‘Georgia needs to make Florida play from behind’

georgia florida 2012The key to Mark Richt’s Bulldogs pulling an upset in Jacksonville Saturday is starkly illustrated by some halftime numbers from last week’s Florida-South Carolina game.

After two quarters of play, the Gators had a grand total of just 29 yards of offense, 13 of those in the running game, and just two first downs. They also had already been flagged by the officials five times for 64 yards.

And yet Florida led the Gamecocks 21-6 thanks to the scores resulting from three turnovers.

As one sage sports observer I know put it this week, anytime a team has more points than yards, there’s something wrong.

But what’s wrong with the 2012 Florida Gators has been more than countered by what’s right: an aggressive, effective defense that likes to take away the ball and, best of all, superb, opportunistic special teams play. As a result, Florida has become the nation’s No. 2 team despite having merely an adequate offense that is most effective grinding it out on the ground to wear opponents down as the game goes on.

Kyle Christy may be the most dangerous player the Gators have. (Associated Press)

Kyle Christy may be the most dangerous player the Gators have. (Associated Press)

The Gators’ best and most effective player is punter Kyle Christy, the NCAA leader whose 50-plus-yard boomers often flip the field and keep opponents bottled up deep in their own territory.

So, what are the keys to a Georgia win over Florida?

No. 1 definitely is protecting the ball (especially on punt and kickoff returns) because, as Richt noted this week, winning the turnover margin has been Florida’s “formula for success,” and the Gators have only turned the ball over four times this season.

The other key for the Dogs was nicely summed up this week by a friend who’s a Gamecock fan: “Georgia needs to make Florida play from behind.”

In other words, the Dogs need to get an early lead so that Florida’s run-oriented offense is taken out of its comfort zone and Gators QB Jeff Driskel has to try throwing it more in catch-up mode. Mike Bobo needs to come out fast and furious, running his entire playbook: Mix the run and pass and don’t be afraid to test the Gators secondary deep early.

Aaron Murray has to come up big for Georgia to win over Florida. (Associated Press)

Aaron Murray has to come up big for Georgia to win over Florida. (Associated Press)

Basically, if Georgia is going to win this game, it’s going to be with the arm of Aaron Murray, who almost single-handedly beat Kentucky last week.

But even that probably won’t be enough if Todd Grantham’s defense doesn’t turn it around and play its best game since Mizzou. The Georgia front seven that has underperformed all season needs to contain Gators running back Mike Gillislee and, more importantly, Driskel, who is one of those running quarterbacks the Dogs tend to have trouble handling. If Grantham’s first-half game plan doesn’t include keeping a spy on Driskel to control those zone-read keepers, any second-half adjustments might be too little too late.

The hope here is that, having had their collective manhood challenged this week by their own Shawn Williams, who’s played the Pat Dye/Sheldon Richardson role in Georgia’s pregame motivation, Grantham’s troops finally will play like last year’s Top 5 defense rather than the “too soft” bunch we’ve seen most of this season.

Williams gigged the Georgia defense for its lack of emotion; if they come out breathing fire at EverBank Field Saturday, perhaps he’ll have earned himself a game ball before the first kickoff.

What do you think of Georgia’s chances in Jacksonville this year? Can the Dogs finally make it two in a row?

Got something you want to discuss concerning UGA athletics? Or maybe a question you want the Junkyard Blawg to tackle? Send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

186 comments Add your comment

Jax is back to being Jax

October 25th, 2012
12:38 pm

Ok, It’s time to bring our fan base back to earth……we are 6-1….the six wins all have losing records- in fact, the best of the 6 is Vandy…WOW. Meanwhile UF has beat top 10 teams LSU and Carolina and top 15 Texas AM. The ONLY chance we have of winning this game with these players and coaches is that Florida’s bus makes a wrong turn and they dont show up. Florida is not stupid (like we tend to be ) and will not come out flat. My bet is this game is done by halftime. I can only hope and pray that the result dictates change in Athens. Perhaps our coach should start coaching the kickers THIS year. Before you start telling me I am no fan…know this- I have been a loyal fans for many years but quite honestly am sick and tired of what has gone on for the last few years….we beat poor to bad teams and tout a great record….AGAINST WHO???? Sorry guys- the truth hurts!

