The Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs square off in Jacksonville on Saturday in this pivotal SEC battle.
The No. 8 Gators (3-1) and No. 5 Bulldogs (4-1) will look to take control of the SEC East with a win this weekend at TIAA Bank Field. Georgia has a three-game winning streak against Florida and has opened as a 3.5-point favorite.
Senior passer Kyle Trask leads Florida while Georgia’s starter is junior quarterback Stetson Bennett.
Trask has helped fuel a potent Florida offense, throwing for 1,341 yards and eighteen touchdowns, along with just two interceptions.
Bennett hasn’t had the same success, especially in the turnover department. It appears the junior may be slumping, with all five of his interceptions thrown in just the last two games. On the year, Bennett has 1,089 yards and seven touchdowns.
Georgia’s offensive identity revolves around running the ball behind their offensive line. Four running backs combine for 5.1 yards per carry, headlined by sophomore Zamir White (402 yards and six touchdowns). White is coming off the best game of his season (136 yards and a touchdown) and will look to keep the momentum going against a Florida defense surrendering 133 yards on the ground per contest.
The Florida offense runs through star tight end, Kyle Pitts. Pitts has 355 yards and seven touchdowns in just four games and offers an advantageous mismatch working out of the tight end position. Pitts is poised for a big game going against a Georgia defense missing their two starting safeties.
Georgia’s defense is the catalyst for their 4-1 start, holding teams to an average of 16.2 points per game, including three games below ten points. The unit is strong but will be tested this week, going against a dynamic Florida offense and missing key contributors at all three levels.
Florida’s defense hasn’t had the same success as Georgia, even with an easier schedule. The Gators are letting up 29.3 points per game to go along with an average of 433.3 yards. Bulldogs quarterback Bennett should have opportunities to move the ball, and the running game should have chances to exploit this defense.
Florida is coming off a 41-17 win over Missouri, with a 41-38 loss to No. 21 Texas A&M preceding it. Florida’s loss was the only ranked opponent they’ve played against so far, marking this game against No. 5 Georgia as a good barometer for the team’s potential.
For Georgia, they won last weekend 14-3 against Kentucky, following up a 41-24 defeat at the hands of No. 2 Alabama. Georgia has been tested early and often this season, with wins against Tennessee and Auburn under their belt, ranked 14th and 7th respectively at the time of the meetings.
The Betting Pick
Georgia has played a more challenging schedule and has a better overall defense, supporting the 3.5-point spread.
Going in Florida’s favor is the explosiveness that Trask and Pitts bring to the table, along with the injuries that have piled up for Georgia’s defense. With Bennett struggling to protect the ball, the upset could be in order this weekend.
Expert pick: Florida +3.5
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