It’s that time of year. The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party is finally upon us.
The Georgia Bulldogs and the Florida Gators will head to Jacksonville for one of the most exciting neutral site games in the nation.
Las Vegas doesn’t exactly agree with that statement as the Dawgs are a two touchdown favorite over the Gators.
Either way, this is a rivalry game and you know what that means: it’s anyone’s game to win.
The following are our staff’s predictions for the Florida – Georgia showdown:
The Georgia Bulldogs are the #1 team in America. The most surprising thing is that they’ve largely done it with Stetson Bennett at QB. Last time Florida and UGA met, Bennett looked lost completing just 5-16 for 78 yards. Bennett has been a completely different player this year. He’s thrown for nearly 1,000 yards with 11 touchdowns and 2 picks. But, it all starts along the line of scrimmage. Bennett and the UGA stable of backs have time and holes and take advantage. On the other side, the Georgia defensive front seven is stout and allows just 62 rushing yards per game. If Florida is going to keep it close, it’ll have to be through the air. Georgia has a really talented team this year. Florida is a middling program that is looking to get out of a funk. I just don’t think it happens this week. Georgia, 38-17.
The Georgia Bulldogs are bringing a defense that’s set to destroy this Florida offense. In 2021, UGA has held opponents to 6.57 points and while the Gators gain 6.3 rush yards per attempt, the Bulldogs suppress the opposition to only 2.2 rushing yards per snap. The running attack has been the focal point for the Florida offense and if Georgia is able to chain down Nay’Quan Wright, Dameon Pierce or even quarterback Anthony Richardson, the Gators may have a long day on the scoreboard. Mullen will also shuffle his quarterbacks once again this week to throw off the offensive momentum as the coach looks for a desperate answer of who will start the rest of the year. If Florida can’t sneak past the juggernaut Alabama Crimson Tide because of a missed extra point, I don’t have strong feelings for the Cocktail Party. Georgia, 45-14.
Predicting the Gators’ performance this year feels like a game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey. This weekend, Florida has the opportunity to patch up fans’ broken hearts and potentially break those of top-ranked Georgia. Describing it as a “tall task” is a gross understatement, especially after a pair of losses to Kentucky and LSU that knocked them out of the top 25 rankings. Georgia averages over 400 offensive yards per game this season. Plus, the Bulldogs defense has yet to allow more than 13 points, and their rush defense ranks second. Despite a less than impressive couple of weeks on the record books, not all signs point to utter defeat. The Gators enter with the fourth best rush offense in the FBS. And hey, there’s always the chance that the same explosive energy from the second half against Alabama will reinfect the underdogs. While I suspect the heated rivalry will expose some emotional wrinkles within the Bulldogs, I don’t expect Florida to dismantle the nation’s leading team. Georgia, 41-17.
Florida and Georgia will kick off from TIAA Bank Stadium at 3:30 PM on Saturday. The game will be broadcast live on CBS.