Dan Mullen and the Florida Gators get the monkey off their backs as they handle the Georgia Bulldogs. The Gators defeated the Bulldogs 44-28 on the banks of the St. John’s River.
Florida Gators Handle Georgia Bulldogs
The Gators got off to a slow start as the Bulldogs score two touchdowns within the first three minutes of the game including a first play 75-yard rushing touchdown by Zamir White. After those two quick scores by Georgia, Florida was able to get back in the game and eventually get a big lead.
Florida quarterback Kyle Trask had a career night against the top-ranked defense in the SEC. Trask continues to break records this season as he became the first quarterback in SEC history to throw four or more touchdowns in five games. He also has the most passing yards record in a regular-season game in Florida history.
Since Mullen was hired to be the head coach at Florida, the Gators have been able to do some great things. Mullen turned a four-win team into a ten-win team and won the Peach Bowl. He made a ten-win team into an eleven-win team and beat the Virginia Cavaliers in the Orange Bowl. Mullen has done some really nice things at Florida but he finally did something that he hadn’t done yet at Florida, beat the Georgia Bulldogs.
The Georgia Bulldogs came out of the gates firing on all cylinders with two quick scores in their first two drives. However, the Bulldogs quickly struggled to put points on the board on offense and their defense struggled to stop Florida’s potent offense.
It was a rough night for the Georgia offense, especially at the quarterback position. Stetson Bennett only completed five out of 16 passing attempts for 78 yards with a touchdown and interception. Bennett was then pulled for D’Wan Mathis who originally was the starting Georgia quarterback. Mathis wasn’t any better as he only completed four out of 13 passes for 34 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.
The Georgia rushing attack still had a good night as they 165 rushing yards on 29 carries and a touchdown. White had a nice game. He had seven carries for 105 yards and a 75-yard rushing touchdown.
Kearis Jackson led the Bulldogs in receiving with three catches for 48 yards and a touchdown. Freshman wide receiver Marcus Rosemy also had his first career touchdown reception but then suffered a gruesome leg injury that ended the game for him.
On defense, Georgia was down three starters in star safety Richard LeCounte and their defensive tackles Jordan Davis and Julian Rochester. Georgia really missed those guys as the Florida offense continued to roll in the win.
Linebacker Nakobe Dean led the Bulldogs in tackles with 15 including 10 solos. Former #1 JUCO transfer Jermaine Johnson had the only sack in the game for Georgia. Eric Stokes had the biggest play of the game for the Georgia defense with a 37-yard pick-six. The Bulldog also gave up 571 yards of offense which is the most they’ve given up this season.
Florida Gators Offense
The Florida Gators were able to handle Georgia. This snapped their three-game losing streak to the Bulldogs. The Gators are now in first place in the SEC East. Mullen had his guys prepared for this matchup and the team didn’t blink when they were quickly down two scores.
The Gators offense continues to roll with another impressive performance from Trask. He completed 30 out of 47 passes for 474 yards with four touchdowns and an interception.
While the Florida rushing attack didn’t have their best night against a stout Georgia front seven. The Gators had a total of 97 rushing yards and a score. Junior running back Dameon Pierce led the Gators in rushing with 15 carries for 52 yards and a touchdown. While the running backs didn’t get many rushing yards, they were very involved in the receiving game.
Redshirt-junior running back Malik Davis led the Gators in receiving with five receptions for 100 yards. Redshirt-freshman running back Nay’Quan Wright had three catches for 71 yards. Pierce also had two receptions for 41 yards.
Kyle Pitts had two impressive catches on the night before being targeted by Georgia safety Lewis Cine. Pitts had two receptions for 59 yards and a touchdown. Pitts now holds the Florida record for most receiving touchdowns by a tight end in school history.
With Pitts out, Florida needed backup tight end, Kemore Gamble, to step up and he did. Gamble had three catches for 51 yards and his first career touchdown. Wide receivers Justin Shorter and Trevon Grimes also had back-to-back weeks in which they’ve caught touchdown passes.
Florida Gators Defense
The Florida Gators defense was able to handle the Georgia offense. The Florida defense held Georgia to under 300 yards on total offense including only 113 passing yards. Defensive tackle Kyree Campbell recorded his first sack of the season. Defensive ends Andrew Chatfield and Princely Umanmielen shared a sack late in the game.
The Gators had three interceptions which were the first since freshman defensive tackle Gervon Dexter caught a tipped pass in week one against Ole Miss.
The Florida Gators will back home next Saturday to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks. This will be a homecoming game for Arkansas quarterback, Feleipe Franks. He was the starting quarterback at Florida for the past two seasons. The Razorbacks are 3-3 coming off a 24-13 home win against the Tennessee Volunteers. You can watch this game on Saturday night at 7 pm EST on ESPN.