BULLDOGS TO WATCH: Georgia-Florida

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BULLDOGS TO WATCH: Georgia-Florida

Kirby Smart
Kirby Smart

Who are the Bulldogs to watch down in Jacksonville for the annual Georgia-Florida game?



For Georgia, this game all starts with the head coach. The Bulldog Nation is elated with the 7-0 start Kirby has gotten the team off to this season and, now, Georgia fans are looking for Smart to bring a new mindset to beating the Florida Gators in Jacksonville. It has been pure agony for the Bulldogs for most of the past three decades with Georgia losing to the Gators 21 times in the past 27 meetings, since 1990. Florida has won the last three games, including a 24-10 win over Smart’s first Bulldog team last season. So Kirby and the Dogs need to desperately regain control of this storied series … starting this Saturday, what with Georgia ranked No. 3 in the nation and the favorite to make it to Atlanta for the SEC title game.

Sony Michel (1) leaves a Tiger flat on his back - UGA vs. Missouri - Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017
Sony Michel (1) leaves a Tiger flat on his back
– UGA vs. Missouri –
Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017



The “Lightning” component of Georgia’s dynamic senior tailback combination — to go with Nick Chubb’s “Thunder” — Michel will take his cut-on-a-dime quickness and power running against the Gator defense on Saturday. Michel has run for 492 yards this season with six touchdowns and averages 7.2 yards per carry. In the last two games against Vanderbilt and Missouri Michel, who ranks in the Top 10 among Georgia’s career rushing leaders, reeled off touchdown runs of 50 and 36 yards. A huge game from both Michel, who will be back in his home state, and Chubb will be needed on the banks of the St. Johns River.

Roquan Smith (3)
Roquan Smith (3)



The undisputed leader of the Bulldogs’ rugged defense, this 6-1,225-pound junior linebacker uses his tremendous speed and quickness to always be around the football. Georgia’s leading tackler last year as a sophomore, Smith is doing the same this season as he’s recorded 53 stops entering the Florida game. Needless to say, the Bulldogs’ No. 3 will be expected to inflict damage on the Gator running backs and UF quarterback Feleipe Franks on Saturday, thus helping the Georgia defense to pitch a shutdown showing at EverBank Field.


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Murray Poole is a 1965 graduate of the University of Georgia Journalism School. He served as sports editor of The Brunswick News for 40 years and has written for Bulldawg Illustrated the past 16 years. He has covered the Georgia Bulldogs for 53 years.