Georgia football knew what it had to do to beat Florida, and by halftime, it was apparent the game plan had gone off the rails.
The Gators (4-1) scored a 44-28 win over the Bulldogs (4-2), taking control of the SEC East Division with the victory.
The Georgia game plan was to score points and consume time off the clock, the latter to keep the Gators’ explosive offense off the field.
To put things into perspective, Florida was limited to just seven possessions in last year’s 24-17 win.
The Gators had eight possessions by halftime on Saturday en route to 15 possessions and 571 yards — 7 yards more than Alabama had in its 41-24 win over UGA earlier this season.
The Georgia offense was just 1-of-6 on third down conversions in the first half with Stetson Bennett behind center.
Even worse, UGA kept putting its injury-riddled defense back on the field quickly.
The Bulldogs scored touchdowns on their opening two drives, gaining 136 yards on 14 plays.
But after that, UGA went three-and-out four out of their final five drives of the half.
It led to Florida holding a commanding 19:56 to 10:04 time of possession at the half, in addition to a 38-21 lead as the teams headed to intermission.
Here are three more keys from Saturday’s game.
1. Key ejection
Safety Lewis Cine’s ejection at the 8:28 mark of the second quarter was pivotal.
The game was tied at 21-21 when Cine hit Kyle Pitts on a crossing route, turning to lead with his shoulder at the same time the Florida tight end lowered his helmet.
It led to a targeting call and an ejection for Cine, who was providing hard-hitting run support and sound coverage in the secondary.
UGA was also playing without All-American safety Richard LeCounte, who was injured in a motorcycle crash last Saturday.
Florida attacked Cine’s replacement, true freshman Major Burns, two plays later, scoring on a 24-yard touchdown pass to take its first lead of the game at 28-21.
2. Quarterback play
From the chapters of Captan Obvious, the quarterback position was the difference in the game.
Kyle Trask was 30-of-43 passing for 474 yards with 4 touchdowns and an interception, becoming the first SEC quarterback in history to throw 4 touchdowns in the first five games of a season.
Georgia quarterbacks combined to go 9-of-29 passing for 112 yards with three interceptions and two touchdowns.
Trask was particularly impressive in the first half, 20-of-26 passing for 341 yards with 4 touchdowns and one bad throw that Eric Stokes picked off and returned for a touchdown.
Trask’s 474 passing yards were second only to Tim Tebow’s school record of 482.
3. Wheel routes
CBS commentator Gary Danielson was beside himself at how many times Florida exploited Georgia linebackers on the wheel route with its tailbacks.
“It’s another wheel route!” Danielson said in the fourth quarter. “That’s got to be seven of these.”
Florida tailback Malik Davis had five catches for 100 yards, and tailback Dameon Pierce had two catches for 41 yards.
Georgia’s inability to make the adjustment was costly.