Friday, October 29, 2010

A Georgia win over the Gators hinges on mentality, key plays

During their ridiculous 17-3 record against the Dawgs over the last 20 years, the Florida Gators have certainly trotted out their share of teams that were just flat-out better. However, it's been far more common to have two relatively evenly matched teams, and even a few editions of Bulldogs teams that were probably better than the Gators.

After Georgia had pretty much dominated the series prior to the 1990s, something changed. Where once Florida would make the key mistake or give up the big play, now it was Georgia that was dropping a key pass, committing a big penalty, or turning the ball over at the most inopportune of times. It's just something that changes mentally, and there's not a whole lot you can do to change it...except win. A bit paradoxical or catch-22-ish, but there it is, because Georgia has wilted at the earliest signs of adversity in most cases. It's as if the Dawgs come in fired up and ready to play, but when a play or two doesn't go their way, it's "Oh boy. Here we go again."

This year, aside from Florida having an extra week to get some of their own issues sorted out, and getting back into the fold a very talented young RB/WR adept at avoiding tackles and issuing death threats via text, Georgia would seem to have the upper hand. The Dawgs seem to be hitting their stride in virtually every aspect of the game (one of the scariest things could be that kicker Blair Walsh has hit a bit of a rocky patch lately). Meanwhile, the Gators' clunky offense has caused things to really come to a head.

The Bulldogs should be coming into this one with about as much confidence as any Georgia team has gone into GA/FL week in recent memory. We'll find out Saturday how long that lasts.

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