Florida Chomps Georgia 38-20: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
As a kid growing up in a Gator-friendly home, it pained my father to see the gators get their butts handed to them. Steve Spurrier changed all of that, once I got into college. Urban Meyer (although many Gator Nation members do not recognize him) continued the tradition and of late the play has been so poor, fans would have done anything to see Will Muschamp walk the plank in Gainesville.
Saturday, the Gator Nation could not have been prouder of the performance, not only by Muschamp, but from a downtrodden Florida team that needed a win in the worst way.
That win – a 38-20 victory – wasn’t only sweet, but it came against Georgia of all teams - a win that means Muschamp’s job is safe for at least one more week.
The victory also hammered a nail in Georgia’s chances of winning the SEC East and an opportunity to play in the national title playoff. For many, it is Great to Be a Gator again.
The Gators ran for over 400 yards of offense and Treon Harris allowed his offensive line and running tandem of Mack Brown and Kelvin Taylor do their jobs. Harris threw the ball only six times during the game and the defense caused the Bulldogs into turnovers and mistakes throughout the contest.
Here are the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of this contest.
THE GOOD: WHERE DO THE GATORS START?
A Win for starters. Yes, a win over a bitter rival and a coach who can take a breath for a week. Florida rushed for 418 yards Saturday. It was the Gators' most in an SEC game since 1975 and their most in any game since the days of Emmitt Smith, according to the Associated Press.
Jones and Taylor hurt the Bulldogs inside and out, finding some holes and creating others.
Freshman quarterback Treon Harris didn't do anything special aside from playing with better ball security than Jeff Driskel. He completed 3 of 6 passes for 27 yards. He also ran 31 yards. He fumbled once and had a shotgun snap sail over his head.
But with Jones and Taylor, Harris pretty much just had to stay out the way.
They two backs really got going in the second quarter, with Taylor delivering a career-long 44-yard run that set up his 2-yard plunge and Jones scoring on a 44-yard scamper down the left sideline.
Jones added a 1-yard TD run on the third play of the fourth quarter, putting Florida ahead 31-7.
That sent Georgia fans scrambling for the exits.
THE BAD: IT ALL FELL APART FOR THE BULLDOGS
Florida finished with 418 yards rushing, the program's most since gaining 466 against New Mexico in 1989 when NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith was the team's star. The total Saturday included a 21-yard scoring run by former walk-on Michael McNeely on a fake field goal that kicked off a dominant second quarter.
Georgia had no answer for stopping the run.
The Bulldogs also wasted a solid performance by Nick Chubb, who again replaced Todd Gurley in the lineup.
Chubb had a 39-yard TD run in the first quarter, longest rush allowed by Florida this season. The Gators entered Saturday as one of three teams that had not allowed a run longer than 25 yards (Georgia and Penn State are the other two).
THE UGLY: FROM A DEFENSIVE STANDPOINT
The Bulldogs controlled their own destiny in the SEC East. Now, they have to have hope and help.
The longest run allowed by Georgia this season entering today was 24 yards, done twice (Arkansas' Jonathan Williams and South Carolina's Brandon Wilds). Today against Florida, the Bulldogs have allowed a pair of 44-yard runs (Kelvin Taylor and Matt Jones).
Chubb looked solid while the offense looked out of balance. This season, Nick Chubb has averaged 1.1 yards per rush on plays where he has been hit at or behind the line of scrimmage, compared with 4.0 yards per rush for Todd Gurley on such rushes.