One of college football’s grand rivalries reconveins Saturday in Jacksonville, as the Georgia Bulldogs battle the Florida Gators on the banks of the St. John’s from EverBank Stadium in a critical Southeastern Conference showdown.
As usual, both teams are coming off bye weeks. Georgia heads in with a record of 7-0, 4-0 in Southeastern Conference play. Florida is 5-2, 3-1 in the SEC, a game behind the Bulldogs in a tightly contested East Division race.
Last time out, the Bulldogs won on the road in Nashville, defeating Vanderbilt 37-20, extending some impressive winning streaks. Two-time reigning national champion Georgia has won 40 of the last 41 games, the victory at Vandy the Bulldogs school record 24th in a row. The Dogs have won 34 consecutive regular season games, and a school record tying 23 straight regular season SEC contests. These streaks all began with a win over Mississippi State three years ago (including 23 consecutive home victories on Dooley Field in Sanford Stadium) after Georgia fell to Florida in 2020.
Florida would love to be the streak breakers, and take a big step towards a shot at the SEC Championship Game Saturday afternoon. This is second-year Florida head coach Billy Napier’s second game in Jacksonville, and his Gators are sporting a two-game winning streak with some major momentum. Following a 33-14 loss to Kentucky in Lexington, the Gators beat Vanderbilt 38-14 in Gainesville and then rallied for a thrilling 41-39 come-from-behind victory over South Carolina in Columbia.
In three of Georgia’s four SEC games this season, the Bulldogs have fallen behind – twice by double digits. Turnovers have plagued the Bulldogs, but Georgia has been able to overcome the miscues and rally to victories while sitting atop the college football throne. The Bulldogs get every team’s best shot, and that will certainly be true on Saturday in Jacksonville. The Gators are in the mix and hungry for an upset that would be the biggest win of the Napier era.
Under Kirby Smart’s watch, Georgia has won five of the last six meetings with the Gators. The all-time series is 55-44-2 in the Bulldogs favor. Georgia has won eight of the last 12 dating back to 2011, a welcome change for the Red and Black faithful. Beginning with Steve Spurrier’s arrival as the Gators head coach, Florida won 18 of 21 against Georgia from 1990 through 2010. Prior to Spurrier’s arrival, Georgia led the series 44-22-2. After the 2010 Florida overtime win in Urban Meyer’s final of six seasons at the Florida helm, the series was 47-40-2 in the Bulldogs favor.
Heavy is the head which wears the crown. This rivalry has featured a slew of legendary coaches and players, with Smart at the top of the list. So is All-American tight end Brock Bowers. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs sensational junior is injured, so the Dogs will have to do it in Jacksonville without one of the greatest players in school history. Smart will drive Georgia to be the hunter, knowing his Bulldogs must be at their very best to beat the upstart, upset-minded Gators Saturday in Jacksonville.