1) Treon Harris will throw for over 150 yards. Which is almost ten times the amount he threw for in last year’s win! But the improved offense, plus the fact that Georgia is sure to load the box, will mean more throws from him.
2) A Florida tight end will catch a touchdown pass. Between Jake McGee, C’yontai Lewis (who is expected back after missing five games with a hand injury) and DeAndre Goolsby, the Gators have three dependable targets who line up as tight ends. That’s a mismatch that Jim McElwain loves to take advantage of. Here’s betting it works again for a score.
3) Faton Bauta will throw at least one interception. Florida’s defensive backs are still smarting from looking foolish against LSU, and the Gators’ front seven is nasty enough to force quarterbacks to make the kind of mistakes that a hungry secondary will take advantage of. And the World’s Largest Cocktail Party always features turnovers.
4) Florida will turn the ball over at least twice. See last sentence of prediction number three.
5) Faton Bauta will complete a pass of 25 yards or longer. Florida’s defensive backs may be anxious, but being too anxious could lead to more busts and big plays. In their overzealousness, a mixup back there will occur and Bauta will take advantage and make a big play with his arm.
6) Special teams will play a big role in this game. That’s pretty subjective, I know. But all it takes is one missed assignment in a protection scheme, one gunner breaking his lane or one muff on a punt to lead to disaster- a block, return TD or a turnover- that totally changes momentum.
7) Georgia will lead at some point in the game. Just because Florida is the better team doesn’t mean they won’t struggle. Georgia’s offense still has big play potential, and they can be very effective at manufacturing long, methodical drives. The game will start out as an ugly one, and don’t be surprised if Georgia leads at halftime or even in the fourth quarter.
8) Kelvin Taylor will rush for over 100 yards. Georgia’s rush defense is suspect, and Florida’s offensive line keeps getting better and better every week. I expect a big day out of Taylor- albeit not quite as big a day as we saw from him last year (192 yards).
9) Florida scores a touchdown on defense or special teams. Georgia has already surrendered two of those this year, a pick six and a blocked punt returned for a score in the 38-10 loss to Alabama. With the Gators’ ferocious defense, this game is as likely to see another one as you’ll find on the Dawgs’ schedule.
10) Florida wins, but man, they’ll make you sweat it out. There will come a point in this game where a Georgia win looks very likely. I don’t think Florida can possibly pull themselves out of a situation as treacherous as the one they put themselves in against Tennessee, but Georgia will use its ground game to chew up clock and take advantage of a Florida mistake or two. And even though this rivalry has specifically suggested not to do this, I’m going to say it: at some point, sheer talent wins. Treon Harris bails the Gators out with a game winning drive in the fourth quarter.
Projection: Florida 24, Georgia 17