#9 Florida (6-2) welcomed #7 Georgia (7-1) to Jacksonville this weekend. The Gators donned all white get ups and we’re ready to de-rail the Georgia train in similar fashion to the way they dismantled another contender, LSU earlier in the season. However the two headed pass rush monster of Jachai Polite and Jabari Zuniga failed to record a single sack on Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm. The junior took advantage, shredding the Gators defense with a precise passing game including three beautiful touchdown throws and more than a little help from his backfield who cumulatively rushed for over 170 yards.
They were watched by former two-weight World Boxing Champion Evander Holyfield, supporting his son Elijah who brings a real bite to this backfield.
Georgia’s offense dominants
The Georgia offense scored on their first two drives of the day, marching down the field on the opener before a Florida defensive stand had them settling for a field goal. After the defense forced a turnover deep in Florida territory, the Gators defense looked set to force the Bulldogs into settling for three again. Fromm wasn’t going to settle for three; he uncorked a sublime throw to the back corner of the end zone and connected with receiver Jeremiah Holloman on a expertly executed fade route for the score. This throw, in that moment, showed Fromm’s immense talent and mental fortitude.
Games of this magnitude require a solid team effort to win. Georgia’s offense was fantastic all day and the defense stepped up in a big way to compliment them. Three takeaways including two on the first two Florida drives of the game set up the offense in great field position. It allowed the ‘dogs to gain an early advantage they never truly relinquished.
Whilst there are certainly one or two star names such as DeAndre Baker in this group, it is the lesser heralded players contributions that have the biggest effect on team performance. These players will need to keep stepping up and showing every game for the rest of the year, especially if Georgia is to have any shot of winning the SEC.
The Bulldogs road to the playoffs keeps throwing up tough opponents. Next weekend they host the surprise of the season #12 Kentucky Wildcats in Athens. Georgia should take care of business, but it will be the test that defines the SEC East. It will set up a conference showdown with the winner of the SEC West decider between Alabama and LSU.
I expect Fromm and his teammates to win next weekend and make it to the SEC championship game in little over a months time. Having said that, I can’t see them getting past Alabama who look almost unbeatable on current form. However, with a two year starter at quarterback and a host of talent that will move on to the league; it would be silly to completely count out the ‘dogs just yet.
The rankings in this article are from the AP top 25 dated Sunday October 21st and the records of the teams mentioned are correct as at October 28th.
This guest piece is by Alex Chinery @iamalexchinery.
Photo image courtesy DawgNation.