Man, talk about your deep dives. Here’s several thousand words detailing tendencies for both Georgia and Florida up to this point. The funny thing is that once you wade through it all, you wind up with conclusions that are certainly recognizable.
I think Florida wins if….
They minimize Georgia’s run game and make Jake Fromm beat them. There’s no doubt the Dawgs will want to come out and establish the run, get a quick score, and let their old-school mentality dictate the flow of the game. While Florida has been shaky against the pass in SEC play, they also have yet to be full strength in quite some time. That being said, Florida has the 5th best Rush Defense Success Rate in the conference with only Missouri and Auburn being more stout on 1st Downs. If they can constantly get UGA to play behind the chains, they might be able to take advantage of Fromm pressing. After all, Florida is 6th nationally in takeaways and Fromm ranks 10th out of 16 SEC passers with at least 20 2nd and 3rd Down attempts with at least 6 yards to gain in Depth Adjusted Accuracy.
Curbing the SEC’s best rushing offense will be no easy task. Florida is already an aggressive-minded defense; no no doubt they will be playing downhill aiming to hit Georgia’s backs head on. Luckily for them, Georgia is play action adverse despite being so successful on the ground. Fromm has the 3rd lowest Play Action Rate among SEC starters entering Week 10. So it might be “what ya see is what ya get” kind of day that could invite a heavier box and manning up on the backend. South Carolina followed a great defensive blueprint in their upset a few weeks ago. They picked their battles against Fromm, and eventually won the day by setting it up for him to take them out, which of course he failed to do.
I think Georgia wins if….
They do what they do best and win on first downs. I talked about how a number of Georgia’s offensive concepts see their best numbers when they’re run to start series. No SEC offense has a better Early Down Conversion Rate than Georgia, and Florida is currently in the bottom 3 in Early Down Conversions Allowed against conference foes. If it gets to 3rd Down, things become much more of a tossup for UGA as they are 7th in Success Rate on these downs compared to being 1st on early downs. Florida has the 4th best Three-and-Out Rate against SEC offenses yet Georgia has the lowest such rate on the offensive side. In the Dawgs’ case, its direct result of their ability to get splash plays and neutralize fronts.
If they can maintain manageable situations, they’ll be far less likely to force Jake Fromm to be superman or allow Florida’s front to pin their ears back. Georgia’s OLine has done an exceptional job limiting sacks, negative runs and other Havoc elements from derailing drives so far this season. They’ll be just fine so long the Gators don’t make them abandon the run.
Just do it, Dawgs.