What we learned: Georgia embarrasses Florida in worst Gators loss since ’82

By Adam Silverstein
October 28, 2017
What we learned: Georgia embarrasses Florida in worst Gators loss since ’82

If you thought some of the rivalry beatdowns the Florida Gators handed the Georgia Bulldogs were bad, No. 3 Georgia got a measure of revenge Saturday with a lopsided 42-7 win over Florida in the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Part. Not only was the defeat a pure embarrassment for the Gators, it also puts their coach on the firing line.

OnlyGators.com breaks down UF’s third straight loss below.

It was over when: Georgia running back Sony Michel rushed for a 45-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter. It was Michel’s second big-time score on the game — he previously ran 74 yards into the end zone midway through the first quarter — and put the Bulldogs up 28-0 on the afternoon. You could make a case that the game was over before then, but the truth is that the Gators’ defense had buckled down after a 21-0 deficit aided by an early interception and Michel’s first breakaway run. UF could have trailed 21-6 had it simply kicked a couple field goals early. Instead, it found itself down 21-0 at the half and 28-0 shortly thereafter.

Exceptional efforts: Redshirt senior punter Johnny Townsend was a dynamo for Floirda, averaging 54.4 yards on seven punts with five of 50+ yards and one going 70 yards. He was truly incredible on the day. Sophomore RB Lamichal Perine also put forth a tremendous effort, carrying the ball 16 times for 93 yards with a long of 29.

Important injury: Freshman RB Malik Davis suffered an undisclosed injury early in the game and finished with four carries for 20 yards. As the Gators’ top playmaker, Davis going down snuffed out any hope Florida had of a potential far-fetched comeback. Returning sophomore wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland was held to one reception for 5 yards, and freshman athlete Kadarius Toney had just two touches for 7 yards in the game.

Odds and ends: Florida had 14 penalties and 10 completions; the Gators also had 66 passing yards and 85 penalty yards … UF outpossessed UGA 34:55-25:05 and ran 24 more plays (66-42) but averaged 3.8 yards per play compared to 9.4 for the victors … Florida was a combined 4-for-17 on third and fourth down … UGA improved to 50-43-2 all-time against UF with a 45-40-1 mark in Jacksonville … this was Georgia’s biggest win in the rivalry since 1982 (44-0) … the Gators are now 4-8 against ranked opponents and 13-9 in games decided by eight points or more under McElwain … Florida has scored in 368 consecutive games, the longest streak all-time … UF’s defense has not recovered a fumble this season; it’s the only unit in the nation not to do so … the Gators are in danger of not returning a kickoff or punt for a touchdown for the first time in 12 seasons

What it means: This version of Florida football is over. McElwain’s days are numbered, not only for the Gators’ performance in this game but because of their overall look under his tenure of two-plus years. Florida was ill-prepared offensively coming off a bye week and now have a defense that used to be one of the best in the nation but gets gauged by any talented opponent it faces. UF’s special teams do not impact the game in any positive manner. Worst of all, he was hired to be an offensive savant, and the Gators have scored a combined 40 points in their last three games. It’s just not working on any level, and Florida may be looking for a new coach as soon as Sunday.

Quarter by quarter

First: After Florida opened the game in typical fashion with a three-and-out, Georgia immediately drove 53 yards on four plays for an early touchdown. The Bulldogs then picked off redshirt freshman quarterback Feleipe Franks and eventually found the end zone again. Georgia added its third touchdown of the opening seven-plus minutes with a 74-yard run by Sony Michel coming right out of a punt. UGA scored more points (21) against UF in the first 7:28 than it did in any game in this rivalry since 2013.

Second: The Gators drove 82 yards midway through the quarter but stalled inside the 5-yard line and came away with no points after going for it on fourth down and failing to convert. Florida did put up some yards and maintained possession most of the quarter but came away with no points.

Third: UF forced an interception, hauled in by junior cornerback Duke Dawson, but was unable to convert it into points with another fourth-down failure in lieu of a field goal try. UGA responded with a quick five-play, 76-yard touchdown drive with Michel running 45 yards untouched for the score. Just over a minute later, Franks fumbled on a sack deep in Florida territory, and Georgia returned it for a 3-yard touchdown to go up 35-0.

Fourth: The Gators and Bulldogs exchanged punts for much of the final quarter, but Georgia found one more touchdown on yet another breakway run, this time a 39-yard gain into the end zone to put the No. 3 team in the nation up 42-0 with 11:22 to play. Florida was on the verge of its first shutout since 1988, but redshirt senior QB Malik Zaire entered late in the game and engineered a nine-play, 71-yard touchdown drive against Georgia’s second-string defense. Redshirt senior running back Mark Thompson ended the shutout, adding a touchdown to his 55 combined yards on the day.


Join The

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux