[Editor's Note: This week, we're all going to have to indulge in a collective case of selective amnesia about a certain pesky 3-18 trend, or else there's little purpose to my posting over the next few days.]
As of this morning, Vegas hasn’t set a line on the Georgia-Florida game, presumably because of John Brantley’s status. Mark Richt expects that situation to stay in limbo right up until the last minute.
“My guess is we’re not going to know who’s going to start that game until, it might be until they warm-up before we really know,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said.
So Todd Grantham will be left preparing for everybody.
“I’m sure we’re not going to know anything out of that until later on,” Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. “It’s kind of the philosophy down there.”
Said Richt: “We really don’t know who’s going to play. We don’t know who’s going to start. So we’re just going to have a plan for when each man is in there and then try to get as much information as we can going into the game.”
The kitchen sink approach is nothing new for the Gators. It’s what they did at last year’s Cocktail Party, although that was a decision driven more by strategy than by injury. Statistically, though, Florida finds itself in much the same place as it did last season. During the bye week in 2010, UF was 91st nationally with 329.00 yards of total offense per game. This year, it’s 89th with 353.71. By any standard, that’s anemic, but by Mullen-Tebow-Harvin metrics, that’s downright awful.
When you look at what Charlie Weis has to work with, you’d have to think he’d rather not screw around with a quarterback by committee approach. Brantley is Florida’s only quarterback with a passer rating over 100. Even if you factor in Trey Burton’s running threat, Florida’s best option is Brantley, by a significant margin. But you have to wonder how Brantley’s gimpy ankle factors into this. Florida’s given up nine sacks (out of eleven total for the season) in its last three games, and Cornelius Washington is back.
What do I expect? If Brantley can stand up on his own, he’s playing. While he’s in, look for Weis to call for safe, quick passes that protect his quarterback from the rush and don’t test Georgia’s secondary. (Boise State made a game out of that.) And expect Burton to get tossed in on occasion to run the Wildcat. Don’t think Weis hasn’t taken note of what Vanderbilt did with a running quarterback against Georgia’s defense, not to mention that Burton killed the Dawgs with his running last season.
… That includes Trey Burton as a Wildcat quarterback. Burton rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries last year in a 34-31 overtime win over Georgia.
“The biggest difference is when a lot of that Wildcat stuff gets in there,” Richt said. “You’ve got to be aware which quarterback is in the game. You’ve got to be aware if there’s a back in the backfield and what are the tendencies for each guy. That’s really all you can do. It’s kind of a pain in the rear, but that’s kind of where we’re at right now.”
And if Brantley can’t play? Florida had better hope it can get Demps and Rainey untracked.
… The skill position players have provided little help. Chris Rainey, UF’s biggest playmaker, has 238 all-purpose yards with no touchdowns and four fumbles, including one he lost, in the streak. By contrast, he had five TDs and 681 all-purpose yards in Florida’s wins. RB Jeff Demps sprained his ankle vs. Alabama and has been limited.
Now you know why there’s no line on the game yet.