NCAA Football – Week 9
The Florida Gators might have had a disappointing 2011, but Will Muschamp’s bunch has been on fire in 2012. The Gators are number two in the latest BCS Rankings. They’ll face a stiff test this week when they take on the Georgia Bulldogs at the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Emotions will be high, and there is a lot on the line in this key SEC East contest.
Jeff Driskel has emerged as a quality starter at quarterback for Florida, and that has allowed this offense to become much more dynamic. Driskel is averaging 4.9 yards per carry, and his running ability makes him very dangerous. Mike Gillislee has 652 yards on the ground for the Gators so far this year. Florida ransk 25th in the nation in rushing offense, but they are only 118th in the nation in passing offense. Clearly, this is a team that does most of its damage on the ground.
The biggest reason that Florida is unbeaten right now is their terrific defense. The Gators are allowing only 282 total yards of offense per game, which is good for seventh best in the nation. This defense is very good against both the run and the pass. No team has scored more than 20 points against them all season. Overall, Florida is allowing an average of just 12.1 points per game. This defense is one of the best in the nation.
The Georgia Bulldogs only have one loss so far this year, but it was a 35-7 blowout loss at the hands of South Carolina. Georgia narrowly escaped upset bids by both Kentucky and Tennessee. The Bulldogs come into this one at 6-1, but there are quite a few questions about the team right now. Aaron Murray is putting up the best numbers of his career thus far. Murray is completing 65.2% of his passes, and he has 16 touchdowns compared to just four interceptions. Still, he is catching quite a bit of heat from fans. Murray has struggled in the biggest games of his career thus far, and he was bad against South Carolina this year. This will be a chance for him to step up in a big spot. The Bulldogs defense has been a big disappointment this season. Many thought this unit would be one of the best, but they are giving up 24.1 points per game. The rushing defense has been particularly bad, and it will be tested in this game.
One area where Georgia doesn’t have any problems is the running back spot. Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall are both freshmen tailbacks, but they don’t play like youngsters. Gurley and Marshall average 6.7 and 7.0 yards per carry so far this year. The Georgia offense has been most successful when they pound the football constantly.
Georgia’s defense hasn’t been able to stop the run so far this year, and Florida can run the ball very well. The Gators have the much more consistent defense. I think Florida takes care of business and covers the number here.
Florida 30 Georgia 17