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Georgia football winners and losers following win over Florida
Winner: Zamir White
For the second straight season, White topped 100 yards in Jacksonville, Fla. He ran for 105 yards on 14 carries. His final carry of the day was also the longest run of the season for Georgia as he punctuated the day with a 42-yard run.
Statistically speaking, White’s performance was the most productive of the season by any running back. On a day where Stetson Bennett was far from his best, it was a much-needed effort from the junior running back.
Loser: Dan Mullen
Mullen is now 1-4 as a head coach against Kirby Smart. Three of those losses have come since taking over the Florida job. Saturday’s 34-7 defeat drops the Gators to 4-4 this season.
The Gators are now 2-7 in Florida’s last nine-game against Power 5 opponents. Florida also has the No. 22 recruiting class in the 2022 cycle, as many pointed out the wide recruiting discrepancy between Mullen’s program and Smart’s.
Since losing to Florida last season, Georgia has won 12-straight games. The Bulldogs have the No. 1 recruiting class in the country and have already locked up the SEC East.
When asked about what happened in Jacksonville, Fla., last year, Smart put much of the blame on himself and emphasized this was a different Georgia team.
“Yeah, we didn’t play well last year. That wasn’t all the players fault. That was my fault,” Smart said. “That was other coaches fault, but it really wasn’t about that this year for our guys, I didn’t feel like. It’s a different team, different style of team, we’re a different team. I don’t look at it as last year. I look at it as what do we have to do to win and let’s go execute that and do it.”
Related: Recruiting decided 2021 Georgia football-Florida game and Kirby Smart knows it
Mullen meanwhile seems stuck in the past, as he referenced the win last year when asked about the seemingly growing talent gap between the two schools.
Florida’s remaining schedule should allow them to back on track and finish the season on a high note. But Mullen figures to enter the 2022 season under a lot of pressure given the disappointment of this year.
Winner: Georgia’s defensive 5-stars
Nolan Smith rightfully earned praise for his two-turnover performance. But he was far from the only former 5-star prospect to shine on Saturday.
Travon Walker seemed like he was everywhere, as was Nakobe Dean. Walker tipped the pass that Smith intercepted while Dean had a defensive touchdown with an interception of his own.
“We held them in the red area, forced field goals, they missed some field goals, which are turnovers,” Smart said. “Travon is like Nolan, he practices so hard and it’s so important to him. There’s a lot of pride on this team, but especially the defense.”
Related: Nolan Smith on Georgia win over Florida: ‘It was personal’