Georgia vs. Florida Preview - Key Matchups
I have just a ton of work to do before I head down to Jax today, so I'm going to do an abbreviated preview on some key match-ups from the top down as to how I feel like the game will unfold. For this preview, I am going to assume John Brantley is willing and able to play. If he is not, Georgia should win the game big - but, we'll see.
Mark Richt (UGA) vs. Will Muschamp (UF)
This will be Mark Richt's 11th WLOCP as a coach and Muschamp's 1st as a head coach. However, Muschamp is not new to this rivalry. While Muschamp does not have any bad joo-joo from this game thus far, Richt has won in Jacksonville (even though it is just twice) and I give him the edge of knowing what needs to be done to win.
Todd Grantham (UGA) vs. Charlie Weis (UF)
Grantham had his initiation into the WLOCP last year and this will be Weis' first meeting in Jax. However, if we're looking at coordinator success, you have to give the edge to Weis. Every where he has gone as an OC, he has been extremely successful - the same can't be said for Grantham. He'll have his chance to stop the offensive guru tomorrow.
UGA Offense vs. UF Defense
Aaron Murray vs. UF Secondary
Murray's first trip to Jax did not go as well as he wanted it. However, redemption comes tomorrow. I feel like Murray has quietly been improving a ton the last few weeks. You know how much this game means to him. Even without Malcolm Mitchell, I think the Dawgs have enough talent to get it done against the young UF secondary.
UGA Defense vs. UF Offense
John Brantley vs. UGA Secondary
If Shawn Williams was starting and Commings was at CB, I'd like Georgia in this match-up - because, really, Brantley hasn't been spectacular in his starts in this new offense - however, missing Williams will hurt. Weis and Co. know how to get the ball to their speed guys and will scheme to get them a ton of touches.
Blair Walsh vs. Caleb Sturgis
One of my friends has said all year - the special teams are going to cost us this year. I say, they already have (South Carolina). The football Gods are fickle in Jacksonville. There have been a number of times in which Georgia has gone into Jax with the better special teams units, and kicks have mysteriously been missed. I say, that changes. Blair somehow gets the edge over Sturgis - just going on historical superstition. Any other game, I'd say Sturgis gets the edge.
Advantage: Even (With Georgia Getting the Mental Edge)
This is a big game for Georgia - and a bigger one for Mark Richt. I'm a pro-Richt guy, but I know this game will go a long way in his future career at Georgia. Georgia needs this win, and I actually think they get it. Georgia is better in a lot of areas, and even though that hasn't meant much in this rivalry, I think it matters in 2011 with Atlanta on the line.
UGA - 34 UF - 21