Todd Gurley’s absence could be the key for Florida on Saturday.
The Gators looked downright pitiful offensively and on special teams in a 42-13 loss to Missouri nearly two weeks ago, a defeat that has placed coach Will Muschamp’s job security on top of an inferno.
The defeat left Florida at 3-3. Even worse for Florida fans, the Gators are 0-3 against Georgia under Muschamp.
That could change Saturday, CBS analyst Gary Danielson said this week.
“The air went out of (Florida) and they didn’t show up against Missouri, but the Georgia game is the perfect elixir for them,” he said when we talked over the phone this week. “(Florida has) real prideful guys. Will is a great guy and a great football coach, and they have a chance without Todd Gurley playing for Georgia.”
CBS will broadcast the game at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
“These games are always close. I think Florida will show up and they’ll be electrified to play the football game,” Danielson said. “If Georgia can figure out a way to make a couple of bad things happen to Florida, the Florida football players might go, ‘Here we go again. It’s not our year.’ This is a game Georgia should win, but I’ve watched a lot of these Florida-Georgia games. They seem to go right down to the last drive.”
Florida could have had a different outlook on the season and Muschamp’s future if tight end Tevin Westbrook had caught a potential touchdown pass late in the loss to LSU.
Instead of Westbrook making what might have been the game-winning reception, LSU turned Florida QB Jeff Driskel’s late interception into a field goal with 3 seconds left for a 30-27 victory.
“That was their chance to save the football season,” Danielson said.
“They had just come off a spanking at Alabama. Their offense didn’t do much, but playing in Tuscaloosa is going to be a chore for anybody. They squeak by in a game at Tennessee and I thought the key game of their season was LSU at home. They had a chance to win that game. I knew LSU was going to get better, and I thought (Florida) would be a legitimate football team the rest of the year had that pass been caught at the end of the game.”
Gurley must sit two more games as a result of his suspension for accepting money from memorabilia dealers. He’s eligible to return against Auburn on Nov. 15.