WATCH Georgia LB Monty Rice: Florida ‘has better players than we’ve played’
ATHENS — Georgia linebacker Monty Rice is typically a man of few words, but watching the Florida offense on film has apparently changed all that.
Rice, who had a team-high 11 tackles and a forced fumble in the Bulldogs’ 36-17 win last season, made it clear the Gators have his attention.
“They’ve got better players than we’ve played so far this year, in my opinion, especially all over the field at the receiver position,” Rice said. “They are all fast and can make big plays, so it’s going to come down to good pass coverage and a good pass rush and stopping the run.”
The No. 8-ranked Bulldogs play No. 6 Florida at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville in a game that will likely determine the SEC East Division champ.
Rice, asked what stands out to him about playing in the NFL stadium, replied, “Nothing, nothing — locker rooms are nice.”
But when the junior from Madison, Ala., was asked about Florida, he issued more superlatives than all of his other interviews this season combined.
“I don’t think we’ve faced a quarterback as good as (Kyle) Trask this year, yet, so it’s going to be a good challenge,” Rice said. “Just overall, watching him, he doesn’t make a lot of bonehead mistakes.
“He’s going to throw the ball where the receiver can catch it, and he’s going to do what he’s coached to do.”
No doubt, Dan Mullen said earlier this week that he’s confident Trask can handle the environment and execute
“This is our third Top-10 matchup we’ve had this year, he’s already played in the other two,” Mullen said. “One at home, one on the road, and this one is in the middle. So I guess it is different that way for him. But he’s played in some tough road atmospheres. He’s played in some big games already.
“I feel pretty confident. He knows what he’s doing. I feel pretty confident.”
Rice can understand why.
“I think they throw the ball a lot better than they did last year,” Rice said. “Trask, he puts the ball where it needs to be for their receivers to go get it and to be able to make plays.”
And one player in particular stands out on film — Kyle Pitts.
” I think he has the most targets in the whole nation for a tight end, and in order for them to win, they’ll have to get him the ball,” Rice said. “He is definitely a receiver — more of a receiver — than a tight end, he can make plays.
“He runs routes like a receiver, and he’s fast and he’s like 6-6, 240, so he’s a big dude.”