It’s the week of all weeks for the Georgia Bulldogs.
This is the week where fans descend to South Georgia and North Florida for the annual Georgia-Florida game which is played in Jacksonville.
For anyone who knows the history of this series, there is no need to discuss why the Bulldogs want to win this game probably more than any other game on their schedule. The Bulldogs have defeated the Gators only three times since 1997 and the last time they won in Jacksonville was in 2007.
But this time it will be a different story for the Bulldogs for a few reasons. First, the Bulldogs are looking for that signature win to show the world they are ready to compete for the SEC title. While Florida is down, as they lost their last three games, they still have a psychological advantage because there have been times where Georgia was the better team in this series and Florida would always find a way to win. If the Bulldogs get off to a fast start just like they have during the five-game winning streak, they can set the tempo and dictate the game to the Gators which is something that Georgia has not done in this series the last three years.
Another reason why the Bulldogs will win on Saturday is quarterback play. John Brantley should be back for the Gators and that will be a huge boost for them. But Aaron Murray has been playing well and seems to get better each time he steps on the field. If he has Malcolm Mitchell back in the lineup, Murray will have a big day on Saturday just like he did last year against the Gators.
I know the Vanderbilt game was not a good example, but the defense is becoming one of the better units in the country. The Bulldogs are getting more comfortable in the 3-4 and because of that, you have players such as Jarvis Jones, Shawn Williams, DeAngelo Tyson and Bacarri Rambo making plays. They are facing a fast Florida offense that can score quickly, but the linebackers and secondary fort the Dawgs are fast as well. I believe the Bulldog defense wants to prove the world that they are a much improved unit from the last few years.
The last reason Georgia will beat Florida is the fact Mark Richt needs a win to help keep his job. Yes, the Bulldogs are on a five-game winning streak, but the teams they have played the last five games had issues and still have those issues as we speak. That said, the Gators come into this game trying to break a losing skid, but this will be the best team the Bulldogs have faced since the South Carolina game.
If Richt loses the Florida game, his overall record against the Gators will be 2-9. If that happens, could he be fired at the end of the season?
There is a lot riding on this game for both teams, but the Bulldogs have more to lose. I know Florida had owned this series the last 20 years and the Gators will come in to the game with a lot of confidence. But Georgia is the better team and if they just go out and play football instead of trying to win every play, they will have their sixth win of the year.