TossSweep

October 25th, 2012
12:38 pm

I’d like for the ‘Ol Ball Cap to throw up in his living room.

Phil

October 25th, 2012
12:39 pm

Good stratgey Bill, been preaching that myself on here. Problem is Richt will defer to 2nd half giving Florida the ball first, they go down and score and now WE are playing from behind. Just like the South Carolina game! Richt deferred in that game also, you see how that worked out. Lets’s face it, our defense can’t stop anybody!

Richt can’t even get the coin tos right for crying out loud. What a moron.

TossSweep

October 25th, 2012
12:40 pm

Right on, Jax is back to being Jax!

ARdawg

October 25th, 2012
12:41 pm

how2fish
I wish I had hope, I have none. But, this is your scenario where Richt pulls one from his bottom

Jax is back to being Jax

October 25th, 2012
12:43 pm

And before you get all caught up on number crunching from FL-SC game as Bill did above- remember this- Carolina defense is quite a bit better than ours…in fact, MUCH better. SOOOO just because FL had a “grand Total” of 29 yards after two quarters, KY had much more on us…so did buffalo, so did Florida Atlantic……..Bill, I have been watching football a long time- trust me, our defense is no carolina defense.

Settle Down Dawg Fans

October 25th, 2012
12:44 pm

Toss Sweeps don’t work against fast SEC defenses.

All will be forgiven if we can just beat Auburn. Trust me — I’ve seen this movie over and over for the past five years.

After all, how many coaches out there can promise an average of 9 wins per year? We’ll be just fine… Just fine. Relax and enjoy the show.

Macclenny_dawg

October 25th, 2012
12:45 pm

Our offense vs their defense advantage even. Our defense vs their offense even. Special teams advantage Gaytors. Coaching advantage Gaytors. Talent from top to bottom advantage Dawgs. Coaching to much to overcome. SICK OF RICHT!!!

TossSweep

October 25th, 2012
12:46 pm

Right. I should change my screen name.

Joe

October 25th, 2012
12:48 pm

In other words, the Dogs need to get an early lead so that Florida’s run-oriented offense is taken out of its comfort zone and Gators QB Jeff Driskel has to try throwing it more in catch-up mode. Mike Bobo needs to come out fast and furious, running his entire playbook: Mix the run and pass and don’t be afraid to test the Gators secondary deep early.

LMAO..HAHAHAHA.. remember what happened when we tried to make what we thought was a bad passing QB throw to beat us………Does the name Eric Compton ring anyone’s bell?????? Its going to be a blowout…….get ready

Troy

October 25th, 2012
12:53 pm

Same story…different year….year after we beat Floriduh, we usually get blown out- same thing happens this year. Having to depend on Aaron Murray to step up in a big game and this bunch of sissys that call themselves a defense- throw in coaching and wa la…..38-13 UF

Troy

October 25th, 2012
12:56 pm

we are always good for drama, smack talk and the likes the week of the big game…much the same that has gone on this week but at the end of the day, the keystone cops and the three stooges (Mark, Mike and Todd) produce the same results a blowout to a good team…..but hey, were 6-2 and thats a good thing!

Flat Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

October 25th, 2012
12:57 pm

UGA 24 FL 10 if our coaching staff stays at home and watches the game on TV ;)

AceDawg

October 25th, 2012
1:00 pm

Playing with some anger and urgency would give UGA an advantage, but other than the 2007 win, that is a recurring thing we fans pray for and continue to not see. I’m in the moment and feeling optimistic, but realism tells me that the disappointment I’ve had in this team’s effort in recent weeks is warranted. I don’t think our D-Line has created a good pass rush in any game really, so it’ll be a surprise if the light all of a sudden clicks. I have no problem with UGA overperforming of course, so I’ll start out with optimism.

