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

WhiskeyDawg

October 28th, 2009
3:57 pm

Georgia will win this game.

CT_Jacket

October 28th, 2009
4:01 pm

I can’t stand UGA, but the media is making me hate UF even more. For the first time in my life, at least since I started at Tech in ‘88, I will be pulling for the Dawgs. This year, they have not shown that they are a #1 team, yet the media’s love affair with St. Tim blinds them from voting for anyone else. There aren’t a lot of #1 alternatives, but TCU, at this point, has earned it more than anyone else this year.

Cox hasn't seen a defense like this

October 28th, 2009
4:01 pm

Bama crushes UF this year? Crushes? Heck maybe they win but their offense is weak especially against their defense so I don’t think there will be any crushing going on. On to the excuse makers, a record is a record and these guys are just mad. It is ironic how Tebow might pass Walker against the “mighty” UGA defense who is ranked last in the SEC in points allowed per game.If this wasn’t something special there would be a lot more quarterbacks near that record. Vince Vance, he was arrested during the season, end O’ story. He is another criminal on the team. He should be suspended for at least one game no matter who or where they are playing. It won’t matter though, the Offense won’t do much against the Gator D, some field goals that’s about it.

Yellow=Piss

October 28th, 2009
4:08 pm

You’ve been schooling at Tech for 21 years, CT?

Jake

October 28th, 2009
4:10 pm

SEC is passing a new rule,, In 2010 Tony can not write any bad press or personal thoughts about games played. This includes his thoughts on all calls by officials.

djawjuh

October 28th, 2009
4:16 pm

I’m on the west coast so I just finished lunch while reading all the comments made, some funny, some not. I too have been in attendane or watching them on TV for 50 years. I saw the 27-10 win
over the Gators with the Evil Genius at the controls. I saw the 75 game, the 80 game all in person.
But that was then and this is now. Smell the coffee DAWG fans, we’re a bad team and Tony’s Georgia stats, shown in his article, prove it.

If I were a betting man, I say Meyer’s pregame talk to his team goes like this: “Guys, we’ve not been playing Gator football the last three games. We’ve struggled in all three. We should have wo going away. Against Georgia, we have an opportunity to make corrections, then go on to win the East, win the SEC championship and get another national title. You know what to do, now do it! Now let’s get ‘em!!!!!”

Please folks, I’m a DAWG lover but I am also a realist. What happened this or last year or any year is history. Stay in the present. Accept the fact, like it or not, we are a poorly coached team and will get bat up by one that plays hard nosed, SEC football. We’re closer to Clemson than we are to Gainesville in our style of play.

For the life of me I can’t see us having the offense necessary to win AND keep our defense off the field.

WE DO NOT HAVE A RUNNING GAME AND WITHOUT ONE WINNING IS NEXT TO IMPOSSIBLE. THERE IS ONE THING ABOUT GAMES PAST IN THE RICHT ERA, ON TOTAL, IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE OFFENSE. LAST YEAR’S DEBACLE CAME AS A RESULT OF STAFFORD’S PICS. HE WORE OUR DEFENSE OUT BECAUSE WE COULDN’ SUSTAIN DRIVES BECAUSE OF MISTAKES..

Beg to Differ

October 28th, 2009
4:20 pm

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

Yeah, the loser gets to be patty-caked into oblivion by the Mountain West Conference champ.

Delbert D.

October 28th, 2009
4:26 pm

UF: vulnerable. Alabama: vulnerable. Texas: vulnerable. Iowa: vulnerable. USC: vulnerable. Wouldn’t it be something if they all lose?

Not necessarily this weekend, mind you.

Boogy Man

October 28th, 2009
4:33 pm

Is this the blog that all the rednecks come to and write about OOH- ESSSS EEEEE CEEEE Speed? LMFAO

As an outsider I would have to say it seems that both Florida and Alabama’s best weapons are the 00H- ESSSS EEEEE CEEEE officals.

Tide Rising

October 28th, 2009
4:46 pm

Delbert D.

True enough. We are all vulnerable. Bama and UF especially. Both have been getting worse and worse each week offensively. Its more and more telling how much UF misses Mullen, Percy Harvin, and Louis Murphy. That was a lot of speed on the edge that they lost and its definitely impacted them.

