The Florida-Georgia rivalry has been a game fans from all over have looked forward to every year since 1915. This year, for the first time in many years, both teams are coming off of a bye week, giving the teams time to rest up and prepare for the big game.
The 14th-ranked Gators had a slight hiccup earlier in the season when QB Luke Del Rio suffered an injury against North Texas. But with Del Rio back, the Gators gear up for the rest of their season and a chance at another Southeastern conference title.
When the Gators and the Bulldogs take the field on Saturday, things will be a little different for Florida head coach Jim McElwain and Georgia’s first-year head coach Kirby Smart. From 2008-2011, the two worked under Alabama head coach Nick Saban. McElwain was the offensive coordinator and Coach Smart the defense coordinator.
Although this is Smart’s first year leading the Bulldogs, he’s accustomed to the Florida-Georgia rivalry. Smart started his career playing for the Bulldogs and says that he does not see a difference in coaching the game verse playing in it. Smart says he is excited for his guys to have this unique experience.
Weary Of Bulldogs
This is the second time McElwain leads his team onto EverBank field. He says getting the team excited for this game was not a problem. However, McElwain said that the Georgia offense, led by junior running back Nick Chubb and freshman quarterback Jacob Eason, is something the Gators defense must be prepared for. He says that Georgia is good at running the ball and executing those important plays.
Unfortunately for Florida, the team will be without redshirt junior Mark Thompson who was cited for possession of marijuana on Thursday during a traffic stop. UF announced Friday via the Gators’ football Twitter account Thompson would not be traveling with the Gators to Jacksonville to face Georgia.
It will be a lot of firsts for each side, but with a rivalry with as much history as this one, it is sure to be a good game.
Kickoff is set for 3:30 ET Saturday at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla. (CBS).