Settle Down Dawg Fans

October 25th, 2012
1:04 pm

Troy,

6-2 ain’t bad, especially when you consider that we have 3 more guaranteed wins on the schedule. I bet Mizzou wishes they were in our shoes right now!

Glory Glory Hallelujah!
It’s great to be a Dawg fan!

Troy

October 25th, 2012
1:04 pm

But as Georgia QB Murray put it, “We know we have to play an unbelievable game offensively, defensively and on special teams if we want to have a chance to win that game.”

Even then, it’s probably going to take the Gators finally stumbling and turning in a poor performance to make Bulldog fans’ dreams of two in a row in Jacksonville come true.

Hopefully, Mr. McGarity does something after this game is over………My fear is that its a close game and CMR and the rest of the Keystone Cops spin it well as a “see, we are geting close” BS that we hear. It needs to ba a major blowout…MAJOR. I hate to have to see it but if it gets us change, it will be worth it in the long run. bottom line- WE DONT BEAT GOOD TEAMS ANYMORE…spin it all you want, the truth hurts

Troy

October 25th, 2012
1:07 pm

Settle down……NO game is a guarentee win on our schedule anymore…NONE. Those days are long gone my friend. 6-2 aint bad……? really? Oh, maybe for you when the 6 all have losing record and the 2 are the only good teams on the schedule…..Mizzou may be happy……any true UGA fan is embarrassed

NCDawg

October 25th, 2012
1:08 pm

I agree with everyone screaming for the TE’s… we need to run 2 TE formations to open off tackle runs. If we get the Gators safeties biting on the run we can beat them deep. Balance and ball protection… we have to be efficient and not flashy. We have to run the ball. No, we aren’t going to get 70 yard runs on them but if we can get at least 3 yards virtually every time we run it and very few or no lost yardage plays, we can win the time of possession and force UF out of their SOP. If UF is not allowed to run the ball (IE: forced to pass) and ground and pound it in the 4th quarter… they lose. The key is getting a lead and not sitting on it. If it is working then keep doing it no matter what the score is. Muschamp is great at making adjustments… so anticipate what he will do to stop us if we have early success. When he makes the adjustments go to plan B. But don’t give up on the run. Our pass game is based on the threat of a running game. If UF is allowed to sit on the routes it will be ugly.
That said… if the Dawgs don’t win this game then CMR and staff are gone. The potential of this team VS results would be too out of whack to not change regime.

California Dawg

October 25th, 2012
1:09 pm

Establish the run early and often. Aaron Murray’s stats against Kentucky were great but let’s keep things in perspective. Those numbers came against a young inexperienced secondary. The key in this series has always been the running game. I also feel by establishing the run it allows our offensive lineman to be the aggressor. I believe on occasion Gurley and Marshall should be in the backfield at the same time just to give the defense a different look from time to time. I read an article about spring practice where one player stated that Keith shook two or three players on one run which brings me to my next opinion. What about more screen passes and toss sweeps to Marshall which allows him to shake two or three Gators on his way to a long run or two or three! The passing game will be there but by establishing the run and allowing our lineman to get their engine revved up will give Aaron and his receivers more open looks. Go Dawgs!!!!!!

Flat Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

October 25th, 2012
1:09 pm

Weve had a coach that has never taken this game seriously

why should any UGA fan be optimistic about this game

When you back door every championship you’ve won why worry about beating FL; you just hope they wont win out

Flat Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

October 25th, 2012
1:13 pm

Settle Down Dawg Fans

Do UGA football a favor and go pull for KY; 6 wins against cupcakes is a stellar year for that program

Settle Down Dawg Fans

October 25th, 2012
1:14 pm

It seems to me that the simple solution would be to score more points than they do.

