WHAT: No. 12 Georgia (6-1, 4-1) vs No. 3 Florida (7-0. 5-0)
WHERE: Everbank Field, Jacksonville, Fla.
WHEN: Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
TV: CBS (Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson and Tracy Wolfson)
REPLAY: CSS Sunday 11 a.m., Wednesday 3 p.m.
RADIO: Georgia Bulldog Radio Network from IMG.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Georgia - QB Aaron Murray (6-1, 210, Jr.), RB Ken Malcome (6-0, 224, RSo.), RB Todd Gurley (6-1, 218, Fr.), RB Keith Marshall (5-11, 216, Fr.), LT Kenarious Gates (6-5, 318, Jr.), FLK Tavarres King (6-1, 200, Sr.), SE Marlon Brown (6-5, 216, Sr.), SE Michael Bennett (6-3, 204, RSo.), TE Arthur Lynch (6-5, 258, Jr.), OLB Jarvis Jones (6-3, 241, Jr.), N/DE John Jenkins (6-3, 358, Sr.), ILB Alec Ogletree (6-3, 232, Jr.),ILB Michael Gilliard (6-2, 230, Sr.), ILB Amarlo Herrera (6-2, 245, So.), SS Shawn Williams (6-1, 217, Sr.), CB Damian Swann (5-11, 189, So.), FS Bacarri Rambo (6-0, 210, Sr.), CB Sanders Commings (6-2, 118, Sr.), K Marshall Morgan (6-3, 201, Fr.). Florida - QB Jeff Driskel (6-4, 237., So.), RB Mike Gillislee (5-11, 209, Sr.), LT Xavier Nixon (6-6, 316, Sr.), LG James Wilson (6-4, 323, Sr.), F Trey Burton (6-3, 228, Jr.), TE Jordan Reed (6-3, 243, Jr.), DE Dominique Easley (6-2, 280, Jr.), DE Lerente McGray (6-3, 249, Sr.), Nose Omar Hunter (6-0, 313, Sr.), DT Sharrif Floyd (6-3, 3-3, Jr.), Sam Neiron Ball (6-3, 231, RSo.), Mike Jonathan Bostic (6-1, 246, Sr.), Will Jelani Jenkins (6-0, 237, Jr.), SS Matt Elam (5-10, 202, Jr.), CB Jaylen Watkins (6-0, 187, Jr.).
Not a lot needs to be said. If Florida wins, the Gators wrap up the SEC East and will play in the Georgia Dome for the SEC Championship. If Georgia wins, the Bulldogs will continue to control its own destiny, but will need victories over Ole Miss and Auburn in order to advance.
Defensive end Abry Jones is out for the game after injuring his ankle last week against Kentucky. Left guard Dallas Lee has also been slowed by an ankle injury, but his expected to play. Linebacker Jarvis Jones is expected to play after sitting out last week's game with a sprained ankle that he suffered in the fourth quarter against South Carolina.
Florida offense vs. Georgia defense
Senior Mike Gillislee is finally the Gators' feature back in his final season in Gainesville, and he is getting the job done. Gillislee has 139 carries for 652 yards and seven touchdowns on the season, and he has proven that he can handle the pounding between the tackles against the big boys of the SEC. He has been quiet for the last couple of weeks, but had a huge game against LSU earlier in the month with 34 carries for 146 yards and two scores. The Gators don't use him much as receiver as he has only caught five passes for 23 yards on the season, but he does have three 100-yard games, and will probably be licking his chops against a Georgia defense that has been consistently sub par against the run for three straight weeks. Other than Gillislee, the Gators don't use their other tailbacks much as Mack Brown and Matt Jones have combined for just 49 carries on the season. Most of those attempts have been in mop up duty.
• Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel is another one of those dangerous dual-threat quarterbacks that can kill a team with his legs, something the Bulldogs have not done a good job with all year. They'll need to find some answers to slow the run on Saturday.
• Although Driskel will command a lot of the attention, running back Mike Gillislee certainly can't be overlooked, either. Florida is going to attempt to pound the football right down the Bulldogs' throat.
• Although Florida will look to grind the ball out against the Bulldogs, Georgia's defense can't be lulled to sleep like it was against South Carolina when Connor Shaw - another running quarterback - was able to hit some big-time plays through the air.
"They're very much similar to LSU - pound the ball, play good special teams, be patient and in time be able to physically take over the game," Richt said. "That's how LSU's been doing it, Alabama's been doing it that way and Florida's been modeling it after that way as well." - Mark Richt.
Florida defense vs. Georgia offense
The Florida defensive line is extremely talented and athletic. It is tough to pinpoint who leads the group for sure, but that distinction would probably go to one of two juniors in Dominque Easley or Shariff Floyd. Floyd leads the group with five tackles for a loss, but Easley appears to be their emotional leader and is a disruptive force up front. Both guys have the ability to play inside with their size or outside with their athleticism. Senior Larentee McCray and Easley lead the defensive linemen in sacks with two a piece, and if the Gators have a weakness, it is their lack of an elite pass rusher up front. They do a good job pushing the pocket and can force a quarterback out of the pocket, but they usually have to bring extra men to get serious pressure. Senior Omar Hunter is the Gator's fourth defensive lineman, and he is having his best season to date. Hunter routinely commands double teams, and has the lateral quickness to make plays up and down the line of scrimmage.
• Florida is one of the nation's best when it comes to forcing turnovers. Just ask South Carolina. Obviously, Georgia can't repeat the Gamecocks' mistakes if it wants to win the game.
• Georgia will need to do something it hasn't been able to do in its past two games - run the ball. It won't be easy against a tough Florida defense, but the Bulldogs will need some semblance of success in order to make the play-action passing game as effective as it will need to be.
• Another obvious key, but the Bulldogs will need a solid game from quarterback Aaron Murray who will need to find his rhythm early and avoid the same slow start that haunted his performance two years ago.
" It goes back to what your core values and beliefs in what you got to do and who you are. Just cause it doesn't work early doesn't mean you need to start changing what you're doing. That's something I credit Brent (Pease) with," Muschamp said. "A lot of offensive coordinators are impatient. When it doesn't work early, you settle into that frustration and starting changing who you are and what you are and that's the worst thing you can do. You need to stick to your game plan, regardless of the score, especially early in the game. It's a 60 minute game." - Florida coach Will Muschamp.
There's a lot of negativity out there in the Bulldog Nation right now after the team's 35-7 loss to South Carolina and last week's 29-24 win over Kentucky. Florida appears to be rolling, and in reality have surprised most of the experts with their 7-0 start. Will Muschamp deserves a lot of credit for getting Florida back in the national picture so quickly, and there's little doubt the Gators will continue to be forces to deal with in the years to come. For Georgia, it's going to be interesting to see how the defense responds after being called out by Shawn Williams. The guess here is they will indeed respond. Prediction - Georgia 21, Florida 20.
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