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Battle of the SEC East division in Jacksonville

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The Florida Gators and the Georgia Bulldogs will meet in Jacksonville for the 2019 edition of the cocktail party on Saturday, November 2, 2019. The Gators will look to rebound from a hard fought 36 to 17 loss in Jacksonville in 2018 versus Georgia.  Both teams will be coming into the game with one loss on the year, this game will most likely determine who represents the Eastern division in the SEC championship game in Atlanta.

So this game has a lot riding on it. Now don’t get me wrong, the Gators defense have been great all year, It just seems to me that ever since the LSU game that they have not been performing at the same level they were earlier in the season. This happens with every good defense when you have to play with two stud players out with injuries. Jubari Zuniga and Jonathan Greenard have been key contributors on the defensive line, but have been sidelined since the LSU game.

The Gators lead the country in sacks earlier in the season and they, as a defense, have to apply more pressure like they were in the beginning of the season.  Todd Grantham, the Gators defensive coordinator, is great at disguising his coverages. He is known for sending a lot of blitzes.  The Gators have been one of the best defenses at sending pressure and getting to the quarterback all season long.

Now don’t get me wrong, the Gators defense have been great all year,  it just seems to me that ever since the LSU game that they have not been performing at the same level they were earlier in the season. This happens with every good defense when you have to play with two stud players out with injuries. Jubari Zuniga and Jonathan Greenard have been key contributors on the defensive line, but have been sidelined since the LSU game.

The Gators lead the country in sacks earlier in the season and they, as a defense, have to apply more pressure like they were in the beginning of the season. Todd Grantham, the Gators defensive coordinator, is great at disguising his coverages. He is known for sending a lot of blitzes. The Gators have been one of the best defenses at sending pressure and getting to the quarterback all season long.

​The Gators lead the country with 20 sacks the first four weeks of the season but ever since the LSU game, on a Saturday night in Death Valley, when both of the top Gators defensive ends went down with injury, the Gators have not been getting to the quarterback at the same rate as they were before the LSU game. If they want to win this week’s game against Georgia, the No. 8 team in the country, they will have to get pressure on Jake Fromm, Georgia’s junior quarterback. In Georgia’s last game versus Kentucky, even though there was a rainstorm, Jake Fromm was only 9 for 12 for a total of 35 yards.

The reason I point out that key stat is to tell you that Jake Fromm is beatable if the Gators can get some much-needed  pressure on him. All the defense needs to do is rattle him a bit and they will have a much better chance to come out of Jacksonville with a “W” in their quest to represent the East in the SEC championship game for the first time since 2016.

People seem to forget that Jake Fromm is a kid that had his first start in college football at Notre Dame Stadium when he was a freshman on NBC so nothing is going to bother this quarterback. But if the Gators can make him throw the ball before he wants to, they will have a decent chance to walk out of Jacksonville with their first Win since 2016 against Georgia.  With all that being said, I have the gators walking out of Jacksonville with a 28 to 21 hard-fought win in this key SEC East matchup which is a must win for the gators not only to win the SEC Eastern division and go to Atlanta to play LSU or Alabama in the SEC championship game, but it will also help with recruiting if the Gators can win this game which I fully believe they can. It will help sway the minds of recruits who might be on the fence about commiting to UF. 

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