GEORGIA BULLDOGS (4-3)
vs. FLORIDA GATORS (4-3)
At Jacksonville, FL
Kickoff: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET
Line: Georgia -2.5, Total: 47.5
Both struggling in the ultra-competitive SEC, Georgia and Florida will clash for their annual meeting Saturday looking to avoid slipping to .500 on the season.
Both teams are 4-3 SU this season, with Georgia a poor 1-5-1 ATS and the Gators an almost as bad 2-5 ATS. They are both also coming off back-to-back losses, though each had a bye week to recuperate since then. The Bulldogs first fell to Missouri then to Vanderbilt in a 31-27 defeat last time out. The Gators' last two losses have been at the hands of LSU and Missouri. Will Muschamp is now 0-7 ATS as the Florida head coach coming off an SEC loss, and is 4-13 ATS (24%) coming off one or more consecutive ATS losses. Georgia is 15-3 ATS (83%) since 1992 after two or more straight up losses. The Bulldogs have won two consecutive meetings SU and ATS in this rivalry that takes place on a neutral field in Jacksonville, earning the 17-9 win in a defensive slugfest last season that had the two teams combine for only 26 points and 539 yards of offense.
Which team will end its losing skid on Saturday? For the answer, connect to College Football Best Bets for all the StatFox Experts picks throughout the 2013 regular season and bowl season. The four experts are a combined 56% ATS (86-68-7) in college football Best Bets for the season, led by StatFox Gary who is 65% ATS (13-7-1) in college football Best Bets over the past seven weeks and 58% ATS (14-10-1) this year. StatFox Dave is also 58% ATS (28-20-2) in Best Bets this season, while StatFox Brian is 57% ATS (21-16-1) for yearly CFB Best Bets.
The Georgia offense isnít the problem with solid weapons both in the air and on the ground. QB Aaron Murray leads the way with 1,938 passing yards this season, completing 62.1% of his passes and finding the end zone 17 times while getting picked off only six times. He also has five rushing touchdowns, though heís not really a threat on the ground with just 2.8 YPC. The big question for Saturday is if top RB Todd Gurley will play, as he has missed three consecutive games with an ankle injury. Heís been upgraded to questionable this week and would really boost the ground game with his 450 rushing yards (6.3 YPC) and four scores. Gurley was key in last yearís win too, rumbling for 118 yards and one touchdown while Murray struggled. The good news is that RB J.J. Green has been a more than serviceable replacement with 6.7 YPC. In the passing game, Murray distributes the ball well, as nine different players have caught TD passes. Chris Conley paces the way with four receiving touchdowns, 30 catches and 418 yards. The defense has been the real issue for this team, surrendering 30 or more points in six of the teamís seven contests. While it gives up just 3.7 YPC on the ground, opponents are completing 62.2% of their passes against them and averaging 7.7 yards per passing attempt.
After winning his first three games under center, Florida QB Tyler Murphy has struggled mightily in his past two, not scoring a TD in either game while throwing one interception. Overall, heís completing 62.7% of his passes and has 5 TD and 2 INT through the air, while also adding two rushing scores. And with top RB Matt Jones out for the season with a knee injury, the weight of the rushing workload has been put on the shoulders of Mack Brown (359 rush yards, 3.6 YPC, 3 TD), who has yet to break through. He performed horribly against Missouri, carrying the ball eight times for only 19 yards. The Florida defense is solid against the run, giving up 3.7 YPC, but is at its best defending against the pass, with opponents completing a miniscule 47.5% of their passes this season. Last year they limited Murray to a 50% completion rate while forcing him into throwing three picks while he reached only 150 yards with one touchdown.