JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A quarter-by-quarter review of Florida’s 27-3 victory over Georgia at EverBank Field on Saturday:
Big play: On the final play of a previously scoreless quarter, Georgia’s Reggie Davis muffed a catch of a Florida punt at the UGA 5-yard line. The Gators’ Nick Washington recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown. Georgia’s Sterling Bailey blocked the PAT attempt.
Turning point: Georgia taiback Sony Michel missed the remainder of the quarter after apparently banging up his right wrist on a 27-yard run, which was negated by a holding penalty, on the Bulldogs’ first offensive snap of the game. Brendan Douglas was Georgia’s tailback the rest of the quarter, mustering just four yards on three carries.
The takeaway: So, yes, indeed, in the biggest game of its season, Georgia started a quarterback, Faton Bauta, who hadn’t played a meaningful offensive snap since his senior season in high school in 2011.
Score: Florida 6, Georgia 0
Big play: Florida quarterback Treon Harris and receiver Antonio Callaway connected on a 66-yard touchdown pass with about five minutes left in the quarter. Callaway beat Georgia freshman safety Johnathan Abram, who then missed a tackle that allowed Callaway to gain 32 yards after the catch.
Turning point: Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves intercepted a Bauta pass at the Georgia 25-yard line after it was broken up by defensive end Alex McAlister. Hargreaves returned the interception to the 5. Tailback Kelvin Taylor scored from the 3-yard line two plays later as Florida stretched its lead to 20-0, with 13 of the points coming as a result of Georgia turnovers.
The takeaway: This game has gotten ugly in a hurry for Georgia. At halftime, Michel had four yards rushing on six carries, Florida had 212 offensive yards to Georgia’s 94, and Bauta was 9-for-17 for 79 yards with two interceptions and was off target on what could have been a touchdown pass to a wide-open Jay Rome.
Score: Florida 20, Georgia 0
Big play: Georgia linebacker Davin Bellamy caused and recovered a Harris fumble at the Florida 25-yard line early in the quarter. The Bulldogs got only a 27-yard Marshall Morgan field goal from the opportunity, however.
Turning point: As the quarter wound down, Harris hit Callaway with a 33-yard pass on 2nd-and-24 and Harris gained 19 yards on a 3rd-and-12 quarterback draw. Florida got no points from the drive, but kept the ball for more than six minutes with a 17-point lead.
The takeaway: Many thousands of seats in the Georgia half of the stadium had emptied by the end of the third quarter.
Score: Florida 20, Georgia 3
Big play: Florida safety Keanu Neal intercepted a short Bauta pass in the end zone for a touchback to thwart a Georgia scoring threat about five minutes into the quarter. Florida proceeded to drive 80 yards for a touchdown and a 27-3 lead.
Turning point: Nothing turned in the fourth quarter as Bauta completed a miserable debut (15-for-33, 154 yards, four interceptions) and the Bulldogs dropped to 5-10 vs. Florida under coach Mark Richt.
The takeaway: Georgia hasn’t scored a touchdown in eight quarters, dating to early in the fourth quarter of the Tennessee game. The Gators are one win away from the SEC East championship.
Score: Florida 27, Georgia 3