Instant Analysis: Dog Day Afternoon

by Rafael De Los Santos
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Please Read: Welcome to the new-look Inside the Gators

The Georgia Bulldogs showed why their 24-game win streak dating to 2021, meant a 14½-point favorite line in Las Vegas despite an injury to Brock Bowers. Georgia’s 43-20 win over the Gators means that Florida has now lost six of the previous seven meetings of the storied rivalry.

Inside the Gators’ Instant Analysis takes a quick look at how the game unfolded.

IT WAS OVER WHEN: There were many points during Georgia’s 36 unanswered points in which this one could’ve been called. The final nail on the coffin was thrown late in the third as Carson Beck found Dillon Bell for a 17-yard touchdown, extending the Georgia lead to a crooked 29. The stands began to empty as the crowd participated in Georgia’s third-quarter tradition. By the time “We are the Boys from Old Florida” played the outcome of the game was said and done.

THEY STOLE THE SHOW:  Georgia’s Tykee Smith and Jamon Dumas-Johnson stole the show on the defensive end for the Bulldogs combining for 10 tackles including eight solo tackles, two tackles for loss and two pass breakups. The pair played key roles on a Georgia defense that limited Graham Mertz to 230 passing yards two weeks after his career 423-yard game in the win against South Carolina.

THESE STATS DON’T LIE:  Coming into this matchup Georgia was the bottom feeder of the SEC in recovered fumbles with zero. Within four drives the Bulldogs’ pass rush forced Graham Mertz into two fumbles, recovering the second. Four plays later, the Bulldogs turned that Florida fumble into a touchdown on fourth and one despite Florida’s third down stand on their own three-yard line. Georgia would end the game six-of-six from the redzone to set the tone on offense, adding eight tackles for loss to punctuate the meeting on defense.

THIS MATCH-UP PROVED KEY: This game was a mismatch all over the field, and Ladd McConkey’s 135-yard and one touchdown line in just six targets against Florida’s secondary. was the epitome of it.

Coming into this one, McConkey had nine receptions to his name good for 107 yards and zero touchdowns. When it was all said and done, the Georgia junior had done more than open up the scoring for the Bulldogs. McConkey exposed Marshall on the big stage, leaving him and Florida behind on a play that called for effort from the Gators’ primary cornerback.

WHAT A PLAY:  As if 36 unanswered points were not enough, Georgia’s defense showed why they were number one as they held Florida to a three-play drive resulting in negative six yards.

With the game turned on its head, Jeremy Crawshaw was a welcome sight as the Gators looked to punt Georgia away from their own 19-yard line. Georgia’s Joenel Aguero would have it his way as he broke through to Crawshaw to block the punt for a safety for Georgia’s 26th unanswered point.

UP NEXT: The Gators (5-3) will head back home to face Arkansas in Florida’s long-awaited blackout game on Nov. 4 at 12 P.M.

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