Georgia-Florida LIVE: Dogs try to take control in SEC East

The forecast calls for no rain but wind and the usual amount of drinking.

The forecast calls for no rain but wind and the usual amount of drinking.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – So I was standing outside the EverBank Field with Tim Tucker because the stadium gates were closed – Jacksonville has this thing about letting media in too early, not sure why – and up walks Vince Dooley. After about a 30-second conversation, he turns to us and says, “I’ll see if I can get in.” And, of course, he did. Because he’s Vince Dooley. But at least he turned to us, smiled and waved.

So hello. I’m inside the gates now and figured I would open with something less dramatic than: GEORGIA HAS TO WIN!

Athletic director Greg McGarity, who has sat on both sides of this rivalry, has been trying to diminish the stress level associated with this annual meeting. He told our Chip Towers that he’s trying to “debunk this notion that beating Florida was any more important than beating anybody else in the SEC It doesn’t count any more in the standings.”

I understand McGarity’s objective. But the importance of the game this season can’t be overstated. The winner of today’s Georgia-Florida game likely will win the SEC East. It’s a chance for the Bulldogs to change their season and, for the some, the perception of the program.

There has been a lot of talk about how the weather might play a role in the game, so here’s the current conditions: It’s cloudy and overcast but it’s not supposed to rain. There are sporadic wind gusts however that could play havoc with passes, field goals and punts.

Here are a few more bullet points before I open the cyber-venting lines:

Outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, who had four sacks in last year’s win over the Gators, returns to the lineup after missing the Kentucky game with an ankle sprain. That could be significant, but I wonder how healthy Jones really is. He has had ankle and groin ailments all season and those are injuries that generally don’t heal quickly.

For what it’s worth, the last time the Dogs beat Florida in consecutive seasons was when they won three straight from 1987 to 1989 (coaches: Dooley-Dooley-Ray Goff). Georgia is 4-18 in the series since.

It will be interesting to see if there’s any carryover from comments by safety Shawn Williams, who labeled the defense as “soft” and suggested lineup changes. My guess is if Georgia starts well, it won’t be an issue. But if the Dogs struggle, particularly against Florida’s running game, there’s a danger of players pulling apart.

Here’s a comment from Christian Robinson on the “soft” claims: “In certain areas we just haven’t done our job. Some people might see that as soft, but I see it as undisciplined. We’ve got to fix our problems. That might look soft but I don’t see us getting physically beaten.”

Florida is 7-0 in part because it has committed only four turnovers (and is a plus-11 overall), So the Dogs can’t afford to make many (or any mistakes) because there’s a good chance the Gators will not reciprocate.

Georgia has more playmaking ability on offense, led by quarterback Aaron Murray. But I really believe this game will be won or lost by the Dogs’ defensive front. If they can stuff the Gators’ running game, it puts more pressure on Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel, who is limited. The Gators rank third in the conference in rushing but 14th in passing.

That’s it for now. Here are a few stories from during the week you might have missed:

– Chip’s story on Jarvis Jones.

– Chip’s story with Greg McGarity.

– My column on how one game can change Georgia’s season and perceptions about the program.

– My prediction on the game (and other investment advice).

– My column on Aaron Murray, who gives Georgia a decided advantage at quarterback.

OK. Commenting is now open. I’ll be here all game to chat.

Thoughts on  the game?

By Jeff Schultz

1,848 comments Add your comment

The Gators

October 27th, 2012
1:44 pm

Can’t wait to get us some dog meat.

Macclenny_dawg

October 27th, 2012
1:45 pm

kerryb

October 27th, 2012
1:46 pm

Can’t wait for some Gator tail. Taste like chicken.

Big Crimson 75

October 27th, 2012
1:51 pm

Going with the dwags. It’s a hunch!!
Aaron Murray owes UGA a signature win.

Eric C.

October 27th, 2012
1:52 pm

Jeff, thanks for the great report. If the wind is an issue, that could adversely affect the passing games…so I’m wondering if UGA’s defense will show more 8-man fronts and focus even more on the run given UF’s already weak passing game?

Not Disappointed

October 27th, 2012
1:53 pm

I don’t have a dog in this hunt but good luck to the Dawgs!
Ramblin Wreck out!

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He Hate Gator

October 27th, 2012
1:57 pm

Jeff, what are the wind conditions now?

Benjamin

October 27th, 2012
2:04 pm

That caption to the empty stadium pic is one of the 132 reasons why I love your work, Mr. Schultz. Your subtle humor always makes me laugh.

And Marcus Lattimore, I hope you’re okay right now, young man. That didn’t look good…

Will Muschamp

October 27th, 2012
2:05 pm

Prepare to lose!!!

