No. 7 Georgia meets No. 9 Friday in the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” on Saturday in a Week 9 matchup that comes with both SEC and College Football Playoff implications.
Both teams had a bye week to prepare for this SEC East showdown. Georgia (6-1, 4-1 SEC) and Florida (6-1, 4-1) each have suffered a conference loss. The Bulldogs remain the defending SEC champion, and they won this game with ease last year under coach Kirby Smart. The Gators, however, look ahead of schedule under first-year coach Dan Mullen.
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Here’s a look at the need-to-know information about the Gators and Bulldogs heading into the matchup:
How to watch Florida-Georgia
Florida and Georgia will kick off at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at TIAA Bank Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla. The game will be televised nationally on CBS but can also be streamed online at fuboTV.
Florida-Georgia betting odds
Georgia opened as a 6.5-point favorite, but that line has since bumped to seven points. The Bulldogs are 2-3 against the spread in SEC play. Florida, meanwhile, is 4-1 against the spread in conference games. The Bulldogs are 2-3 against the spread in SEC play. Florida, meanwhile, is 4-1 against the spread in conference games.
Florida-Georgia all-time series
Georgia leads the all-time series 51-43-2. The teams have split eight meetings since 2010, and the Bulldogs won 42-7 in 2017.
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Three trends to know ahead of Florida-Georgia
— Both teams have top-15 scoring defenses. Georgia ranks No. 13 in the FBS (16.3 ppg.), two spots ahead of Florida (16.6). Both teams also rank in the top 25 in yards allowed per game.
— The Gators and Bulldogs also have almost identical numbers when it comes to red-zone offense. The Gators have a .897 scoring percentage (scoring 27 times on 29 trips), while the Bulldogs have a .893 percentage (25 of 28). Georgia has 19 touchdowns to Florida’s 17.
— Florida isn’t a fast-start team. Even in their five-game win streak, the Gators are only outscoring opponents 20-17 in the first quarter. That’s a trend the Bulldogs could take advantage of.
Three things to watch in Florida-Georgia
Pass rush. Georgia is tied for 117th in the FBS with just nine sacks this season. How will the Bulldogs put pressure on Feleipe Franks, who has taken just eight sacks this season? On the flip side, Florida is tied for 22nd in the FBS with 21 sacks and will look to turn up the pressure on Jake Fromm.
Gators’ 1-2 punch. Florida’s tag-team of Jordan Scarlett and Lamical Perine each average 5.4 yards per carry. How much success will the Gators have against a Bulldogs’ run defense that allows 136.3 yards per game? Success on the ground would give Florida a chance.
The big play. If it’s a tight, all it takes is one big play from a vertical receiver to make a difference. Keep an eye on Florida’s Freddie Swain (20.5 ypc, four touchdowns) and Georgia’s Jeremiah Holloman (21.3 ypc, two touchdowns).
Florida-Georgia stat that matters
The Bulldogs have played the Gators twice under Kirby Smart. Last season, Georgia rushed for 292 yards in a 42-7 victory. The previous year, the Bulldogs had 19 carries for 21 yards in a 24-10 loss. It all starts with running the ball for Georgia’s offense, and if that’s there early they should be in good shape.
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This is an SEC East rivalry that can be unpredictable, and it could be tight early given the stakes in this game. It’s on Fromm and Franks to keep the chains moving on third down and not turn the ball over. Florida has a plus-nine turnover margin, while Georgia is at plus-two. The pressure is on the Bulldogs to protect the football, and they get enough in the ground game that it’s not an issue. The fourth quarter should be fun.
Florida-Georgia final score
Georgia 28, Florida 21
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