Florida is vulnerable. But can Georgia do anything about it?

Florida is still No. 1 but the reality is that the Gators are bringing a very vulnerable football team to Jacksonville on Saturday to play Georgia.

The offense, which was unstoppable a year ago, is simply not playing well. There is no question that the Gators miss offensive coordinator Dan Mullen, now the head coach at Mississippi State. But more than that Florida misses the ability to stretch the field vertically as they did a year ago with Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy. Nobody is scared that these guys are going to go deep anymore.

 Tim Tebow is starting to press a little and is trying to do too much. He was sacked six times against Arkansas, a game in which Florida turned it over four times. Tebow threw two pick-sixes against Mississippi State, which meant the Gators had to work way too hard to win 29-19 in Starkville (You may insert your officiating reference here).

 The defense is beat up and tired because it’s been on the field too much. Linebacker Brandon Spikes (groin) and several other defensive starters who sat out last week, however, may be back.

 Urban Meyer is taking the temperature of his team to make sure that guys don’t start pointing fingers. If I’m a Florida defensive player, I’m wondering why my offense is suddenly missing in action and is starting to give away points.

 The bottom line is that Florida has all kind of issues. They have a perfect 7-0 record but are playing less than perfectly. They look like a football team that is trying to tread water until Dec. 5 and the SEC championship game, when they expect to turn it up a notch. That’s a dangerous place to be, mentally and physically, in this league.

 But for the life of me I’m just not sure that Georgia can do anything to take advantage of it.

 Sure, Georgia has had a week off since beating Vanderbilt. But what is Georgia actually going to do on the field that would give them a chance to win this football game?

 Georgia has gone down to Jacksonville many times with the lesser talented football team. But all through the history of this rivalry the Bulldogs have found a way to win because players stepped it up and, in some cases, played the best game of their lives.

In 1966 Florida and quarterback Steve Spurrier were favored to win their first-ever SEC championship. Spurrier was on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy. But a pair of defensive All-Americans, Bill Stanfill and George Patton, got after Spurrier in the second half and Georgia won, 27-10.

 In 1975 Florida was supposed to finally win the SEC championship with one of their more talented teams ever. But Erk Russell’s first “Junkyard Dawg” defense would not let the Gators score a touchdown. They kept it close so that tight end Richard Appleby could throw an 80-yard touchdown pass to Gene Washington and stun the Gators 10-7.

 In 1985 Georgia upset No. 1 Florida in Jacksonville because Tim Worley and Keith Henderson just ran the ball right through the Gators and defensive end Greg “Muddy” Waters had a career day rushing Florida quarterback Kerwin Bell and Georgia won 24-3.

 In 1997 Mike Bobo played one of his best games as a Georgia quarterback. Robert Edwards and Hines Ward were magnificent. Jim Donnan called his best game as Georgia’s head coach and the Bulldogs dominated the No. 6 Gators 37-17.

 In 2007 Knowshon Moreno ran for 188 yards, a career high, and Matt Stafford threw three touchdown passes. Florida was vulnerable that day because Tebow had a bad shoulder. Georgia rolled up 413 yards and beat No. 9 Florida 42-30.

 But as you look at this Georgia team, you wonder: Who can step up and do something exceptional?  Can somebody on this team have a career-defining moment and at least put Georgia in a position to win?

 I think QB Joe Cox is that kind of guy. I know A.J. Green is. Linebacker Rennie Curran is a warrior. But look at the numbers and tell me how Georgia wins this game:

 103rd in rushing (108 yards per game)

 84th in scoring defense (27.7 ppg)

 119th in turnover margin (minus-11)

 117th in penalties (9.29 per game)

 90th in passing defense (238.29 ypg)

 70th in total defense (365.57 ypg)

 95th in time of possession (28:28)

 The response to that question should be that the numbers don’t matter. It only matters how these two teams play for 60 minutes in Jacksonville. In the past some flawed Georgia teams have found a way to put it together and have a magical afternoon against Florida. But what about this team?

 I’m not here to beat up on a Georgia team that has clearly had its struggles since a 3-1 start. All I know is that I was down on the field for the last five minutes of the Tennessee-Alabama game last Saturday and I saw two football teams playing their guts out to win a huge rivalry game. I saw some great players make some great plays with the game on the line.

 At Bryant-Denny Stadium I saw the kind of effort Georgia is going to have to give to have any kind of shot in Jacksonville. I just wonder: Does this Georgia team have that kind of effort in them?

 Please follow me on Twitter:

http://twitter.com/MrCFB

340 comments Add your comment

Got 12?

