In a battle of two 4-3 teams, Georgia came out on top over Florida by a score of 23-20. The Gators attempted a valiant comeback in the second half, but it was just too late as Georgia had done enough damage in the first half to hold on for the victory. Florida led the defensive turnovers battle with one- a debatable dropped pass that was ruled a lateral pass and recovered by the Gators- but that still was not enough as Florida's defense was picked apart by Aaron Murray and Todd Gurley. Had Gurley not had to leave early because he was not feeling well, the game most likely would have been a blow out.
I give the Gators a ton of credit for not giving up and fighting to dwindle the lead to three in the second half. However, just like last year, they got caught up in all the chippiness of the rivalry and committed dumb penalties. The worst one I would have to say was when Neiron Ball stopped Todd Gurley on 4th down and 1 and then proceeded to take his helmet off. Why he did that is beyond me. Was it stupid? Yes. Did it cost the Gators prime field position? Yes. The Gators could have least drove down and tied the game with a field goal, but that dumb penalty gave the Gator offense terrible starting field position and led to another stalled drive at midfield. That was a big theme on the day. The most explosive play was an 83 yard pass from Tyler Murphy to Quinton Dunbar. What did that lead to? A missed field goal. The Gators were 1-3 on field goal attempts as the special teams situation remains a mess. It seemed poetic that when it appeared the Gators did make a stop to get one last chance at a comeback, it was negated by a hands to the face penalty. I never would have thought that a hands to the face penalty would be what clinched the game for Georgia. The Gators had seven penalties for 70 yards. That is a clear reflection of coaching right there.
This loss has officially eliminated Florida from contention for the SEC East division. In fact, the Gators are riding the fine line of bowl eligibility right now. At 4-4, the Gators need to beat Vanderbilt if they want to go bowling in December. The Georgia Southern game is all but guaranteed as a victory but South Carolina on the road is no cakewalk and Florida State at the end of the year will not be pretty. The season is about pride now for the injury plagued Gators. They have to play for each other and Head Coach Will Muschamp. If they have a poor showing against Vandy, then the seat beneath Muschamp will get just a bit hotter. I understand that Muschamp has a family to provide for and did have a stellar campaign last year. But at the end of the day, it is about winning. If the Gators do not make a significant change offensively then they will be stuck in this cyclical process of one step forward and two steps back.
*Stats accredited to Gatorzone.com