Same with Bama. McElroy started off smoking hot and for some inexplicable reason has gotten ultra conservative, not sure of himself, and it shows. Bama has almost become completely one dimensional and if something isn’t done offensively by both Bama and UF then both remain vulnerable to the upset.

We get a much needed bye week. Just got through playing 8 straight games and 5 straight sec games with the last 3 against really good defenses in Ole Miss, Carolina, and UT. Hopefully in our case McElroy will get it together and get back to some semblance of his early season form against LSU.

GATORMAN 722

October 28th, 2009
4:53 pm

Final Score
Gators 65
Bulldogs 0

Mad Dawg

October 28th, 2009
4:55 pm

This may be the dumbest team UGA ever fielded. How do you account for the penalities and missed assignments and now two stupid arrests. Stupid is as stupid does. I am a Dawg fan that wants change. There is no excuse for the way we are playing and for the way the coaches are dealing with it. I want to see some fight, some pride and some decent coaching for a change. The last two years are the most dissappointing in the last 35. Something ain’t right.

chazzo

October 28th, 2009
4:57 pm

Not a single player, coach, manager, water girl, cousin of a cousin of a coach better have the slightest doubt in their mind. Florida’s recent reign is laregely psychological. Yes they have better players too this year. But, it all starts with Georgia players believing they will win and then executing with perfection. Nothing else matters.

GMan

October 28th, 2009
5:00 pm

Good post Tide Rising.

Delbert D., isn’t any team on any day vulnerable? I’m not sure a team plays perfect every week.

Everyone in the country is wanting the SEC to fail. Talking about conspiracies, favortism, etc. and having coaches out in public is not good.

Doc Holliday

October 28th, 2009
5:15 pm

As you stated in 66 and 75 the games were won with defense. Willie is no Erk. The gators roll, big time.

Delbert D.

October 28th, 2009
5:26 pm

Tide Rising – I hadn’t seen a Bama game since a couple earlier this year, and McElroy was almost unrecognizable. Before, it looked as if he was picking right up from John Parker Wilson. Maybe it’s a growing experience, or something.

Gman – Yes, you are right, but the flaws are evident in those undefeated teams, *particularly Iowa*, and I added USC because they continue to show that they can stumble. I don’t think anybody at the top of the rankings is truly dominant this year.

Mikey

October 28th, 2009
5:35 pm

When St Tim scores his first TD, he will run off the field and remove his dome before reaching the sideline (and it will not be called) so Urb can lay a big wet one right on his lips.

Delbert D.

October 28th, 2009
5:35 pm

Mad Dawg – A modest suggestion: Either get CMR & company to spend a week observing the USMC, Army Rangers, or Navy SEALs in training or expect more of the same. There is a seeming lack of accountablility for mistakes, as well as a general lack of discipline.

Fleischman in Chi Towns bed

October 28th, 2009
5:38 pm

Florida is only favored by 18 ? ? ?

Whats next Barnhardt eats a salad?

GT

October 28th, 2009
5:44 pm

Georgia may win. Even bad coaching doesn’t get in the way of these kind of rivalries. Of course someone has paid Tony ,again, to rally these troops in Athens. The odds men are against us, things are getting dark, who will be the man whose name will live forever? Win one for Herschel. Sugar falling from the skies.

The Real SugarHillDawg

October 28th, 2009
5:53 pm

42 points? UF couldn’t score that in 8 quarters!Ramble On and M, shouldn’t you two be on the Playgirl message board??

dawg85

October 28th, 2009
5:56 pm

This team won’t surprise me if they lose by fifty or win by two touchdowns.

gym jacket

October 28th, 2009
6:21 pm

Darkness without end,for nothing was different from nothing and nowhere was anyplace and everywhere.

GT For You And Me

October 28th, 2009
6:23 pm

How can an offensive lineman that’s 22 yrs old,only have a learners license? Just Asking! GEEZ

Mad Dawg 20/20

October 28th, 2009
6:24 pm

Halfway throught the week, the beatdown Tebow and Crier face is imminent. My Dawgs are gonna shock the nation saturday. Get ready Dawg fans, it will be a thing of beauty.