October 28th, 2009
1:41 pm

If the Dawgs can show some intestinal fortitude, it will be a good game. But based on the mental toughness UGA has shown to this point, I’ll go with UF 24-13. (UGA tacks on a junk TD late.)

Hunker down you hairy dogs!

Bubba

October 28th, 2009
1:42 pm

Herschel did it in three.

Redneck Hypocrisy

October 28th, 2009
1:44 pm

Nerd hypocrisy, Paul Johnson suspended Tarrant for an entire year immediately after his arrest. Since those charges proved to be false and a complete fabrication, he was allowed to re-join the team this year. In other words, there was no crime committed. And even though it was a petty crime by Vince Vance, he still got arrested. I’m sure Richt would have made an example out of him if Tennessee Tech was on the schedule for Saturday. Biggest hypocrite coaching in college football today.

robodawg

October 28th, 2009
1:44 pm

I expect our guys will get an A for effort in this game. Not sure it will be enough though. Florida’s defense is just so good, their offense doesn’t have to do much. And their special teams … oh my.

But you just never know which way the ball will bounce. We can win, but we’ll need some luck on our side. Something that hasn’t happened much for us in this series for too long now.

Snellville fan

October 28th, 2009
1:46 pm

Does anyone on the UGA Team have a driver’s license. Surprising Mr. Vance not suspended befor ehtis very important gane, guess it will be Kentucky he is suspended.

Fleischman in Chi Town's bed

October 28th, 2009
1:46 pm

Fred if it’s so mindless then WTF are you doing here?

and what are “actives” ???

Bubba

October 28th, 2009
1:47 pm

Here’s hypocrisy: Blathering Tech fans who haven’t attended a game in 5 years.

Redneck Hypocrisy

October 28th, 2009
1:48 pm

Good question Snellville fan- I don’t think any of the UGA players are allowed to drive after their prior indiscretions from high school or in Athens. My bet is that there are more details related to these arrests that are conveniently swept under the rug.

To all recruits, please come to Athens where you can do whatever the heck you want and only be suspended if we are playing a cupcake team that week.

Nerd Hypocrisy

October 28th, 2009
1:48 pm

Wow, the tools are patting their coach on the back for suspending a kid a R-A-P-E charge?!?! LOL, you fools are desperate. Yeah, I think that would be the right thing to do. Suspending a player driving to class that didn’t obey a traffic sign is not the same thing, as surprising as it might be!!!

Yeah, it’s amazing that an Atlanta judge found the rapist innocent. I suspect OJ is a hero to Tarrant as well.

Redneck Hypocrisy

October 28th, 2009
1:49 pm

Bubba(very fitting name), this Tech fan hasn’t missed a game in 5 years. Now go back to your trailer park.

Got 12?

October 28th, 2009
1:50 pm

Old School Gator,

Regarding the Tebow v. Herschel debate, teams play 2-4 more games per year than they did the old days. With that in mind, none of the old school records will stand for long.

I feel all records should be converted into per game averages with at least a 10-game minimum.

Redneck Hypocrisy

October 28th, 2009
1:50 pm

He was driving without a license and no telling what other infractions have been swept under the rug. Somebody should drug test him but of course that won’t happen under Richt’s watch.

Bubba

October 28th, 2009
1:51 pm

Sure you have. LOL

Junkyard Joe

October 28th, 2009
1:51 pm

If ron zook can take a horrible flordia team and some how beat a strong georgia team in 2003, coach richt can do the same on 2009

Sam

October 28th, 2009
1:52 pm

Walker did it in less games per season along with playing an entire season less than Tebow. Hardly apples to apples.

Bubba

October 28th, 2009
1:52 pm

Will NCAA put an asterisk beside Tebow’s TD record?

Redneck Hypocrisy

October 28th, 2009
1:52 pm

q-tip playa, that Tech scumbag is probably doing about the same as Quincy Carter and Odell Thurman. Glass houses and stones don’t mix.

Redneck Hypocrisy

October 28th, 2009
1:53 pm

Bubba, LOL at your team along with the rest of the country.

Got 12?

October 28th, 2009
1:54 pm

Agreed, Sam.

Bubba

October 28th, 2009
1:56 pm

Redneck, who was Tech’s coach the last game you attended? Dodd or Pepper?

muck

October 28th, 2009
1:57 pm

Hey dumbarse Redneck Hypocrisy, Carter was a PROUD GT commitment before he decided to play baseball, you moron.

Gatorzone

October 28th, 2009
1:58 pm

Bubba

October 28th, 2009
1:52 pm
Will NCAA put an asterisk beside Tebow’s TD record?

