By: Kipp Branch
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
It is that time of the year again when the Dawgs and the Gators tee it up on the banks of the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida.
The game is known as the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.” The political correctness crowd would like folks to not refer to that title, but I have never cared what that crowd thought anyway.
The series began in 1904 with a 52-0 UGA win. Florida does not acknowledge the 1904 contest and says the series began in 1915. Since UGA leads the overall series, their claim is the valid claim for this article.
Georgia/Florida through the decades:
1900’s: UGA 1-0
1910’s: UGA 3-0
1920’s: UGA 3-2
1930’s: UGA 8-1-1
1940’s: UGA 7-2
1950’s: UF: 6-4
1960’s: UF 6-3-1
1970’s UGA 7-3
1980’s: UGA 8-2
1990’s: UF 9-1
2000’s: UF 8-2
2010’s: UGA 6-4
2020’s: Tied 1-1
UGA leads overall series: 54-44-2
The series has always been streaky with one team dominating the other over a period, but the last twelve contests have been relativity even with UGA holding 7-5 advantage going into the 2022 game.
Six times over the past twenty years one team has come into the contest undefeated. Florida came into this game unbeaten in 2009 and 2012 and went 1-1 in those contests.
Georgia has come into this contest undefeated 4 times in the same window 2002, 2005, 2017, and 2021 and has a 2-2 record in those games.
Georgia comes into the 2022 game with an undefeated 7-0 record, and as you can see in the above paragraph that means nothing in this series.
So, as we preview the 2022 contest you can throw the record books out the window. Georgia ranks second in the conference in total offense gaining 526 years per contest.
On defense Georgia ranks first in the conference and third nationally only giving up 247 yards per game.
Florida comes in the game with a 4-3 record overall and 1-3 in the SEC. Florida has lost SEC games to Kentucky, Tennessee, and LSU. The three losses came against three of the better teams in the conference. Florida beat Missouri at home 24-17. Their upcoming opponent struggled to beat Missouri 26-22 and should have lost that game.
Florida ranks seventh in the league in total offense averaging around 430 years per game.
Defensively the Gators rank 12th in the conference giving up around 430 yards per game.
Coming into this game UGA is, depending on where you look, a 15.5 to 17-point favorite in the contest. That is too high.
Florida’s strengths are offensive line, running backs, and QB Anthony Richardson. The Gators run for 213 yards per game which ranks as fourth best in the SEC.
I think UF comes into Jacksonville and tests a UGA run defense that has not really been tested in 2022. If Florida can run the ball and control the clock, then this will be a tight contest with Richardson factoring into the run game.
Georgia is a well-rounded football team. I think the Georgia passing game against a Gator secondary that has been torched in Tennessee and LSU losses will be key factor in the outcome.
UGA should be getting some key receivers back for this contest which will be huge.
Prediction: Georgia 31-21. Stetson Bennett has a big game passing and keeps some key drives alive with his feet to get UGA past Florida.
The UGA defense gets tested early but adjusts to take control in the second half of the contest.
I was thinking about this, if UGA wins this contest it will be their 55th win in the series.