The Red and Black shrugged off a disastrous third quarter to once again vanquish the hated Florida Gator, cruising down the stretch to a 42-20 victory in the 101st edition of the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.
The Bulldogs gave up 17 points in a single 13 minute stretch, aided by two bad turnovers, one bad penalty, and one blown coverage. It was the type of football we’ve seen at frustrating intervals this season from a Bulldog team that both should (Stetson Bennett, Kenny McIntosh) and shouldn’t (Bear Alexander, Malachi Starks) know better.
To their credit, the Classic Ciry Canines did not panic when Billy Napier’s Gators pulled to within a touchdown. And with the exception of that one stretch it was a dominating performance. The Bulldog offense churned out 555 yards of offense, including 239 yards on the ground.
Florida has been vulnerable in the rushing game this season, and when the Red and Black needed to move the ball that’s what they seized on. Daijun Edwards led all Bulldog rushers with 106 yards on 12 carries, a career high. Edwards is now the Dawgs’ leading rusher on the season, due in part to the fact that he’s simply incapable of losing yards.
Brock Bowers once again proved a mismatch no matter what scheme Florida threw out, tallying 5 receptions for 154 yards, including a gorgeous 73 yard touchdown (his third 70+ yard score of the season).
Defensively, it was decidedly a tale of two halves. Georgia gave up 78 yards in the first half and 293 in the second. With Tennessee’s high octane attack coming to town next weekend I continue to have a bit of a bad feeling about Georgia’s young secondary. That’s especially true if the offense continues to turn the ball over and give the opposition free possessions. Georgia made a fair offense look brilliant for a brief, worrying interval this afternoon. Next week they face an offense that is capable of making good defenses look awful. This is truly worrisome.
But, it’s a worry for tomorrow. For now, Georgia runs its record against the Gators to 55-44-2, and continues its recent dominance in the series. It never feels bad to beat the Gators, even when you have to get out of your own way to do it.