Maybe Coach Richt will try that strategy? ;)

Flat Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

October 25th, 2012
1:17 pm

“”"”Maybe Coach Richt will try that strategy”"”"”

Yea maybe if he knew how ;)

TennDawg

October 25th, 2012
1:18 pm

I agree with Outer Banks Dawg, but I really don’t see Bobo utilizing two tight ends. I could not for the life of me figure out why we didn’t do that against Carolina. Clowney dominated Gates all night! Why not bring in a two tight end set? And yes, use the fullback! We need protection for Murray badly. But like I said, I don’t think that is in Bobo’s game plan, unfortunately.

This game will be won up front, on both sides of the ball. If our OL can’t control the line of scrimmage, we lose. If our DL can’t control the line of scrimmage, we lose. Plain and simple. I really hope our big boys, Big John and Kwame on DL and Theus, Gates, and crew on OL, can step it up and dominate these Florida boys. This is the most physical Florida team I’ve seen in a few years. We’ve got to be just as physical or more. GATA!!!

Troy

October 25th, 2012
1:22 pm

UGA will again look like deer in headlights in this latest big game…….UF 38 UGA 16

dale

October 25th, 2012
1:23 pm

People,
Please stop with the smiley faces.

dale

October 25th, 2012
1:26 pm

I perused every major sports site and not a single person picked Georgia. Even the computer picked UF. One site has 7 sportswriters and a computer. All Florida.

Dawgie Style

October 25th, 2012
1:26 pm

Get Petrino as OC, and get rid of Bozo. I mean Bobo.

Flat Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

October 25th, 2012
1:26 pm

LowerALDawg

October 25th, 2012
1:29 pm

If Florida wins, it will be because Muschamp’s pattern for the FL program is the same as Saban’s at AL, hit ‘em in the mouth early and be the more physical team. Shawn was correct about the defense playing soft, but the same thing can be said about all areas of a Richt coached team. That’s the reason we have not beat a ranked team in like…forever! Over the next ten years we may be 100 – 0 against the patsies, but we will have an 0-fer in the games that matter. Just being real.

Mobile Dawg

October 25th, 2012
1:33 pm

Where do you hail from LAD?

NCDawg

October 25th, 2012
1:36 pm

Flat Iron… relax… if the Dawgs lose CMR and staff are gone and you get your wish. You are just afraid that if the Dawgs will win and that will mess up your grand plan to get rid of CMR. You will get a chance to see if the coaches you so despise can actually win the big one. And if they don’t then you get your justifiable wish. But if they win… well there would be no reason to can them, would there? If you are a real Bulldog fan that is what you really want… the big win to get a crack at an even bigger win. So relax… it’s a win-win for real Bulldog fans.

LowerALDawg

October 25th, 2012
1:38 pm

From ATL living in Mobile.

Flat Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

October 25th, 2012
1:47 pm

NCDawg

After this season which in my opionion has already been blown thanks to our Top 10 paid coaching staff. The next 4 years are going to be down years

I knew this would happen but I kept hoping that maybe just maybe with the easy schedule and the amount of NFL talent this year we just might finally break through and get a shot but once again this coaching staff showed us they are never prepaired and their 10 win seasons against cupcakes are due to the overriding talent we have every year

LowerALDawg

October 25th, 2012
1:58 pm

Georgia is in the top two or three states in the country when it comes to high school talent. UGA is in the top two or three schools in the country when it comes to putting players in the NFL. Yet, we can’t dominate anybody, even the cupcakes, and we don’t challenge for championships. What could possibly be the problem?

