JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Florida-Georgia annual rivalry showdown in Jacksonville, better known as “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party,” is hours from kickoff.
Fans from both schools will arrive early and in large numbers to tailgate before splitting the seating bowl in EverBank Field down the middle with the Gators’ faithful filling in one half and the Bulldogs’ contingent in the other.
Both teams are coming in rested off a bye week and looking to impact their season in different ways.
No. 14 Florida (5-1, 3-1 SEC) is vying for a return to the SEC championship game while Georgia (4-3, 2-3) has been up and down this fall, but the Bulldogs could change the tenor of their season with a win Saturday.
The Gators have the advantage on paper, thanks to a defense that ranks second nationally in fewest yards allowed (252.5 per game) and points allowed (12.0 per game).
Here’s what you need to know about the Week 9 matchup.
What time is kickoff?
When: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Fla.
What TV channel is showing the game?
CBS is televising the game and you can watch it online here.
Who is calling the game for SEC Network?
Verne Lundquist is handling the play-by-play call, Gary Danielson is the analyst and Allie LaForce is the sideline reporter.
3 things you should know
1. Georgia leads the all-time series 49-42-2, but Florida has won 20 of the last 26 meetings and the last two have been lopsided in the Gators’ favor as they earned a 38-20 win in 2014 and a 27-3 victory last year.
True to the nature of a rivalry, the schools actually can’t agree on that all-time series record. Georgia counts an extra win in 1904, while Florida does not recognize that game as it did not compete at the varsity level until 1906.
As far as the Gators are concerned the first official game in the series was in 1915. The rivalry showdown has been held in Jacksonville every year since 1933 with exception to a war time interruption in 1943 and games in Gainesville, Fla., and Athens, Ga., in 1994-95
2. Florida controls its own destiny in its quest for a second straight SEC East title, but the Gators may need to win out to hang on to that division lead. Tennessee (and Kentucky) sit just one loss back and the Vols have played what are expected to be their toughest games while also holding the tiebreaker with a head-to-head win over Florida.
3. This game is ripe with storylines. Florida quarterback Luke Del Rio is returning to familiar surroundings at EverBank Field, where his dad Jack Del Rio coached the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2003-11. The younger Del Rio spent a lot of time around the stadium watching his dad during those years. Today his father — now the head coach of the Oakland Raiders — will be in attendance to watch him play on that same field. The Raiders spent the week in Florida between games in Jacksonville last Sunday and Tampa this Sunday.
Also, this is the first time Florida’s Jim McElwain and Georgia’s Kirby Smart will go against each other as head coaches. They spent four seasons together on Nick Saban’s Alabama staff from 2008-11 when McElwain was the offensive coordinator and Smart the defensive coordinator.