Georgia/Florida: Where Predictions are Useless
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Its that time of year again. The one where jean shorts, puking strangers, and creative drinking reign supreme. Where the quality of the game itself is inversely correlated its stakes. Where, for Georgia fans not born on the I-95 corridor, noses get very sensitive to storm drains, paper factories, and the nastiness of the state of Florida.
Seriously, going to The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party* is a feat in alcoholism and conditions that would make the Brazil Olympics blush. Why do it? Because you have NO idea what’s going to happen.
*- yes, it’ll always be the cocktail party.
Florida is a 7.5-point favorite in this year’s iteration, an alarmingly comforting number for the Georgia fan still reeling (as our entire website is) from the inexcusable Vandy loss. 7.5 points is two turnovers, a miracle at Mizzou, or patented Georgia/Florida weirdness away from a Georgia upset. And I’m calling for it now, because this rivalry is just stupid enough to lend itself to that result.
So how, stupid blogger-by-night sportswriter that I am, come up with such a pick?
- Georgia wins turnovers. Luke Del Rio is at his third university. Austin Appleby couldn’t cut it at Purdue. Georgia’s defense, meanwhile? Pretty damn good! Sell out against the run, pressure the quarterbacks, and force them to beat Georgia’s ballhawking DB’s 1-on-1. Or, any one of Lorenzo Carter/Natrez Patrick/Roquan Smith/Davin Bellamy/D’Andre Walker could go all Jarvis on it. For review:
- Which means, don’t turn the ball over. Florida’s defense is, outside of Ann Arbor and Tuscaloosa, probably the best in the country. Their secondary may be the best now that Eddie Jackson is out at Alabama. So, do what the Jim Chaney offense has been incredibly adept at: playing way too conservatively, running our running backs’ heads into a brick wall, and finding creative ways to get Isaiah McKenzie the ball in space. 250 yards and some well-executed punts are all we need.
- The special teams gods still owe us. Self-explanatory.
Convinced yet? No? Good. Neither am I. Try explaining the run massacre of 2014, the decision to start Faton Bauta last year (and run him exactly twice), or the game in 2013 becoming close.
Georgia could win this on safeties and field goals…or some karmic interference from Florida stonewalling LSU and causing 10 days of handwringing throughout the SEC.
For some reason that defies even the shaky logic presented above, I think they will.