Jordan McPherson/SEC Country
Quarterback Feleipe Franks will lead a Florida offense Saturday that is hoping to pull off an upset against Georgia.

Florida football ready for latest chapter in Georgia rivalry, update on suspended Gators

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Final thoughts before Florida-Georgia

Despite all the distractions and off-field clutter enveloping this week, the matchup is almost here. At 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday, the Florida Gators and No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs will kick off in Jacksonville’s EverBank Field for one of the premier rivalry games in college football.

The Gators are a heavy underdog in the matchup, but they aren’t counting themselves out. If a healthy Tyrie Cleveland and Kadarius Toney can step up — and maybe the Gators implement some designed quarterback runs — there could be a chance for the game to be interesting. Former Gators tight end Ben Troupe said he feels the pressure will be on Georgia come game time.

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Suspension update

Seven of the nine Florida football players who have been suspended for alleged credit card theft agreed to pre-trial interventions, meaning the recommended felony charges could be expunged from their records. Despite this revelation, don’t expect the players to rejoin the team anytime soon.

The suspension news — along with coach Jim McElwain’s comments earlier in the week regarding death threats to people inside his program — is just the latest example of distractions that have surrounded the program throughout the last five years.

Could Jim McElwain’s job be in jeopardy?

Both Gainesville Sun columnist Pat Dooley and former NFL linebacker/current college football analyst Jonathan Vilma believe McElwain’s days in Gainesville could be numbered. Dooley said on the Paul Finebaum Show that there is a 50-50 shot that McElwain returns next season. Vilma said McElwain is not producing at the level fans have expected.

In other Florida football news

Soccer falls to South Carolina

The No. 17 Gators soccer team fell 1-0 to No. 3 South Carolina in its regular-season finale on Thursday. The lone goal came in the 80th minute, when the Gamecocks’ Elexa Bahr hit a shot from 12 yards out. With the loss, the Gators will be the No. 3 seed in the SEC Tournament and will play sixth-seeded Auburn on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. ET in Orange Beach, Ala.

Volleyball returns home

After playing two matches on the road last weekend, the No. 4 Florida volleyball team will host South Carolina on Friday night before going on the road to face Mississippi State on Sunday. The Gators (16-1, 8-1 SEC) are second in the conference standings at the halfway mark of league play behind Kentucky.

Cross country ready for SECs

The Florida cross country teams will compete at the 2017 SEC Championships in Athens, Ga., Friday morning. The Gators in the preseason were projected to finish eighth in both races.

Let’s keep talking

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What they’re saying on Twitter

Cornerback McArthur Burnett:

Linebacker Alex Anzalone:

Soccer player Gabby Seiler:

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