Georgia stuffs Florida, takes lead in SEC East

Bulldogs dominant on 3rd down, fend off Gators

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The SEC East title runs through Athens. 

Georgia continued its recent hot streak against Florida going, dominating statistically and turning back the Gators 24-17 on Saturday at TIAA Bank Field. 

The win pushed the Bulldogs to 7-1 and 4-1 in the SEC and vaulted them to the top spot in the East. Conference games ahead come against Missouri, Auburn and Texas A&M. Florida (7-2, 4-2) has Vanderbilt and Missouri left. 

Georgia was dominant, especially on defense. The Bulldogs controlled the time of possession and kept the Gators fighting just to keep drives going most of the game. Florida was a woeful 2 of 9 on third downs and couldn't run the ball at all against Georgia's defensive front. 

As much as the statistics didn't fall in Florida's favor, the Gators fought back enough to make a game of it late. 

The Gators didn't get into the red zone until less than six minutes remained in the game. They got a 2-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Trask to Freddie Swain with 3 minutes and 11 seconds to play to trim Georgia's lead to 24-17. 

Florida just couldn't get a stop. 

Jake Fromm hit Eli Wolf for a 22-yard gain on a third-and-7 with 2:45 to go and that wound up as the clincher. The telling stat — Georgia was 12 of 18 on third down. 

Fromm finished 20 of 30 passing for 279 yards and a pair of touchdowns. D'Andre Swift led Georgia's running game, carrying the ball 25 times for 86 yards. The Bulldogs held Florida to 21 yards rushing on 19 carries. 

Trask played well for Florida, finishing 21 of 33 for 257 yards and scoring passes to Swain and Van Jefferson. 

The Bulldogs have beaten Florida three straight games in the streaky series, following a pattern. Florida won three straight from 2008-10; Georgia won the next three. The Gators then took games from 2014-16. 

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.