Needle Dick

October 27th, 2012
2:08 pm

Georgia is due for a big game win right? They can’t lose the big games forever right? I have a feeling things click for UGA today and go right. I’m going with the Dawgs 24-17. Go Dawgs!

Georgia bout to go in!!!

FalconUGAFan

October 27th, 2012
2:08 pm

@Not Disappointed…Thanks…you have always been a class act….Good luck with the rest of your season..I hope we both bring best when we next meet. :)

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Needle Dick

October 27th, 2012
2:11 pm

This game is on the big boys up front. Jenkins, Geathers, Drew, Garrison Smith, and our linebackers Tree, Hererra, Gilliard, Jones, Washington, etc. Y’all gotta get in in gear in order for us to win. Take it upon yourselves that you will not lose this ballgame today. Play hard, play fast, play physical and most of all, play to win the game. Hit hard, hit often. Stuff the run and make Driskel pass, and then tee off on his azz! Go Dawgs! GATA! Win this one, and we’re off to Atlanta!

RUSH PROPSTS WET HANKY

October 27th, 2012
2:13 pm

i think the dawgs have a good strategy:

1st half: lets really wear out their kick coverage team by forcing the gayturds into a lot of kickoff situations, that way in the second half we can get good field position by reuturning the ball from 8 yrds deep all the way out to the 27 yard line.
2nd half: we’ll hit w/ some good ol’ fashion handoffs up the middle. and we’ll throw in that reverse to mitchell that always loses a few yards. then on 3rd and 18, we’ll ram ‘em w/ another handoff up the middle for about 4 yrds. then we can exploit their punt return team b/c they too will be tired from a lot of 1st half action.

The Grillmeister du Jour

October 27th, 2012
2:13 pm

Can’t wait for some Gator tail. Tastes like chicken.

So does dwag, you just have to marinate it in alcohol first. And if you like organ meats, don’t bother looking for a heart – dwags have proved they have no heart. :-)

Sandra Ellis

October 27th, 2012
2:14 pm

Gooo Dawgs!!!!!!

Kabry

October 27th, 2012
2:14 pm

McGarity told our Chip Towers that he’s trying to “debunk this notion that beating Florida was any more important than beating anybody else in the SEC It doesn’t count any more in the standings”.

I think our AD is just as bad as Richt, this has never been just another game. If that is the way he views this rivalry then he may be wrong man for the job!!!

kerryb

October 27th, 2012
2:16 pm

Gators will be exposed for the pretenders that they are. No way they are a #2 team.

Needle Dick

October 27th, 2012
2:17 pm

Come on John Jenkins! Use that size fat boy! You’re 6′3, 358 pounds and you get pushed off the ball vs. Kentucky?! Come on big man! Use your size to your advantage. Geathers, you’re huge too, use your size. We’ve got one of the biggest, if not THE biggest D-lines in all of CFB. Yet we struggle to stop the run. It’s soft play. That’s all it could be. Guys are spending too much time laying on the sofa eating cheeseburgers than in the weight room lifting weights and it shows.

Are You For Real?

October 27th, 2012
2:17 pm

I think I will pass on this blog since it is Jeff.

Steve

October 27th, 2012
2:19 pm

What is a “dwag?” Guess that fine Florida education didn’t cover spelling.

Shirley

October 27th, 2012
2:19 pm

Disagree that Murray is the better qb. He is more experienced for sure. Driskell has more running ability. I think the game is a toss up. Fla has been better, but ga certainly is talented and has had games where they have scored at will.

Ocala Dog

October 27th, 2012
2:21 pm

Are the Gators going to be in those ridiculous Halloween outfits? You know, the all blue or all orange? They are SUCH Boise State wannabe’s. All they need is a blue field and that can’t be far behind.

Ocala Dog

October 27th, 2012
2:23 pm

I wish that I as there to see those Gators running out in their latest Halloween outfits. Boise State wannabe’s.

ARdawg

October 27th, 2012
2:23 pm

Is in da house

Ocala Dog

October 27th, 2012
2:23 pm

Is the field dry Jeff?

ARdawg

October 27th, 2012
2:24 pm

Shirley
Murray is the better QB but Driskel’s legs make him more dangerous

Needle Dick

October 27th, 2012
2:25 pm

Murray is BETTER than Driskel. Driskel is a running QB. Florida hasn’t had a true drop back passer since Brantley. But as we know, he’s not good.

Needle Dick

October 27th, 2012
2:26 pm

But what you guys often forget, Murray can also scramble when he has to. He isn’t a statue back there. He can take off, and he’s got plenty of speed to pick up a first down or two.

