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A pair of SEC heavyweights will go to battle Saturday afternoon when the seventh-ranked Georgia Bulldogs head to Florida (Jacksonville) to take on the sixth-ranked Gators for the top spot in the SEC East. Both teams are coming off of a bye week and have certainly had this one circled on their respective calendars since spring. While the Gators still dominate this all-time series, they have dropped five of their last eight against the Bulldogs including the last two seasons by a combined 54 points. In what could be looked at as a mid-season SEC playoff contest, both teams face must-win situations if they want to remain in the national conversation.
Georgia Bulldogs vs Florida Gators (Jacksonville, FL)
Saturday, November 2nd, 2019 – 3:30 pm EST
Florida +4.5, O/U 48 (via PointsBet)
In what has become National Championship or bust for Kirby Smart and his seventh-ranked Bulldogs, Georgia is on pace for their fifth double-digit win season in six years. A major cause for concern, however, has been the regression in production from junior quarterback Jake Fromm. After a 2018 season that saw 30 touchdowns and six interceptions, Fromm has thrown just nine touchdowns on the season and ranks 71st in FBS with just 200.9 yards per game.
Thankfully for Fromm and Bulldog nation, Georgia has one of the best offensive lines and rushing attacks in the nation, averaging 236.9 rushing yards per game. Junior back D’Andre Swift leads the way for the Bulldogs’ rushing attack, averaging 107.7 yards per game and tallying seven touchdowns on the season. An even bigger factor for Georgia is their once again stellar defense. Through eight games, the Bulldogs rank first in the SEC in points (10.6), total yards (267.1) and rushing yards (86.1) allowed per game.
Outside of a game against LSU on the road in Death Valley, this Gators team has been one of the most consistent in college football and has the record and resume to prove it. The Gators have allowed 13 points or less in four games thus far and are allowing just 15.8 yards per game. At the quarterback position, junior quarterback Kyle Trask has proved adequate at the helm, replacing an injured Felipe Franks at the start of the season and holding onto the job since.
Through seven games, Trask has thrown for 14 touchdowns and just four interceptions and has exceeded expectations from originally being third on the Gators’ quarterback depth chart over the summer. Much like Georgia, the Gators have largely asked their quarterback to manage the game, and lean heavily on their top-tier defense and a running game that takes more of a committee approach but is still effective.
Fromm’s struggles are concerning, and he has largely gotten away with them thanks to tremendous defense and a running attack that constantly bails him out. There’s another, more relevant to this contest, reason he has gotten away with it as well, and that’s scheduling. In his last two games, against South Carolina and Kentucky, Fromm has thrown for 295 and 35 yards respectively and a combined 1:3 touchdown to interception ratio. In a game such as this one Saturday which has historically come down to which team can run the ball better, I lean Georgia but love the under, even where it currently sits. This total originally opened up at 48 and has since dropped by a field goal which makes absolute sense and should continue to descend. Grab it while you can.