WHy should they? Herschel was the best RB EVER! I will give you that, but he left on his own accord after 3 years. It is a rushing td record, whether it took 3 or 4 years is the player’s choice. No one forced Hersch to go play for the NJ Generals.

Cherokee

October 28th, 2009
1:59 pm

Dog Island Gator It has taken Tebow 4 years to get there. Took Herschel 3 years plus Herschel’s bowl td’s are not counted in his total. Check the records if you don’t believe me.So drop all the hype about how Tebow is breaking Herschel’s record.

Bubba

October 28th, 2009
2:00 pm

Herschel 3, Tebow 4. 3 is less than 4. ASTERISK!!!

GMan

October 28th, 2009
2:03 pm

Tony, where do you get your information: “The defense is beat up and tired because it’s been on the field too much.”
UF Time of possession YTD: 29:18
UGA Time of possession YTD: 30:21

I certainly wouldn’t call nearly half the game as tiring for the defense. Now, 3rd down efficiency is more of an indicator. UF is #1 in the NCAA for 3rd down conversion while UGA is #24.

Samford

October 28th, 2009
2:04 pm

As a Dawg man I’m not ashamed to admit I’m a huge fan of Tebow. I love his fire for the game and he’s beyond a class act. I wish him all the best and hope/believe he’ll be a great pro QB one day. But comparing his TD record to Walker’s is just crazy talk. Not only did Walker do it in a shorter amount of time, but Walker was responsible for nearly 90% of moving the ball up and down the field. Tebow is getting the glory after his temmates carried the ball down the field. Nowhere near the same thing.

future engineer

October 28th, 2009
2:06 pm

Does anyone have any shirtless pictures of CPJ they can e-mail me??? ASAP!!!!!

Junkyard Joe

October 28th, 2009
2:09 pm

is that you scott?

Call it Like It Is

October 28th, 2009
2:09 pm

NO!

Gators roll big as this is Tebow’s last FL GA game!

Enough Said!

aarh

October 28th, 2009
2:11 pm

Not to sounds like a conspiracy theorist, but FL. should have lost to Ark. if not for the bad call, & even against Miss. St. there was a bad call, that may or may not have costed them the game…even if it didn’t it could have been even closer. On the other hand, UGA had the bad call against LSU, which may or may not have cost them that game. I’m not saying that UGA will win, & I agree that FL should be favored. I just thin UGAs definitely a more talented team than some of these other teams that FL has struggled against, & UGA has also played a tougher schedule. I just think UGA has the pontential to bear FL. Again, not saying it will happen, but just that there’s a chance. It seems like any time people say that a team doesn’t have a chance…that team so often pulls it off. It really seems to happen a lot w/ UGA. I just know from experience that anything can happen. This yr. reminds me of 2 yrs. ago….when Tebow is carrying the team, & running the ball a lot. FL. had more success last yr. When he was able to get more players involved in the offense. The last time we won was when he carried the team like this, & he also isn’t putting up near the numbers that he put up that season as well. Who knows, UGA may get blown out, but I’m just saying. Fl hasn’t blown too many teams out…so I’m not so sure I’ll buy into the theory that it’ll be a blowout like in yrs. past. I just think if UGA plays a good game, & they’ll most likely have to limit the turnovers, & as long as they’re not intimited by FL., which seems to be the case in the past sometimes…then they can win.

Shankit

October 28th, 2009
2:20 pm

Ohio STate Fan
What are you doing on this site badgering Georgia?
Ya’ll are 0-9 against SEC teams in bowl appearances.
Ya’ll are 0-2 against Georgia in bowl appearances.
In the last ten years, Georgia has defeated ya’ll twice,
Wisconsin twice (with Ron Dayne), Michigan State and
Purdue twice.
Perhaps Georgia should switch from the SEC to the Big TEn.
We would then become the mighty powerhouse ya’ll think
ya’ll are, and contend for a BCS every year.

Shankit

October 28th, 2009
2:30 pm

Hank Aaron broke Babe’s home run record.
Discount the fact that Hank played longer,
had over 2,000 more at bats, did not have
a 20% intention base on balls by opposing
pitchers, and Turner moved
the left field fence in to 325 feet.

Fred

October 28th, 2009
2:35 pm

Fleischman – If all you can comment on is my typo, well you have just proven my point.

Lindsey

October 28th, 2009
2:48 pm

s_k_u_l_l_s that was awesome, I love it!! Go DAWGS!!!

