Kirby Smart’s ownership of the Florida series and Dan Mullen continued on Saturday with Georgia owning the game on the ground, among other keys to another win on the banks of the St. Johns River.
“Run with vigor and gusto. If they’re not available, run alone. But run, run, run!!”
The fact is this. Throw all the finesse out the window, and this game boils down to running the ball. The team that wins usually rushes for more yards, and Georgia will need to do that. James Coley has shown that he is not shy about giving D’Andre Swift plenty of touches. Ensuring success in those touches, however, will be the bigger factor. If Georgia’s run-blocking wins the day, Georgia wins the game.
Georgia’s defensive goal of making Florida one-dimensional obviously worked. The Gators backs were swallowed up all day, held to 21 yards, thus putting the ball in Kyle Trask’s hands. He got his yards passing, but Georgia was able to contain Florida and limit explosive plays.
As for Georgia, the Bulldogs held a 119-21 edge on the ground. And though he did not have a backbreaking run, D’Andre Smith did get traction later in the game thanks in part to the good old toss sweep - he ended up with 86 yards on 25 carries.
You get the feeling, especially after the last two games, that Fromm is hungry to play big on a large stage. It’s not a fair narrative that Fromm’s play in the second half of Georgia’s big-stage losses gets more attention than his overall body of work, but college football is an unfair world. Fromm will need to make passes to loosen up Florida’s defense and also minimize negative plays against a swarming Gators defense, namely its front seven.
Gang, there’s not much else to say, here. Georgia put the ball in Fromm’s hands and he delivered by way of 20-30 for 279 yards. But it was more than that - when the game is on the line, Georgia, instead of risking an incomplete pass to stop the clock asked Fromm to ice the game, and he did on the pass to Eli Wolf.
You’d be remiss if Georgia’s offensive line was not mentioned here. This group kept Florida’s pass rush from being much of a factor all day long, making Fromm’s job easier.
Kyle Trask has shown an ability to make throws under pressure, but Georgia can do a lot to disrupt that by applying heavy pressure and collapsing the pocket. If Georgia does that, it’ll force Florida to run and make the Gators one-dimensional.
With 257 yards, Kyle Trask got his yardage in chunks, but Georgia also did enough to make sure he didn’t hit a big, long pass to flip the game’s momentum - a welcome sight for Georgia fans given early coverage breakdowns against Tennessee and South Carolina.
Especially with Malik Herring and Azeez Ojulari up front, Trask did not have as much time to sit back and pick Georgia apart, forcing quicker throws. That was evident late in the game with Florida leaning on short passes of 3-4 yards - something Georgia was happy to concede given how much time that strategy took off the clock.