rushing YPG). 

Dan Mullen's offense has historically operated a lot more successfully in the run game with a quarterback that can run the football. And even when the starting quarterback is performing well, Mullen will insert the backup to provide a sense of a running threat. 

Remember that guy, Tim Tebow, long before he became a household name and Heisman Trophy winner, he was the short-yardage and goalline QB that replaced Chris Leak as a true freshman. Not saying Emory Jones is Tim Tebow, but you get my point. 

Georgia will look to make Florida's offense one dimensional by eliminating the run game from the Gators.