What Ever

October 28th, 2009
2:50 pm

So – CMR just showed why his team lacks complete discipline. A player is arrested (regardless of what for – he was still arrested) and Richt says that he wasn’t going to punish Vance with lack of playing time or suspension for this week’s game – yea – only because they are playing FL. He said the matter would be dealt with internally. Yea – code word for he and Vance are having a good laugh after praying for forgiveness. And we wonder WHY UGA has a discipline problem and is 117th (out of 119) in the nation in penalties. Look no further than the example with Vance.

What Ever

October 28th, 2009
2:52 pm

To aarh – you say “Not to sounds like a conspiracy theorist, but FL. should have lost to Ark. if not for the bad call” – so you think that one call (in which FL was STILL in the lead) made ALL of the difference in the game?? Like really – ARK is HAD to score and you mean that you don’t think that FL would have been given any further opportunity to put their offense on the field?? Get real

crypuppies

October 28th, 2009
2:53 pm

The wins hightlighted by Mr. CF occur about every 10 years. UGAG is not due for a big win against FL until 2017.

Old School Gator

October 28th, 2009
2:59 pm

The Dawgs were ranked number one at the begining of the year and did what with it? Nada, Zilch, Nothing and then proved to be the losers that they always have been. Their just jealous that the Gators were ranked number one and still are. Cox leads the SEC in thrown interceptions. We look forward to having our Defense score some extra TD’s. As far as the Timeouts last year, We did it legally. The Dawgs didn’t so you get what you reap.

G8R GRAD

October 28th, 2009
3:02 pm

all I know is, the boys in Vegas see UF as a 17 point favorite.
So, I’m going with that.

GO GATORS!

Shankit

October 28th, 2009
3:07 pm

crypuppies
Using your logic for the past ten years rating Georgia vs. Florida,
let’s do another equation.
For the past ten years, Florida has only won four of ten bowl appearances.
Using the same logic, this and next year should be losses for Florida in
their bowl appearances, especially if they have to play a team from
Michigan or Miami.

Alabama jack

October 28th, 2009
3:09 pm

you can always tell a daw, you justt can’t tell them much. I hope Tebow and friends lay a hundred on them and then use all three time outs in the last minute. About all the dawgs can do is pee on the bus tires, and they don’t do that unless a license coach is around to supervise, since none of the players apparently have licenses.

Shankit

October 28th, 2009
3:10 pm

Old School Gator
You mention The year Georgia was ranked No. 1 and did not do NADA.
Wasn’t that the year Georgia won the Sugar Bowl and
Florida lost to Michigan in that bowl game in Florida?

Gatorzone

October 28th, 2009
3:16 pm

Shankit, wasn’t that last year and not 2007?

JacketPhaggot

October 28th, 2009
3:17 pm

I think the Athens cops are all Tech grads that couldn’t find a job. I’ve never heard of a program with more lame “arrests” than what UGA endures. Very odd…..

Gatorzone

October 28th, 2009
3:19 pm

UGa won the Sugar Bowl against Hawaii the same year that UF lost to Michigan. The next year (2008) UGA came out preseason #1 and fell apart.

mightyKC

October 28th, 2009
3:25 pm

“But comparing his TD record to Walker’s is just crazy talk. Not only did Walker do it in a shorter amount of time, but Walker was responsible for nearly 90% of moving the ball up and down the field.”

samford, how do you reconcile Herschel having the all time SEC record for career rushes?!! c’mon man, and that “walker was responsible for moving the ball”…comment is complete garbage.

you’re telling me that you think herschel has more rushing yards than time does passing/rushing combined?! uh, wrong. so not only is tebow responsible for more of his teams yards, and more of his team’s % of yards, he is scoring more TDs on 400 fewer carries.

but hey, you’re just as unbiased as the next guy, right?

bdawg

October 28th, 2009
3:42 pm

As much as it pains me to say this- we might as well save our gas money. if crompton looks good against us just think of how good we can make tebow look. Our db’s suck

co dawg

October 28th, 2009
3:42 pm

let’s all cross our fingers that the refs make good calls this game. win or lose, i don’t want to hear anymore about bad calls.

and it’s nice to see that ohio state fan move on. ohio st needs to win a bowl game against the sec before they get any respect around here. shoot, that conference needs another team and a title game. big ten…yawn…football.

we all know the truth…BCS is a pageant and nothing more. SEC Title game is THE game that matters.

Elliot

October 28th, 2009
3:42 pm

mightyKC,

How dare you dishonor one of the best college bands ever by calling yourself after their biggest hit and then act like a retard. Tebow doesn’t even sniff the elite QB’s in SEC history passing wise, and he has less than half of Walker’s rushing yardage, yet he’s going to break his TD RUSHING record? He’s getting the TD’s after everyone else does the work. Very disgraceful.

Elliot

October 28th, 2009
3:43 pm

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