UGA Football: Florida is Last Statement Game for Bulldogs

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UGA Football is perhaps the only CFB superpower that most people feel has nothing to prove until further notice. However, they have a telling match coming up this weekend, as they head into Jacksonville to face the Florida Gators.

The rivalry between the Dawgs and Gators has been rather competitive historically (UGA leads, 53-44 all-time). Not only that, but football fans have criticized Georgia for their reputation of blowing big games, and this game is quite big.

To understand how Georgia should fare in this matchup, we need to know UF’s strengths, weaknesses, and how the Bulldogs can/will exploit them.

2021 Florida as a Whole

The Gators have not looked their best so far this season, sporting an undesirable record of 4-3. That does not mean that they are incapable of playing formidably, though. With both solid talent and personnel, they are still one of the better SEC forces on paper. With that in mind, a physical game is to be expected; just because a team may be inferior doesn’t mean it can’t push you around some.

Looking at their losses, the Gators have fallen to Alabama, Kentucky and LSU, respectively. Those defeats are certainly nothing to be ashamed of, especially considering that all of them were decided by seven points or less. But nonetheless, they still illustrate Florida’s limitations.

Said limitations, in this case, fall heavily on inconsistency. Against the Crimson Tide, UF had a slow start before bringing the game within two. They went on to fall to the Wildcats, 20-13, and then the Tigers, 49-42. Nothing about those three performances line up even remotely. However, all of them show how the Gators couldn’t tie a bow on a big game (the exact flaw that people typically associate with Georgia).

How UGA Football Can Survive

“Survive” might not be the best way to put it. If the Dawgs play as well as they have so far this year, then they should control the flow of the game from beginning to end. Rather, it should be asked what all Georgia could do to win as convincingly as possible.

To put it simply, the only thing the Bulldogs have to do is prove their ability to score, as LSU did in Florida’s last game. If UGA Football wants to silence their doubters, they have to look complete on this big of a stage. The country already knows that their defense is great, but the offense is still a question mark for some (for whatever reason). That should not be the case for much longer, though. If the Tigers can drop 49 points on the Gators, Georgia should score no less than 30.

Score Prediction

ESPN currently has the Dawgs listed as 14-point favorites, and the FPI gives them an 80 percent chance to prevail. I, however, believe that they should take this one by more than just two scores.

Georgia should not only win big, but Florida should both feel and look out of their element once the game clock has hit all-zeros. I have Florida getting a couple of scores worth of points, but it will be all for naught as the Bulldogs will back them up against the wall early and never look back. I’ll take Georgia with the beatdown win, 38-16.

The Takeaway for UGA Football

After the Florida game, the Dawgs will head back to Athens to face Missouri, before visiting the Tennessee Volunteers, hosting Charleston Southern, and visiting rival Georgia Tech. While Tennessee is on the rise, and Neyland Stadium is not an easy place to play as a guest, they should be no challenge for Georgia. That goes without mentioning that the Gators have already whooped the Vols, 38-14. If Florida is a win, then Tennessee is; and if they both are, then no one else even stands a chance.