With the recent shake-up in the Eastern Division, Georgia has a chance to get back in the race with a win over Florida.
After back-to-back conference losses against Missouri and Vanderbilt, Georgia’s national title hopes are long gone. But the Bulldogs have a chance to revive their season on Saturday against the Gators.
Georgia will return starting sophomore tailback Todd Gurley along with junior wide receiver Michael Bennett on the offensive side of the ball. Josh Harvey-Clemons will also return for the Dawgs on the defensive side.
The Bulldogs are a 3-point favorite against the Gators in Jacksonville, Fla. If Georgia is to jump back into the race for the East, they must first win against its rival, Florida.
Good health: Georgia won’t be a completely healthy unit on Saturday, but it’ll be healthier than it’s been in a while. With Gurley and Bennett returning, the Dawgs may be able to return to the high-powered offense that averaged nearly 40 points against LSU and South Carolina. Harvey-Clemons will return after an injury against Vanderbilt, having him available to stop the run will be a bonus for Georgia.
Michael Bennett: Quarterback Aaron Murray has been ineffective in the air since wide receivers Justin Scott-Wesley and Michael Bennett went out against Tennessee. Against Tennessee, Georgia averaged 315 yards through the air. With Bennett out, Georgia slipped to 202 yards receiving. Against Missouri and Vanderbilt, it was clear that Murray had not yet reached a comfort level with the younger receivers on the depth chart. Bennett has gained Murray’s trust, so look for them to connect often against Florida.
Special teams: Nearly all season long Georgia has had difficulty on special teams. Florida ranks No. 103 in scoring offense, and Georgia’s special teams unit gives up an average of 10 points per game. If the Bulldogs can’t get it together they can expect Florida to capitalize on their mistakes.
Turnover battle: Offensively Georgia must limit the number of turnovers it creates. Against Vanderbilt, the Bulldogs had three turnovers and with so many members of this offensive unit still out, it is crucial that turnovers are limited. Defensively, turnovers must be forced. The Gators have turned the ball over 13 times this season; Georgia must continue to put the pressure on Florida to force turnovers.