Florida fans were privy to the struggles of Dan Mullen’s squad and its head coach’s areas of concern. The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail put that on a national stage for all to see. It’s only resulted in creating a more chaotic scenario for the football program. The Gators seemed poised to hang in there with the nation’s top-ranked squad. But the Bulldogs ended up too much for Florida. Let’s look at how they fared.
Everyone knew Florida was slated for an uphill battle against the No. 1 defense in the land. Except that hill was more like Everest. Florida at times moved the ball on the Bulldogs but came nowhere near punching it in. Florida was 0-for-2 in the redzone until the Gators scored with about two minutes or so left in the game. A touchdown drive led by Emory Jones who filled in for injured starter Anthony Richardson. Meanwhile, Richardson looked exactly like a freshman when was in Saturday. He held the ball too long, was late on throws and accounted for all three of Florida’s turnovers including Nakobe Dean’s pick six. He was also inefficient running the ball too with under 30 yards rushing on 10+ carries. Dameon Pierce led all rushers with 69 yards on nine carries. He was a hot hand who should’ve received more opportunity. Still finished with more total yards than Georgia so who’s the real winner here?
If you ask me, the Gator defense was the bright spot for Florida. Before that flurry of turnovers by the Gator offense, it was a 3-0 ballgame and Rashad Torrence II just picked off Stetson Bennett to get Florida the ball back. In fact, the Gator defense forced three straight scoreless Georgia possessions to start the game. It did have some problems, though. Like Kearis Jackson blowing by Torrence on Bennett’s 36-yard strike to him for a touchdown or the pass rush’s inability to get Bennett down for more than one sack. But Torrence did have a whale of a day. He tied for the team lead in total and solo tackles with eight and five, respectively. Plus, he had two interceptions and fumble recovery. A fumble caused by Jeremiah Moon. It might’ve relinquished 27 points but about 14 of those were due to Georgia getting the ball well into Gator territory.
Special Teams: D
The kicking saga continues for Florida. Jace Christmann had a rough day for Florida. He missed two kicks on Saturday, one from 51 and another from 23. The special teams unit didn’t really have much after that. Jeremy Crawshaw punted three times at over 40 yards a punt. While the Gators did just about nothing in the return game, neither did Georgia as only one of Crawshaw’s punts was returned. Overall, a dismal day for Florida special teams.
Almost nobody expected Florida to win this game, but the loss stings a little bit more knowing Florida was playing a quite competitive game for about the first 27 minutes. However, it was also because of the disparity between Florida and Georgia that this game got out of hand. Like many said so far, it’s a microcosm of where the Gators are. Slipping farther and farther away from the elites of college football when it seemed poised to turn the corner.