This will be the 11th Florida-Georgia rivalry game that Gary Danielson has called for CBS. And he’s not buying into the notion that the crowd at EverBank Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla., is split down the middle.
“Even though it’s a neutral site, this is about a 70-30 Georgia fanbase,” Danielson said on the SEC on CBS Podcast. But, he continued, that isn’t necessarily an advantage. “I’ve done 10 of them, OK, usually the crowd base that gets frustrated the most is the Georgia fans if things aren’t going well because the Florida fans, there aren’t as many of them.”
The Gators could only need one or two big plays to demoralize the Georgia crowd and take all the momentum in the game, Danielson hypothesized. The challenge in doing so is that Florida doesn’t have many offensive weapons beyond receiver Antonio Callaway.
For Florida to find success on offense, it will have to get its other receivers involved in the passing game, Danielson said.
“I think the stress for this Florida team is that they only have one receiver who anyone is even halfway nervous about, Antonio Calloway,” he said on the podcast. “If there’s anybody in this league that’s as good at taking away a guy, Kirby Smart has learned it from the best, Nick Saban. If Florida’s going to be a factor in this game, they’re going to have to get players like Brandon Powell and Ahmad Fulwood, their other receivers, involved a bit. Because if they just try to go to Callaway, I just don’t know if that’s going to happen.”
No other Gator comes within 100 receiving yards of Callaway on the season, but DeAndre Goolsby bests Callaway and Powell in receptions by two, with 25. Fulwood, meanwhile, has just three catches for 26 yards.
Despite that, it sounds as though Danielson likes Florida in the game, even if he didn’t offer an explicit prediction.
Of the thoughts going through Jim McElwain and his staff’s heads, Danielson said, “I don’t think they can beat us if we don’t beat ourselves … because I don’t know if Georgia can score on us.”
Florida and Georgia kick off at 3:30 ET Saturday on CBS. The Gators have won the last two, including a 27-3 affair in last year’s contest.