The annual Jacksonville game featuring usually ranked Florida Gators and Georgia began under unusual circumstances. Both teams were ranked in the top 10 in preseason polls, but injuries led to losses, which led to neither team even being ranked. There have only been a handful of times both teams have been unranked when playing each other.
Regardless of the circumstances, this game was important for both teams as the winner would still be in the wide-open SEC East race. Florida got off to a very slow start, falling 20-0 by early second quarter. Quarterback Tyler Murphy looked average, completing 13-of-29 passes for 174 yards, including an 83-yard pass, no touchdowns and no interceptions.
Freshman running back Kelvin Taylor had several solid runs, looking Fred Taylor-esque. After some mistakes earlier this season, Taylor proved that he deserves the start.
The late rally was a direct result of Florida taking advantage of a Georgia fumble, safety and some debatable calls. Falling short isn’t surprising. The Gators have had so many injuries to deal with and have felt the impact of losing both quarterback Jeff Driskel on offense and defensive tackle Dominique Easley on defense for the remainder of the season.
The Gators have lost three in a row and sit at 4-4, and they will have to win two more games to be bowl-eligible. They still have Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Georgia Southern and Florida State on their schedule, so getting that most important sixth win may be tough for a struggling Gators team.
They will have to rely heavily on their young defense to keep up with the high-powered offenses coming up.