WDE

October 25th, 2012
2:08 pm

You know I’ve been a UGA fan since the 60’s and I can’t remember when 6-1 wasn’t a good place to be after 7 games I must have missed those years when we went 10-0 11-0 year after year…anyone remember how long it had been before CMR arrived in Athens since our last SEC title…20 years most of you whiners weren’t born when we won our last NC so please spare me the “good old days” BS yes we need to improve and beat ranked teams…and we have a chance to start this week..and yes any of the fans have every right to be upset with the coaching staff but for the love of God stop with the “settling” for 10 wins is a crime we won the SEC East last year and many of our “fans” let the trolls talk them into thinking that was a bad thing if nothing else pick up a history book and see if you can find a better era to be a member of the Bull Dog Nation..I can’t .

x

October 25th, 2012
2:09 pm

Play from behind? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

A L E G H U M P E R D R E A M E R

October 25th, 2012
2:09 pm

Yea make em play from behind just like Texas A&M and Tennesee did.

McDawg

October 25th, 2012
2:12 pm

GO AFTER THE PUNTER

Silly Bloggers

October 25th, 2012
2:13 pm

Why am I filtered Bill?

A L E G H U M P E R D R E A M E R

October 25th, 2012
2:14 pm

A close game might save Richt, but anything more than a 2 TD loss and McGarrity will be forced to pull the string. UF fired Zook before the season ended while McGarrity was at UF so what makes anyone think he will not do it if Fl wins?

Dirty Dawg

October 25th, 2012
2:17 pm

Silly bloggers…you too?

A L E G H U M P E R D R E A M E R

October 25th, 2012
2:17 pm

Driskel is not a bad thrower, Fl just does not take chances and reflect Muchamp’s smash mouth personality. Driskel has been effective when he had to and can run like a 6′4″ 240lb deer. Boy were we wrong about Muschamp; he learned at the foot of the master.

Silly Bloggers

October 25th, 2012
2:19 pm

Dirty, yes…and I had nothing profane at all in my post.

Flo-Ri-Duh

October 25th, 2012
2:20 pm

Summary: It could be a blow out with a bunch of turnovers. It could be close if turnovers are kept to a minimum (say ONE) or it could be an upset if turnovers are completely eliminated along with all other blunders like untimely penalties. In other words the DAWGS must be error free to win and that’s not easy – but not impossible. On the other hand, if the Lizards have REPTILE dysfunction such as turnovers and other blunders UGA will win. End of summary….. have a good day and GO DAWGS!

Flat Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

October 25th, 2012
2:27 pm

WDE

Give me a break obviously you slept during the 60’s and 70’s and 80’s

Sure we didnt win 10 games every year but we didnt have the extra cupcake game either and you could bet Dooley and Russel put a team on the field that could beat any team no matter how high they were ranked

This coaching staff puts a team on the field that hasnt beaten a top 20 team in 4 yrs

and needs stupid Endzone Dancing with the stars or Uniform changes to motivate them to beat a team

what a joke
I much rather watch a fired up 5-3UGA team that has a get after them attitude than a I sure hope we back door our way to Atlanta again football team

Desert Fox

October 25th, 2012
2:28 pm

SC Dog Fan has it right. If only the dawgs D can play a complete game like the 1st half of the SECCG vs LSU (forget the 2d half) when they shut down LSU completely they have a chance against FL if the OL comes thru w/run blocking and pass protection. Both were missing in the SC game. No T/O’s at all and create a few for themselves. Get an early lead and play solid D. Only way dawgs will beat FL is don’t give the game away as they often do when they play FL. GA can win but it’ll take a game they’ve not played to date.

Flo-Ri-Duh

October 25th, 2012
2:29 pm

I vote for the LIZARDS to Have REPTILE DYSFUNTION.. After this game they will need Viagra.

A L E G H U M P E R D R E A M E R

October 25th, 2012
2:32 pm

Flo-Ri-Duh that sounds like Obottom’s Romeshia jokes.

7576DAWG

October 25th, 2012
2:35 pm

I think Georgia scores late in the fourth to tie the game at 20-20 and then after a few very nervous seconds Morgan nails the extra point to win the game by one.