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ARdawg

October 27th, 2012
2:30 pm

Jeff
No game to win gives me more joy or to lose leaves me with more angst that the game in Jax. Tell McGarity to blow it out of his azzerrr ear. I enjoy them all but, this game makes or breaks both good and bad seasons

Steve

October 27th, 2012
2:30 pm

No live blog from that electric stadium called Bobby Dodd? Ha. Shows how much Tech football matters. Should be another loss anyway.

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ARdawg

October 27th, 2012
2:31 pm

Needle Dick
He ran often in his Fr year. Since I think Bobo frowns upon that, rather see him throw it away. He can run. I wish he would run more

Big Crimson 75

October 27th, 2012
2:34 pm

This Game will tell everyone exactly where Mark Richt has his Program.
No excuse for UGA not to bring their A+ Game today.
This is very much a winnable game for UGA.
Another laid egg against a highly ranked team(fla, no less), will only fuel the Anti-Richt movement.

There are no excuses for UGA not to play their best today!!!

Big Crimson 75

October 27th, 2012
2:40 pm

ARdawg
2:24 pm

Murray is the better QB but Driskel’s legs make him more dangerous
——-
Forget the QB’s.
This Game is about the line of scrimmage.
This Game is about Man-hood.
This Game is about who wants it more.
This Game is about hitting, blocking & tackling.

It’s Gut Check Time!!!

avalanche in Aruba

October 27th, 2012
2:41 pm

hopefully dawg fans will accept their beating graciously…thats asking alot of you idiots i know, but, at least try…

ARdawg

October 27th, 2012
2:43 pm

Big Crimson

I partially agree with you except. It is on Murray. No question our defense has to show up but Murray needs to take ownership and direct that offense. If he does, we win, if he doesn’t it’s going to be a long day

Vain Jangling

October 27th, 2012
2:43 pm

Find an acorn you blind pigs! People say it happens every not and then! Go Dawgs!

ARdawg

October 27th, 2012
2:45 pm

avalanche
What was the score on the Middle Tennessee ST game again? Do you think you nerds and manboods can will a win against BYU? I don’t

Simpson

October 27th, 2012
2:46 pm

Protect the ball dawgs! do that and with no special teams breakdowns we win. big ifs of course.c

The Gators

October 27th, 2012
2:50 pm

Is it true that the Dog players wear red panties?

The Bee Speaks

October 27th, 2012
2:52 pm

No live blog from that electric stadium called Bobby Dodd? Ha. Shows how much Tech football matters. Should be another loss anyway.

Here’s the real deal for UGA dummies: Georgia Tech has the nation’s highest average SAT score for football players, and also the highest average high school GPA.

UGA, on the other hand, has one of the very lowest SAT averages, as well as a very low GPA average. As a result, 87% of UGA players are “special admits,” when means that they can not meet the minimum educational and intelligence requirements for admission to UGA, even as low as that is.

Yes, it would be great if Tech was more competitive with UGA, but Tech fans are proud of our heritage of having intelligent, responsible athletes who go on to rewarding careers and contribute to society.

Contrast this with the very unintelligent dummies that UGA recruits. The 53 arrests over the last four years is proof enough, not to mention winning the Fulmer Cup. Most of these goons are tossed out after their eligibility is over, and many end up on welfare.

UGA is clearly just a football f-a-c-t-o-r-y dedicated to winning at all costs, and most UGA fans are okay with this, with no concern about the embarrassment this brings to the State of Georgia.

Mark Richt is the architect of this situation. As long as he is paid a huge salary, he will continue to recruit the illiterate brain-dead t-h-u-g-s who he thinks will win. Unfortunately for UGA fans, he’s not remotely in the same league with the top coaches in the SEC.

So the bottom line is that Georgia Tech – win or lose – does so with honor and integrity, while the lowlife punks, woman beaters, drug users, and drunks in Athens continue to embarrass us all.

KDS

October 27th, 2012
2:53 pm

Im down with my dawgs!!!

Lulu

October 27th, 2012
2:54 pm

“Is it true that the Dog players wear red panties?”

Yes.

Next question…

KDS

October 27th, 2012
2:56 pm

Everyone knows the bee speaks BULL

avalanche in Aruba

October 27th, 2012
2:56 pm

who cares about Tech, ARDawg?…i sure as hell don’t…

Techster

October 27th, 2012
2:57 pm

Oooooh man! It sure is gonna be fun watching Fla. stomp the dogs.

KDS

October 27th, 2012
3:01 pm

STAY DOWN DAWGS FANS