Before I begin, I feel this is appropriate to set the tone of my post. “Every Dawg” by Corey Smith.
“A long ride back from Jacksonville 500 miles from a game we should’ve won Man we ought a burn down that stadiumThought this year was gonna be ours Talking too much junk in those Florida bars Now I’m stunned man I wish it was 1981” – Every Dawg, Corey Smith
The sweetest victories and most bitter defeats always come against rival teams. Georgia-Florida was no exception this year. The hype was intact and the scene was set down in Jacksonville.
The atmosphere outside Everbank Field was everything a fan could envision. Fans showed up early and wore their team’s colors proudly. Going into the classic match-up, Georgia was a solid ten-point favorite. However, the favor was not in the favor of the Dawgs at the end of the day.
The environment around the stadiums was a classic mix of team chants, “Go Dawgs” and “Gator Chomps”. However, talk of an easy Georgia victory and releasing Florida from their Muschamp days was the pre-game chatter. That chatter quickly turned to head shaking and looks of utter confusion.
Here are the three main takeaways from Saturday:
- Did the defense even exist?
On both sides of the ball, Georgia came up short on both ends. The Gators were able to predict and stop the run. Unfortunately, for the Dawgs, they could not do they same. The Gators took a relentless approach to their running game and gave Georgia an absolute beating on the line. Georgia’s defense allowed 418-rushing yards, the second most in program history. An impressive feat for any team, but giving that honor to the Gator Nation was almost too much to bear.
- Overall Performance
Georgia seemed to carry on their lack-luster appearance from two-weeks prior. The second half of the Arkansas game was slightly messy with several miss opportunities for the Dawgs. After exposing weaknesses and a bye week, it would be easy to assume gaps would be filled and missing dots would be connected. False. The commitment to the play was not there against Florida. After a successful campaign following the South Carolina defeat and the loss of Gurley, Georgia was on a straight forward path to the playoffs. . . then Florida happened. A small glimmer of hope came in the late fourth, but the gap Florida made was wide enough to be considered a swamp. The Dawgs fell prey to the Gators 38-20. Georgia was out executed the entire game.
- What does this even mean for UGA?
The BIGGEST factor with Georgia’s lost is the massive hit in both the Associate Press (AP) poll and the Coaches’ Poll. Georgia tumbled from No. 9 to No. 17 in the AP poll. Georgia’s mishap put the Dawgs on the cusps of being out of contention for the SEC title and potential play-off selection and future bowl game placement. Georgia will have to give every ounce of effort to knock-off Kentucky at home and face the Auburn Tigers at home to christen Todd Gurley’s return on Nov. 15. Georgia now has to wait on other teams to slip and fall to the wayside and dominates their opponent to gain access to the list of potential candidates for play-off selection. It’s a tall order for the Bulldogs, but if the Dawgs can hunker down, there might be hope.
Keep the Faith and Commit to the G.