Georgia vs. Florida Grade Report by Position

DawgPost's Jonathan Branch breaks down Georgia's performance at each position in the big win over Florida.

Quarterback – C+

If you quit watching at halftime, without question, Aaron Murray's performance would have been one of the worst. But what he did in the second half cannot be disputed. After throwing three first-half picks, he went 8-for-16 in the second half for 134 yards. His 45-yard touchdown pass to Malcolm Mitchell may have had more to do with Mitchell than Murray, but Murray's ability to overcome the negatives in the first half and lead his team to a victory over the BCS No. 2 team in the country—and Georgia's biggest rival—cannot be discounted.

Running back – B+

Todd Gurley gashed a Florida defense that had defended the run well all season. Gurley carried a career-high 27 times for 118 yards and wore down the Florida D. He even flashed his dual-threat ability, catching two passes for 23 yards. Keith Marshall struggled in just four carries, but Gurley provided plenty of ground game for Georgia. He also did well in pass protection in Georgia's big victory.

Wide Receiver/Tight Ends – B-

Like Murray, Georgia's receivers weren't at their bests Saturday. Two of Murray's interceptions came after a Georgia receiver couldn't haul in the pass. Tavarres King had a big drop in the second half on a pass that Murray put right between his numbers, and Artie Lynch and Marlon Brown also dropped passes. But Malcolm Mitchell brought consistency to this group, and the receiver nicknamed ‘Tampa' caught arguably the biggest pass for Georgia in Jacksonville since Lindsay Scott.

Offensive Line – A

Quite simply, Georgia's offensive line dominated the Gators Saturday. The Bulldogs didn't allow a sack for the first game since Florida Atlantic and opened up gaping holes for Todd Gurley to run through. Though Aaron Murray threw three interceptions, he was rarely under intense pressure, and the offensive line did a great job of establishing a sturdy pocket for Murray to move in.

Defensive Line – A+

Last week, I wrote that this unit had underachieved all season. For the first time, the unit of John Jenkins, Kwame Geathers, Garrison Smith and Cornelius Washington performed at an extremely high level. The Gators were unable to establish any running game between the tackle box, and defensive line plugged gaps and controlled space for backers like Jarvis Jones and safety blitzes to get to the quarterback.

Linebackers – A+

Freshman standout Jordan Jenkins got to start opposite Jarvis Jones for the first time all season, and Georgia's pass rush was dynamic. Todd Grantham dialed up a number of different looks and blitzes that helped maximize the pressure on Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel. At times, Jenkins and Jones hit the same gap, confusing Florida's blockers and leading to disruptive plays. Jones had yet another Heisman-like performance with 13 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Alec Ogletree, Mike Gilliard and Amarlo Herrera had six tackles apiece.

Defensive Backs – A+

Damian Swann set the tone early for this group, sacking Driskell and forcing him to cough up the ball for a Bulldog recovery on Florida's first possession. Bacarri Rambo did an outstanding job in run support, as well as rushing the passer. Shawn Williams had a momentum-swinging tackle on a wide receiver sweep on a Florida fourth down attempt. Branden Smith had a few mistakes but never hurt the Bulldogs, and he made a big open-field tackle to prevent a possible touchdown. Sanders Commings had five tackles and recovered Jordan Reed's fumble in the endzone that essentially sealed the win for Georgia.

Special Teams – A-

Florida entered the matchup with a vaunted special teams attack, but Georgia's special teams turned in a stellar performance against the Gators. Both punt and kickoff coverage units for Georgia swarmed to Florida's returners and never allowed that electric play that Florida is known for making in big games (and Georgia is prone to allowing). Collin Barber was an effective situational punter, forcing Florida to start deep in its own territory twice. Marshall Morgan missed a field goal, but he made a 29-yarder and was perfect on extra points—something he cannot always say. Malcolm Mitchell is still slowly learning that sometimes it is not what he does but what he doesn't do (like return kickoffs from deep in his own endzone) that is important for Georgia.


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