ORLANDO, Fla. — If Georgia’s biggest threat in the SEC East proves to be the Florida, the Bulldogs could have another year of double-digit divisional victories in league play.
The No. 8-ranked Gators beat Miami 24-20 in a sloppy, topsy-turvy shootout at Camping World Stadium on Saturday night in a game that was more entertaining than well-played.
There’s plenty of time for Florida to improve before it tackles Georgia in a Nov. 2 game that many have circled as one that will decide the SEC East Division.
The same is true for the No. 3-ranked Bulldogs, who open their season at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night at Vanderbilt.
The teams don’t meet tomorrow, but if they did, the game would strongly favor Georgia to win its third straight in the annual Jacksonville showdown.
Here’s a look at who has the edge at each position, based on what DawgNation has seen and researched from each program.
Edge: Georgia. Third-year starter Jake Fromm may not possesses the physical attributes of Florida’s 6-foot-6, 238-pound quarterback, but Fromm’s decision-making and accuracy is far superior. Dan Mullen said the Gators will continue to put games in Frank’s hands, believing in his redshirt junior even after his off-night.
Edge: Georgia. Florida’s Lamical Perine is a dual-threat, but the Bulldogs have arguably the deepest and most talented backfield in the nation
Edge Florida. The Gators bring juice to the perimeter, as evidenced by Josh Hammond’s 65-yard catch and Kadarius Toney’s 66-yard TD catch and run. Van Jefferson is the leading returning receiver with 35 catches and more than 500 yards. Georgia’s WR room has talent, but is still working to get in sync at this time. By November, the Bulldogs may prove to have the edge.
Edge Georgia. The Bulldogs can make a strong case for having the best offensive line in he nation, while Florida returns just one starter. Georgia’s edge at this position is a separator.
Edge: Florida. The Gators recorded 10 sacks and had 5 QB pressures, even with Miami OC Dan Enos knowing they were coming. 6-4, 300-pounder Kyree Campbell led the charge with five tackles, two tackles-for-loss a sack and a forced fumble. DE Jabari Zuniga had three TFLs and 1.5 sacks. It remains to be seen how dominant Georgia’s senior-laden group can be.
Edge: Georgia, Florida has recruited well and been strong at this position, but this is also Georgia’s most improved position group entering the 2019 campaign. Gators’ LB Ventrell Miller was active with five tackles and two sacks on Miami. UGA counters with junior inside LB Monty Rice and talented freshman OLBs Azeez Ojulari and Nolan Smith. The Bulldogs will improve as the season progresses.
Edge: Georgia. The Bulldogs secondary is the most underrated unit on the UGA team, anchored by safeties J.R. Reed and Richard LeCounte and a bevy of sticky corners. Florida corners CJ Henderson and Marco Wilson are legit, but so are Georgia’s Eric Stokes and Tyson Campbell.
Edge: Florida. The Gators made some plays on special teams against Miami, notably a successful fake punt on their opening series and a recovered punt fumble at the 11. Florida also showed cover skills and downed a punt inside the 5. Georgia has one of the top kickers in the country, but the Bulldogs look to shore up special teams this season after some notable failures last season.