Photo credit: Alex de la Osa/Florida athletics
The winner of the annual contest between Florida and Georgia has claimed the SEC East in each of the last six seasons. On Saturday, the Gators simply hope to play spoiler.
Georgia arrives with a perfect 7-0 record and ranked No. 1 in the country. It is unclear whether JT Daniels or Stetson Bennett will start at quarterback, but the Bulldogs will likely rely on the running game and a superb defense.
Florida is a disappointing 4-3 and is coming off a 49-42 loss at LSU two weeks ago. Like Georgia, the quarterback situation for the Gators is a bit murky. There seems to be a call for Anthony Richardson to take the reins, but Emory Jones has started all seven games so far this season.
Florida ranks fourth nationally in rushing with the two quarterbacks leading the way. Jacob Copeland is an outstanding talent out wide, but the issue last time out was the defense.
The Gators allowed LSU to rush for more than 300 yards their last time out. Despite the dismal showing in Baton Rouge, Florida still has plenty of talent on defense. Defensive end Zachary Carter leads the pass rush with six sacks while cornerback Kaiir Elam is one of the nation’s best.
Speaking of the nation’s best, that would be an accurate way to describe the Georgia defense. The Bulldogs lead the SEC in sacks and the nation in both total and scoring defense. The linebacker position may be the nation’s best with names such as Channing Tindall, Nakobe Dean and Adam Anderson. 340-pound defensive tackle Jordan Davis is virtually unblockable.
Freshmen Brock Bowers and Ladd McConkey have headlined the pass catchers for Georgia, but what the Bulldogs will look to do is establish the run. Zamir White, James Cook and Kendall Milton make for a talented trio of backs.
Florida snapped a 3-game losing streak to Georgia last season with a 44-28 win. The teams have split the last 14 meetings. Saturday’s contest begins at 3:30 p.m. ET and airs on CBS.
Prediction: Georgia 38, Florida 18
Other Games Across the State
South Florida (2-5) at East Carolina (3-4)
Thursday, Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
South Florida finally got off the schneid against FBS opponents with a rout of Temple. The last road win for the Bulls came against Thursday night’s opponent, East Carolina. The Pirates are just 3-4, but have lost three games by seven points or fewer.
Prediction: East Carolina 30, South Florida 21
Miami (3-4) at No. 17 Pittsburgh (6-1)
Saturday, Oct. 30 at 12 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Miami scored a huge win last week against NC State at home while Pittsburgh defeated Clemson. The quarterback matchup could be one to watch as Miami’s Tyler Van Dyke and Pitt’s Kenny Pickett are each coming off 300-yard passing days. The Panthers are the ACC Coastal’s lone remaining undefeated team in conference play.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 34, Miami 24
UCF (4-3) at Temple (3-4)
Saturday, Oct. 30 at 12 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
UCF played its best game since losing quarterback Dillon Gabriel for the season last week against Memphis. The Knights forced four turnovers in the win. Temple has been a much better team at home this year.
Prediction: UCF 31, Temple 13
Florida International (1-6) at Marshall (4-3)
Saturday, Oct. 30 at 3:30 p.m. ET
Florida International has lost six straight games and hasn’t beat an FBS opponent since 2019. After a string of three straight losses by six points or less, Marshall has won back-to-back games.
Prediction: Marshall 45, Florida International 20
Florida State (3-4) at Clemson (4-3)
Saturday, Oct. 30 at 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
After its first 0-4 start since 1974, Florida State has stormed back with three straight wins. The Seminoles however, have dropped five straight to Clemson. The winner of the annual contest has gone on to win the ACC in every season since 2011.
Prediction: Clemson 24, Florida State 17
UTEP (6-1) at Florida Atlantic (4-3)
Saturday, Oct. 30 at 6 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
Florida Atlantic will try to hand a Conference USA opponent its first conference loss for the second week in a row as it hosts UTEP. The Miners have been a pleasant surprise this season as the teams meet for what could be a conference championship preview.
Prediction: Florida Atlantic 33, UTEP 23
Miami Dolphins (1-6) at Buffalo Bills (4-2)
Sunday, Oct. 31 at 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
The Miami Dolphins have lost consecutive games on last-second field goals and six straight overall. The Buffalo Bills are coming off a loss to the Tennessee Titans and will look to win their seventh straight game against Miami. Buffalo shut the Dolphins out earlier this season.
Prediction: Buffalo 41, Miami 13
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5) at Seattle Seahawks (2-5)
Sunday, Oct. 31 at 4:05 p.m. ET (CBS)
The Jacksonville Jaguars snapped a 20-game losing streak last time out against the Miami Dolphins in London. The Seattle Seahawks have not played well since losing quarterback Russell Wilson to injury. Jacksonville has not won consecutive games since September 2019.
Prediction: Seattle 21, Jacksonville 20
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-1) at New Orleans Saints (4-2)
Sunday, Oct. 31 at 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Jameis Winston will make his first start against the team that drafted him first overall on Sunday. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers eliminated New Orleans in the NFC Divisional playoff last season after the Saints swept the regular season series.
Prediction: Tampa Bay 27, New Orleans 23