10 Georgia missed opportunities that could have turned 44-28 loss to Florida
ATHENS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart said the sky isn’t falling, but he recognizes improvement is needed immediately.
The Bulldogs fell to Florida 44-28 on Saturday, dropping out of the SEC East Division lead for the first time since 2016.
The Gators (4-1) rolled up 571 total yards on Georgia (4-2) — the most on a UGA program since 2013 — en route to the victory.
Smart pointed out the Bulldogs left several plays on the field that could have made a difference, only adding to the frustrations.
“It’s a game for me of missed opportunities — I thought that we missed a lot of opportunities, I felt like, on defense and offense,” Smart said.
“I felt like we dropped a couple of picks that could have been big plays, and then obviously offensively we missed a lot of open shots. That’s the toughest thing.”
Smart’s not exaggerating, the defense missed out on three turnovers including a Pick-6.
The offense, meanwhile, couldn’t play pitch and catch at crucial times, just 2 of 13 on third downs.
Georgia missed on three would-be touchdown passes.
Here are 10 clear missed opportunities, each of which could have turned the game around:
(8:20) Malik Herring hit the football and nearly knocked it out of Kyle Trask’s hands before the Florida QB delivered the Gators’ opening scoring strike.
(2:25) Tyrique Stevenson was in position to intercept a Trask pass in the first quarter, but his legs got tangled with Kyle Pitts, and he fell down as Pitts caught the pass at the UGA 5, setting up the second Gators’ TD.
(7:44) Florida’s go-ahead touchdown came when Mark Webb and Monty Rice got cross up on who was covering the tight end, and no one covered him, making for an easy throw and catch touchdown.
(7:40) John Fitzpatrick dropped what would have been a 20-yard catch on first-and-10 at the UGA on the Bulldogs’ ensuing drive, the team in dire need of a score to answer the Florida go-ahead touchdown.
(7:34) Bennett overthrew a wide-open Kearis Jackson on the very next play on what would have been a game-tying touchdown. “You gotta make a couple of those throws,” Gary Danielson said. “A play that is a touchdown cannot be made.”
(:45) Bennett overthrows and open Matt Landers, a play that would have sustained a potential scoring drive and cut into 31-21 lead. Instead, UGA punts the ball back and Florida scores a TD to make it 38-21 — a 10 to 14 point swing.
(5:01) Mathis overthrows an open Demetris Robertson deep after passing up an easier throw to an uncovered Darnell Washington 20 yards downfield.
(10:51) Mathis misses a wide-open Tre’ McKitty streaking down the right sideline, a potential 50-yard gain at a juncture UGA trailed 41-28.
(8:04) Mathis can’t connect with Demetris Robertson, who was wide open on a fly route. The throw was slightly overthrown, but it didn’t appear Robertson was able to extend for the past with UGA down 41-28. “(Mathis) knew he was going to get hit, that was a very nice throw,” Gary Danielson said.
(7:03) Mark Webb reads Trask throw and breaks on it, but drops what would have been a Pick-6 with Georgia down 41-28 and plenty of time left in the game.