Who controls the SEC East now? A matter of opinion and computers, but the Georgia Bulldogs proved there’s nothing soft about this team, as the rushing game, led by Todd Gurley and a ball-hawking defense, led by Jarvis Jones, was simply too much for Florida to handle.
The South Carolina Gamecocks are out of the picture, for now, with their two losses. But they did destroy the Bulldogs, and then got beaten by the Gators, who now got beaten by Georgia. Not as bad, only 17-9, but it felt like a much harsher blow. The Gators turned the ball over six times, and managed only 266 yards the entire game. All the talk of this team being overrated suddenly came true, as a Georgia team who turned the ball over 4 times still managed manhandle Will Muschamp’s team.
Six turnovers. Wow. That’s tough to overcome. We’ve got to find better ways to run the football, which we did in seven of eight games this year. The campaigning for a better place in the rankings begins, if you haven’t noticed.
Jarvis Jones loves playing the Gators. Last season, in a 24-20 win, he had four sacks. This time? 13 tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles, including the biggest play of the game, knocking the ball out of Jordan Reed’s hands at the 5-yard line, and teammate Sanders Commings recovered in the end zone with 2:05 left.
And while Georgia had much less than a perfect day on their offense, as Aaron Murray was intercepted three times. He still threw the touchdown that got the final separation with 7:11 to go, finding Malcolm Mitchell for a 45 yard touchdown. If it was me, I’d just hand off the ball to Todd Gurley and let one of the best running backs in the nation just run and run all day.
Gurley carried the ball 27 out of Georgia’s 35 plays on the ground, finishing with 118 yards on 27 carries, scoring a touchdown in the first quarter. Unlike his counterpart Mike Gillislee, he didn’t have to feel any big game jitters. Not to mention Jeff Driskel, who finished with 185 yards, two interceptions and two more fumbles on the first three possessions.
And to think all the was needed was a little motivation coming from Shawn Williams, calling out his teammates on defense for being too soft. Now, Georgia have consecutive wins in the series for the first time since 1989. It was also the first time since 1988 that Georgia held the Gators without a touchdown. This was probably one of those series-defining moments, especially for the Bulldogs, who haven’t seen much success in this one over the last 15-20 years.
Future? Georgia now probably own the SEC East and have an easier road to win the division – Ole Miss, at Auburn, Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech to end the regular season. Florida only have one more SEC game left, against Missouri, but playing Florida State at the end of the season, now that a lot of problems have been exposed, doesn’t sound like such a fun notion.