If a bullfrog had wings?

October 28th, 2009
6:26 pm

Thank goodness Spurrier does not coach the Gators anymore, the Fla. boosters will still be taking up donations for a new scoreboard in JAX!!

Sad day for me to be a Dawg!!

Tampa Gator

October 28th, 2009
6:26 pm

It all depends on which teams show up. If Florida’s normal defense (which will have 3 starters back on Saturday that didn’t play last week) shows up, Georgia will have difficulty scoring points. If Florida’s normal offense shows up, they will give Georgia 14 or 20 points. Again, Georgia can’t win this game on its own. They will win if the Florida offense gives them the game. It will not happen on Saturday. Final score: Florida 27, Georgia 14 (with 7 of those points given to Georgia on a turnover). Off course, their will be one call that goes against Georgia and that will obviously cost them the game…and the officials will “give” the Gators yet another victory over the Dawgs.

Gator Tail....

October 28th, 2009
6:27 pm

The item of choice on the Dawgs menu Saturday.

pmccarth

October 28th, 2009
6:29 pm

Actually a decent slate of games this weekend. Georgia vs. #1 Florida, #4 USC vs. #10 Oregon and #3 Texas vs. #14 Oklahoma State. Who does everyone think will win?

Urban Meyer

October 28th, 2009
6:29 pm

Time out!

Time out!

:)

Steve

October 28th, 2009
6:31 pm

My 9 year old daughter had an assignment to write a Halloween poem, this is what she came up with.

The Sad Halloween

It is my ninth all hallows eve.
And what was about to happen I could not believe
My dad said he couldn’t take me trick or treating at all.
He said he would be to busy watching football.
For this year Halloween comes on the Georgia-Florida game.
Dad said he would be sad cause the Dawgs always come up lame.
For the Dawgs have only won two of the last 15.
Oh boy this is going to be a sad Halloween.
Unless the Dawgs can find some room to run
This Halloween is going to be no fun.
If only they can get the ball to A.J . Green
Maybe they can make those Gators scream.
If the defense can stop Tebow the Great, Hernandez and Cooper
This Halloween won’t be in the pooper.

Tampa Gator

October 28th, 2009
6:32 pm

Sugar Hill…the Gators almost scored 42 points in the first quarter against Kentucky. Florida has the offensive players to score a bunch of points. They are just having problems blocking for the passing game. Meyer and the coaches have changed up the O-line for this weekend, with one of the best freshman OT in the country (Xavier Nixon) starting at left tackle, with Johnson moving in to left guard. Nixon can handle the speed rushers. Johnson couldn’t. He is an awesome guard, but a so-so OT. I think you will be impressed with Nixon this weekend. The right side with Pouncey and Gilbert are just fine. If this fixes the pass rush blocking issues on the left side, it could be a long day for the Dawgs. If not, it will be a close game and I hope the Gator offense will not cause them to lose. I know the defense won’t.

Mark Richt

October 28th, 2009
6:33 pm

If you boys don’t dance in the endzone after cox hits AJ for a touchdown, I’ll run every one of you back to athens.

MLDawg

October 28th, 2009
6:33 pm

Don’t know how anyone can even question the effort level of this team. They have fought to the very last second on all but one game this season. How can anyone look at the footage of the final minutes of the LSU game and question effort? Tavarres King’s long catch to set up AJ’s insane touchdown. Nah… no effort at all. GET REAL!
This team has its ups and downs, but the only criticism I think is completely unwarranted is that they lack heart. Tons more heart than last year’s team.

jumbeauxtiger

October 28th, 2009
6:34 pm

Obviously I don’t know the complete story on Vance but 2 years ago just days before LSU played UK Perilloux got in a bar altercation and Miles didn’t allow him to make the trip to Lexington. Although Flynn was starting Perilloux was being brought in for certain game situations.

I’m not sure what kind of message it sends permitting Vance to play on Saturday.

Geaux Tigers
Go SEC

jumbeauxtiger

October 28th, 2009
6:35 pm

Actually it was against Bama in Tuscaloosa when Perilloux was kept home.

