Gators Pull Away From the Bulldogs in Jacksonville

The Florida Gator football team made it three straight wins against the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday with a defensively dominating 24-10 win in Jacksonville.

Del Rio’s Early Struggles

This was Gator quarterback Luke Del Rio’s first Florida-Georgia game, and the Bulldogs took advantage of an early mistake made by the quarterback. Del Rio’s first pass attempt was ill-advised, throwing across his body and into the middle of the field. He tried to find his favorite target, Antonio Callaway, but instead found a Bulldog. This was Del Rio’s first and only interception of the game.

Georgia had great field possession taking over at the Florida 25-yard line, but couldn’t cash in with six. The Bulldogs had to settle for a field goal after their drive stalled in the red zone thanks to a costly false start penalty.

The Gators answered back late in the first quarter with Del Rio making amends. Del Rio found C’yontai Lewis up the sideline for a big 17 yard gain. That play setup Del Rio inside the red zone to connect with Lewis again, this time on a 19-yard touchdown pass. Florida took the lead heading into the second quarter by a score of 7-3.

Georgia freshman quarterback,Jacob Eason matched Del Rio’s touchdown drive on the ensuing possession. Eason scrambled out of the pocket multiple times, extending plays and frustrating the Gator defense. Eason led the Bulldogs on a six play, 75 yard touchdown drive – eventually finding Riley Ridley for a 14-yard touchdown to take the lead in the second quarter.

Before halftime, Florida would take back the lead – this time for good.

An eight play, 44-yard drive topped off with a touchdown run by Jordan Scarlett would make it 14-10, Florida.

Gator Defense Steps Up Again

The Gator defense had a chip on its shoulder in the second half and refused to give up yardage. They only gave up 164 total yards on defense and forced Georgia into third and long situations.

Nick Chubb was not a factor at all in this game. The rushing attack from the Bulldogs was mute as they only had 21 yards rushing as a team, averaging 1.1 yards a carry. Chubb didn’t fare much better than his teammates only touching the ball  nine times for 20 yards.

Gator linebacker Alex Anzalone said that coach Jim McElwain prepared the defense all week to defend the run so they could have success on Saturday.

As the Gator defense stepped up, the offense did enough to pull away from the Bulldogs.

Antonio Callaway recorded his first career rushing touchdown, as he put the Gators up 21-10 on a jet sweep around the goal line. Callaway has now scored a touchdown five different ways as a Gator: kick return, punt return, receiving touchdown, a passing touchdown, and now a rushing touchdown.

Florida would tack on a field goal in the fourth quarter to beat Georgia 24-10 at EverBank Field.

Looking Ahead

With Tennessee losing to South Carolina, the Gators get some extra padding in the SEC East standings as their tough stretch of opponents are on the cusp with a trip to Arkansas up next.

With his team at the top of the East, McElwain is feeling good and believes Florida can make a run for SEC glory.

About Josh LaSelva

Originally from Ocala, Florida. University of Florida Class of 2017. Avid FIFA player willing to beat anybody. Follow me on Twitter for everything you need to know!

Check Also


Graham Mertz Returning to Florida for 2024 Season

Florida Gators quarterback Graham Mertz announced Thursday he’ll be returning to Florida for one more …