Florida 27, Georgia 3, Instant Analysis: Gators rout Dawgs, close in on SEC East title

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An ugly game early turned into a Gator rout thanks to five, count ’em, five Georgia turnovers. And now Florida gets to keep the Okefenokee Oar following their second straight blowout win over the Doggies.

Here’s how it all went down.

It was over when… Up 20-3 but with their backs against the wall on a long Georgia drive, Jalen Tabor broke up a Faton Bauta pass in the end zone with a backhanded punch right to Keanu Neal, who intercepted it to snuff the Bulldogs’ last real chance.

Play of the game… After struggling for most of the first half, Treon Harris suddenly lofted a beautiful ball deep to Antonio Callaway, who took it 66 yards for a touchdown. Harris didn’t do much else right on the day, but then again, he didn’t have to. Honorable mention goes to Reggie Davis’s muff of a punt at the end of the first quarter, which Florida’s Nick Washington recovered for a touchdown, as it set the tone for an ugly day from Georgia’s offense (including Vernon Hargreaves’ fourth pick of the year).

Game ball goes to… Kelvin Taylor, who now has his second 100 yard rushing performance over Georgia in as many years. His linemen did a solid job blocking for him most of the time, too.

Stat of the game… 258. Although not quite as ridiculous as the 418 yard rushing performance a year ago, the Gators nonetheless pummeled the Bulldogs with their ground game yet again, this time for “only” 258 yards.

What to be proud of… Florida’s defense could not possibly have played any better with the exception of Jarrad Davis intercepting a pass thrown right to him in the third quarter. Other than one measly field goal that came off of a Harris fumble, the Gators pitched a shutout. The only other time Georgia got close, the drive was snuffed out by the aforementioned Neal interception. And the Gators finished the day as the benefactor of five, let’s count ’em again, five turnovers. Simply put, this may have been the best defensive performance I’ve ever seen in a Florida-Georgia game.

What to work on… Florida’s passing game needs a lot of work. The play to Callaway, as nice as it was, was one play. And that one play accounted for nearly half the Gators’ total through the air. Harris was, for the most part, extremely inaccurate, and also gave Georgia their only points for the day with a fumble. The natural talent is there with Harris, which is why it’s so frustrating to see him struggle like this. But he was good enough to go 2-0 as the starting quarterback against Georgia, and that’s all that matters.

Bottom line: Florida didn’t play well by any means, but they won the game in decisive fashion, so who cares? Georgia self destructed, as at least one team always does in this game, and Florida merely took advantage. They’ll have to keep improving with Treon Harris at QB for the long haul now, but while Harris did lose one fumble and didn’t look great, he also avoided the catastrophic mistake for the second straight year against Georgia. And now Florida’s a win over Vanderbilt away from wrapping up the SEC East.

Scoring recap:

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
GEORGIA 0 0 3 0 3
FLORIDA 6 14 0 7 27

Scoring plays:

Team Time Play UGA FLA
FLORIDA 1st 0:00 N. Washington 0 yd fumble return (PAT blocked) 0 6
FLORIDA 2nd 5:06 A. Callaway 66 yd pass from T. Harris (PAT good) 0 13
FLORIDA 2nd 2:39 K. Taylor 3 yd run (PAT good) 0 20
GEORGIA 3rd 10:21 M. Morgan 27 yd FG 3 20
FLORIDA 4th 7:10 K. Taylor 16 yd run (PAT good) 3 27

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