Happydawg

October 28th, 2009
6:45 pm

My prediction is…….MARTINEZ WIZARDARY will be on display in Jax…….THE BEST DC in the country dials up the defense…….Houston sacks Tebow 4 times…….Evans intercepts 4 Tebow passes…….BOBO’s MASTERFUL TRICKS…….fool Gator Defense……Carlton Thomas catches 5 Screen passes and RUNS WILD…….FABRIS’s BRILLIANCE AS SPECIAL TEAMS COACH STUFF’s JAMES……DOGS score on special teams fumble by James…….DAWG OFFENSIVE GURU SEARELS JACKS UP OL……we run for 325 yds, with Samuel scoring on 2 runs of over 55 yards. FINAL SCORE GA 49 FL 7.

GT For You And Me

October 28th, 2009
6:46 pm

A 4 or 5 star recruit that can’t drive a car……………..Runs a red light because he thinks no one will bother him. Which is probably what he thought. Didn’t matter to him whose life he could have taken by doing that. Can’t blame it on his age. He’s old enough to know better… Sad to say Georgia….. Do any of you want someone on your team with his credentials…. Doesn’t make your program look to good………. Will somebody please help this young man get a drivers license,and learn the rules of the road!

GTFan1

October 28th, 2009
6:56 pm

I think UF wins but I doubt they cover the spread.

BTW guys, check out the debate on my blog today. I’m tired of Congress getting involved in BCS discussions and basically any sports discussion. Comment on it and tell us what you think!

http://thesportsdebates.com/category/tsd/the-congress-involved-in-sports-debate/

F. Sinkwich

October 28th, 2009
7:03 pm

Uh, GTFan1, nobody wants to visit your suck-ass blog. Do yourself a favor and move out of your mom’s basement and get a job.

You’ll be a better man, and thank me.

You’re welcome.

Jacket3

October 28th, 2009
7:07 pm

Sorry to pop a bubble and ruin a good blog — but Come on…another Georgia player arrested? What is going on in Athens. Is Georgia now in Wonderland or Disneyland?

kevin butler

October 28th, 2009
7:16 pm

For the 3 years that I lived/worked in Gainesville and pulled for the dawgs, and then have to go into my office on Mondays and eat all the caca that was thrown my way, can safely say will NEVER pull for them again

Bubba

October 28th, 2009
7:20 pm

Redneck Hypocrisy: Would you care to tell Mark Richt’s two adopted special needs children that their daddy is a hypocrite? You, my poor child, are beneath contempt. I suggest you get down on your knees and pray that you ever become the human being Mark Richt is. And I’ll do the same.

Art

October 28th, 2009
7:27 pm

Is the blog closed?

He Hate Gator

October 28th, 2009
7:28 pm

Gators vulnerable??….YES!!! However, have seen NO indication that dogs will be able to take advantage of it….maybe, if properly prepared….this game will be big indication of what kind of coaching the team really has…

Yellow Jackets

October 28th, 2009
7:29 pm

The dawgs win a close one with in 3 points. By my Mathmatics, Florida has struggle to win against MUCH lesser oponets FOR A REASON…they don’t have the Personel they did last year. If georgia can win the turnover margin by 3 they win a close one…..they can do it

A wrong message

October 28th, 2009
7:34 pm

Vince Vance gets arrested and obviously has someone else, most likely an alumni, pay his bond yet he still can play on Saturday? I’m sure he broke team rules but they send the wrong message to reward him by not suspending him for the upcoming game or games. Anything to win then Coach huh? I could care less if he plays or not but this does not show the rest of the team that breaking rules will get them in trouble. Anyway the Gator D is so good it will not matter who is playing offense on Saturday.

Coach Hypocrite(Vince Vance embarrasment)

October 28th, 2009
7:40 pm

@Mark Richt – 6:33 P.M. – I’m sorry to tell you coach but you will not get into the endzone on Saturday, believe it.

GT For You And Me

October 28th, 2009
7:41 pm

Georgia needs a little encouragement and here it is!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bI9i4IqeOcY

45ACP

October 28th, 2009
7:55 pm