The invasion of Jacksonville every year by both Florida and Georgia fans makes for one of the best sites in college sports. The tailgates are legendary, so are the fights on The Landing before and after the game, but it’s a wonderful day if you get some gorgeous weather right on the mouth of the St. John’s River. And for the last several years, it has determined the winner of the SEC East Division.
Florida Gators vs. Georgia Bulldogs
When and where
TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, Florida
Why the line is what it is
With Felipe Franks leaving, Kyle Trask will be the starting quarterback barring a transfer coming in that might be a slightly better fit for Dan Mullen’s system. With 2,941 yards and 25 TD’s against seven interceptions in 2019, he’s shown that he can win consistently at the highest levels of college football. The Gators were 11-2, with their only losses to the SEC title game teams of Georgia and LSU.
Lamical Perine was a very versatile running back, but he’ll have Dameon Pierce replace him. Kyle Pitts is an elite tight end that will be making his NFL case during his junior season, and there are a ton of playmakers at wide receiver. There’s also a ton of talent returning on defense, with the first string of the front six in a 3-3-5 look all upperclassmen.
Georgia is overhauling their offense after reassigning James Coley to another position on the staff and bringing in new offensive coordinator Todd Monken. The Dawgs were an abomination offensively last year, finishing 32nd despite having one of the top three teams in terms of recruiting talent. It makes it worse when the defense and special teams finished as the No. 1 team in college football via SP+.
With quarterback Jake Fromm off to the NFL, Wake Forest’s Jamie Newman transfers in and will be the leader as an immediately eligible grad transfer. He had 2868 yards passing and 574 rushing for the Demon Deacons last year. Georgia will need to prove they can move the ball, but the defense can be just as lights out as it was last year with the elite way they’ve recruited under Kirby Smart.
Why it might change
If the Georgia offense early appears to be back on track with Monken, the amount of talent they’ve brought in the door could be enough to overwhelm the Gators. But it all depends on how efficient they are with the ball. No team has just one question mark like UGA.
Where the value is now
If you’re catching 3.5, with the uncertainty surrounding the Georgia program right now, it might be better to take the Gators. They’re an elite team as well, just one that’s blocked with two outstanding teams on the schedule every year in LSU and Georgia. Until the Dawgs show they can move the ball, take the points.
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