John Bazemore/Associated Press
Matt Hayes (Twitter: @MattHayesCFB)
Here’s the thing: Georgia isn’t as bad as it showed against LSU, and Jake Fromm has a history of ratcheting up his play after a poor game (see: response to Auburn loss last year). Though the Dawgs aren’t nearly as disruptive on defense as they were last season, they’ll protect the ball, Fromm will play better, his backup Justin Fields will have a couple of critical series, and Florida won’t have enough to keep pace with the Georgia offense.
David Kenyon (Twitter: @Kenyon19_BR)
Fromm looked awful in that loss to LSU. Worst day of his college career, and it’s not particularly close. But I’m not panicking just yet, because I think the bigger test is Florida QB Feleipe Franks against a tough Georgia secondary. Florida will likely rely heavily on its quick-passing game, so creating after the catch will be vital unless Franks successfully tests UGA downfield. And I don’t see that happening.
Adam Kramer (Twitter: @KegsnEggs)
First and foremost, I’m glad we’re calling this name by its original, rightful title. Yeah, they’re trying to tell you it’s no longer the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, but deep down you know it’s still very much that.
Anyway, I will take Georgia. I don’t feel particularly solid in that, but I believe the overall talent of the Bulldogs will prevail. That said, Florida’s resurgence has been one of the best stories of the college football season. Dan Mullen will be up for this and will likely keep it close. But I feel like Georgia will find a way, and I could see Fields playing a significant role in that, some way or another.
Kerry Miller (Twitter: @kerrancejames)
LSU has completely screwed up my feeling about both of these teams. Take out Florida’s win over the Tigers and Georgia’s loss to them, and I’d probably pick the Bulldogs to win this game by at least three touchdowns. I’m still picking Georgia—but not confidently. The X-factor will be third-year running back Elijah Holyfield. D’Andre Swift hasn’t had anywhere near the breakout year everyone was expecting, but Holyfield has emerged as a bruiser who Georgia can turn to when it desperately needs a first down.
Brad Shepard (Twitter: @Brad_Shepard)
I’ve gone back and forth on this one for much of the week. Everything screams to pick the Bulldogs, but I’m a big Mullen believer. The way he has the Gators playing is impressive. Just when you think they aren’t a dynamic team, they beat LSU. Just when you think they’re going to show their true colors against a bad team like Vanderbilt, they come roaring back. This team has staying power, so this game should be a lot closer than some people think.
But I believe Fromm is going to rebound for the Bulldogs. Last year around this time, he started to elevate his game. If he has a big game against the Gators, it can kick-start his season. It’s going to be a back-and-forth defensive battle, but I like Fromm to make one more play in the end. I’ll say Georgia wins 24-16.
Ian Wharton (Twitter: @NFLFilmStudy)
Georgia is in the midst of a brutal stretch, but it is coming off a bye week. That will be the key difference in this game, as head coach Kirby Smart had time to self-evaluate and retool how they blocked (or rather didn’t block) for Fromm against LSU. Florida will present a similar challenge and certainly has a good shot to win. But I trust the Bulldogs more than I trust the Gators to create big plays when needed.