Florida vs. Georgia prediction, pick, odds, spread, how to watch live stream, game time, TV channel

By OnlyGators.com Staff
October 28, 2023
Florida vs. Georgia prediction, pick, odds, spread, how to watch live stream, game time, TV channel

Image Credit: Michael Nash

Faced with a make or break game two weeks ago, the Florida Gators made it, taking care of business on away from home with an offensive performance not previously seen this season. Now the pressure ratchets up even more as Florida takes on the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs, the fourth of seven ranked opponents it will play this season.

While the Gators have dominated this rivalry since 1990, winning two thirds of the matchups, that has hardly been the case recently. The Dawgs have won five of the last six and eight of the last 12 meetings with their last five series wins coming by an average of 22.0 points per game.

To get back in the winner’s circle, Florida will need a stellar, error-free performance with efficient play offensively, forced turnovers and a clean special teams effort. While the Gators offense has shown improvement — and to be fair, special teams has been more solid of late — the defense is 126th nationally out of 133 teams in turnovers gained (four), and the team is 89th in turnover margin (-0.29).

Georgia enters the game without its best offensive player and with a lackluster resume (this season). The Dawgs’ incredibly soft schedule has few potential speed bumps with Saturday’s showdown being one of them. A Florida win would mark its first over a No. 1-ranked opponent with UF not itself also a top-three team. The Gators will also need to buck history; they are 0-17 over the last century as two-touchdown underdogs.

Florida controls its own destiny this season. A win over Georgia vaults it to the top of the SEC East. A loss puts the Gators in position to potentially drop four of their last five games and finish with the same record they did a season ago.

In other words, plenty rides on this result. What will go down Saturday afternoon? Let’s find out.

Don’t miss our Florida Football Friday Final covering thoughts from Napier entering this Week 7 showdown. Plus, take a look at the updated Gators depth chart.

Tale of the tape

Florida GatorsNo. 1 Georgia Bulldogs
Head coachBilly NapierKirby Smart
Record5-2 (3-1)7-0 (4-0)

Injuries and absences

Active (3): C Kingsley Eguakun (ankle), WR Andy Jean (lower body), TE Dante Zanders (Lower body)
Out (5): WR Caleb Douglas (leg), TE Keon Zipperer (lower body), OL Caden Jones (foot), TE Jonathan Odom (upper body), WR Thai Chiaokhiao-Bowman (lower body)
Out for season (2): DL Justus Boone (knee), RB Cam Carroll (knee)

Viewing information

Date: Saturday, Oct. 28 | Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: EverBank Stadium — Jacksonville, Florida [76,666]

TV: CBS (Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson, Jenny Dell)
Live stream: CBSSports.com | SiriusXM: 134/191 | Radio: WRUF, TuneIn
Live updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

Game notes

» Florida is 44-54-2 all-time against Georgia (41-48-1 in Jacksonville) with the Gators holding a 22-11 edge since 1990. However, the Dawgs have won five of the last six and eight of the last 12 meetings. In UGA’s last five series wins, it has bested UF by 22.0 points per game.
» Saturday marks the third time since 1942 — and third straight season — that Georgia enters the game as the nation’s No. 1 team (2021-22).
» An unranked Florida team has never defeated a No. 1-ranked opponent. The Gators have only defeated a No. 1 team three times in program history, all with Florida ranked in the top three nationally.
» UF has defeated a ranked (and top 10) UGA twice this century (2002, 2014).
» The Gators are 2-7 away from home under Napier. They had lost five straight such games (before beating South Carolina two weeks ago) and been outscored across all nine contests by an average of 9.6 points.
» Dating back to the prior regime, Florida is on a 2-13 drought away from The Swamp with a 1-10 mark in its last 11 true road games.
» The Gators entered the season with 35 new scholarship players on the roster, tied for 12th most in the FBS. They also had just 115 combined starts returning, second-fewest in the nation, and only 69 returning players, ninth-fewest in the nation.
» UF has played more freshmen in every game this season (11) than any other team in the country.
» Florida under Napier is 10-0 when leading after the third quarter and 9-2 when rushing for at least 150 yards. It is also 4-0 this season when scoring first, 5-0 when leading at halftime and 4-0 when outrushing its opponent. However, UF is 3-6 under Napier when opponents score first, 1-5 when scoring less than 21 points, 3-10 when allowing 21+ points, 1-9 when tied or trailing after the third quarter and 2-6 when being outrushed.
» Florida is 2-7 against AP Top 25 teams under Napier, 1-1 this season. That drought extends to 8-17 against ranked opponents (2-5 vs. top five teams, 5-7 vs. top 10 teams) since 2018. In that same span, UF is 35-10 against unranked opponents.
» The Gators have scored in 443 consecutive games, an NCAA record.

Prediction and analysis

Spread: Florida +14.5 | O/U: 47.5

There has been a sudden, somewhat-unexpected belief in the Gators, which enter the week just outside of the top 25 receiving the 26th-most voting points across the primary college football rankings. This after Florida’s come-from-behind victory on the road at South Carolina. Meanwhile, Georgia lost its star player in tight end Brock Bowers and only won by 17 points at Vanderbilt two weeks ago. That momentum should continue into Saturday afternoon with this line falling below two touchdowns ahead of kickoff.

This is yet another tough game to predict for the Gators. While Florida showed life on offense two weeks ago, it also failed miserably on defense, which has long appeared to be a fool’s gold unit all season going up against a rough (and injured) Utah offense, inefficient Tennessee offense and otherwise weak schedule. Carson Beck and Daijun Edwards are plenty talented, and while Brock Bowers is out, the Dawgs recruit well enough where there are surely plenty players who can beat UF over the top like so many teams have consistently this season. Still, not having Bowers will drop the offense’s efficiency.

The real question is whether redshirt junior quarterback Graham Mertz will continue his level of production against this Georgia defense. If he remains efficient and turnover-free, the Gators should have enough balance to put up points. The greatest concern is the offensive line against what has long been the Dawgs’ strength — the defensive front seven. While Georgia has lost plenty of players to the NFL of late, they have recruited behind them. The unit may be less experienced and impactful on a game to game basis, but it’s far more talented man to man. (Same goes for the other side of the ball.)

That’s why Napier’s recruiting acumen is so important to Florida’s long-term success. When going against a team like Georgia — or any other top-tier opponent — scheme and game planning can only make up so much when there’s a gulf between talent levels.

Still, these Gators seem to match up well with the Dawgs, and they are far more battle tested this season. Florida has already faced three top-25 opponents (two on the road), while Georgia has only played an overrated Kentucky team at home. UGA will almost certainly pull it out in the end, but it would not be surprising to see it take a while to find its footing against a motivated UF program. That plus both teams’ inconsistent defenses should lead to a Gators cover with the game going over the total.

2023 records: ATS picks 3-4 | O/U picks 4-3 | Underdog SU picks 1-0

Odds and ends

» Uniforms: Florida will wear blue jerseys, white pants and orange helmets. (Fun fact: UF will not wear orange jerseys or pants at all this season.)

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