during the second half of an college football game, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. (Stephen B. Morton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Former SEC coach shares how Georgia-Florida game will play out

ATHENS — The Georgia-Florida game will be a very competitive game for at least one half, according to someone who should know better than most anyone.

Jeremy Pruitt was on the same Alabama staff with Kirby Smart and Billy Napier at one point, and he evaluated or recruited many of the players competing in the 3:30 p.m. game on Saturday in Jacksonville.

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“I think we’ll see what we’ve seen when Florida has played good teams this year — they’ll be competitive early,” Pruitt said during the Ingles On The Beat show on Monday night.

“They’ll need to make some turnovers or get some breaks in the kicking game to stay in the game.”

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The No. 1-ranked Bulldogs are a 22-point favorite over the Gators, but Florida’s ability to run the ball effectively — with Anthony Richardson ranking among the most mobile quarterbacks in college football — could play into Napier’s strategy.

“I could see where Billy Napier tries to slow the game down,” Pruitt said. “try to get it to halftime, try to get it to the fourth quarter, and keep it within one score game to give themselves a chance.”

That’s about where Florida had it last year, down just 3-0 with three minutes left in the first half before Georgia’s historic defense forced three Richardson turnovers that translated into 21 points.

Richardson, who was making his first career start in last season’s Georgia-Florida game, has come a long way.

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But not far enough.

“Georgia will eventually as they’ve done with a lot of teams, they’ll lean on them,” Pruitt said, “and the second half will be all Georgia Bulldogs.”

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