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The Athletic gives its outlook for Georgia game


Heading into the season, many figured that this week’s matchup between Florida and Georgia would have some impact on who wins the SEC East and makes the College Football Playoff. Losses to Kentucky and LSU have Florida out of both of those races, and the Gators can play spoiler to the No. 1 team in the country at best.

The Bulldogs are elite, especially on defense, and they opened as heavy favorites with a -650 money line and 14.5-point spread listed on Tipico Sportsbook. Although Florida only lost to No. 3 Alabama by two points, the Gators had the benefit of playing at home, making all the difference for the offense. Anthony Richardson had to replace Emory Jones on the road against LSU and Kentucky’s crowd noise forced eight false starts earlier in the year.

The world’s largest outdoor cocktail party has a great reputation for being one of the best environments in college football, but it remains to be seen how Florida will play at a neutral site. Zachary Pekale of The Athletic doesn’t think Florida will be able to get out of its own way, despite being a potential challenge for Georgia.

At what point is it acceptable to worry about Florida? The Gators started the year ranked 13th in the AP poll and put up a good fight at home against Alabama but have since gone 2-2 with uninspiring performances on the road in losses to Kentucky and LSU. The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time after UF got run over in a 49-42 loss to the Tigers … Anthony Richardson and Emory Jones combined for four interceptions while Florida trailed most of the afternoon. The Gators are most likely the toughest offensive team Georgia has seen up to this point, but UF has been mistake-prone and tends to get in its way.

While it may brutal, it’s an accurate description of Florida’s play in 2021. Over the by week, head coach Dan Mullen said that the team tends to make a different mistake each week that costs the game and that they’re working on being more consistent. Georgia is the ultimate test of consistency. The Bulldogs don’t like letting teams score, and Kentucky is the only team to get into their end zone twice.

Pekale adds that Georgia is 12-3 against Florida when only the Bulldogs are ranked, so Gator nation could be in for a rough one on Saturday.

All Betting Lines are Courtesy of Tipico Sportsbook

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