Stats That Matter: A look back at what decided the game between Georgia and Florida

Home >

Stats That Matter: A look back at what decided the game between Georgia and Florida

D'Andre Swift
It wasn’t always pretty and going against a physical, 9th-ranked opponent like the Florida Gators will make for some nervous, head-scratching moments. But at precisely the right moments, both the offensive and defensive units of the Georgia Bulldogs excelled to lead the 7th-ranked Dawgs to a convincing 36-17 win, Saturday at TIAA Bank Field. Especially stepping up was sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm, who rebounded from his poor performance at LSU by torching the Gator secondary for 240 yards (17-of-24 completions) and three touchdowns.
<strong>Plays of 20 plus yards (offense/defense)</strong><br />
 <br />
Big plays were the order of the day here. D’Andre Swift, enjoying his first career 100-yard rushing day with 104 yards on 12 carries, had a 23-yard run early on, a 21-yard scamper and then, capped off the Bulldogs’ scoring with a 33-yard touchdown burst. Safety Richard LeCounte scooped up a Florida fumble and ran 32 yards to set up the Bulldogs’ first touchdown. And Fromm completed passes of 27 and 23 yards to Isaac Nauta, 35 yards to fellow tight end Charlie Woerner, 22 yards to Riley Ridley and, a beautifully-thrown 24-yard touchdown strike to Terry Godwin midway of the final quarter. Florida, meanwhile, was limited to just two 20-plus yards plays by the Georgia defense … a 36-yard touchdown pass from Feleipe Franks to Freddie Swain that gave the Gators their only lead of the day early in the third quarter and a 20-yard run by Franks.<br />
 <br />
 <br />
<strong>Untimely Mistakes</strong><br />
 <br />
Many of these reared their ugly head, thus preventing the Bulldogs from putting some distance between themselves and the Gators even earlier in the game. On a fourth-down incompletion by Franks, the Gators were given new life when UGA linebacker Juwan Taylor was whistled for pass interference. Nauta was once tagged for offensive pass interference. Freshman corner Tyson Campbell drew another pass interference call. Defensive tackle Tyler Clark was slapped with an unsportsmanlike conduct call and, finally, maybe there was a little clock mismanagement by the coaching staff when the Bulldogs came down the field in the final 50 seconds of the first half and reached the Florida 5-yard line, before maybe taking another shot at a touchdown with 6 seconds remaining in lieu of a Rod Blankenship field goal.<br />
 <br />
<div align=Rodrigo Blankenship (98)

Special teams wins vs. miscues
Blankenship was true on field goals of 21, 22 and 18 yards (his last one coming unfortunately after the Bulldog offense on six tries couldn’t get a single yard from the Florida 1-yard line) and freshman punter Jake Camarda had an excellent day punting, averaging 43.0 yards on four kicks, including a 57-yarder and a pin-point 36-yard punt that Mecole Hardman downed at the Florida 1-yard stripe. Hardman also returned two kickoffs for 51 yards and a punt for 26 yards. And Blankenship booted six kickoffs into the end zone but on one he didn’t, the Georgia coverage team allowed Kadarius Toney to run it back 51 yards at the start of the third quarter to set up a Gator go-ahead touchdown.
Missed Tackles
Too many times Florida backs Lamical Perine and Jordan Scarlett as well as quarterback Franks ran through initial hits for first-down yardage … as Kirby Smart pointed out in his post-game press conference. In other words, still plenty of room for the Bulldog defense to improve its tackling.
Turnovers (gained/lost)
Georgia, after having zero takeaways in the win over Vanderbilt and the loss to LSU, got fumble recoveries from LeCounte and Tae Crowder this game and also an interception from Tyrique McGhee, who also forced the UF fumble that Crowder recovered at the Gator 1-yard line. And the good thing, the Bulldogs didn’t turn the ball over a single time in this win.
Red Zone (offense/defense)
Quite a change from the LSU game as the Bulldogs were a perfect 5-of-5 scoring inside the Florida 20; on the other hand just two of those scores came via touchdowns. The Gators reached the red zone just one time all day but did get six points out of it.
Third down conversions
Also, Georgia was better in this department, going 8-of-14 on third down conversions while the Gators could go just 4-of-12 on third downs and 0-of-1 on a fourth down try against a Bulldog defensive unit that limited Florida to just 275 total yards.
Run/pass attempts (total plays)
Illustrating the difference in the game, Georgia ran 65 plays for 429 yards while the Gators had 58 snaps for their 275 total.





share content

Author /

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.