“To me, if you can’t stop it why would you do something else,” Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt said. “When you look up there and they’ve got over 400 yards rushing it’s pretty obvious we couldn’t stop it.”
Florida’s rushing attack finished with 418 total yards – the second highest total ever allowed by Georgia’s defense with the highest being 430 to Auburn in 1978.
"That's a lot of yards,” Georgia head coach Mark Richt said. “It's been a while."
Coming into Saturday’s matchup with Florida, Georgia’s rush defense ranked second in the SEC, allowing just 105.1 yards a game. That wasn’t the story Saturday as Georgia’s defense allowed Jones and Taylor to dominate the edge, bouncing off Georgia’s ends numerous times for a total of four touchdowns between the two.
“That’s not the team that we are,” cornerback Damian Swann said. “That’s not the team that we want to be.”
Execution is an area players and coaches often harp following games – especially losses. That remained the case for Georgia Saturday night as it left the field with little to celebrate. There’s no such thing as moral victories for the Bulldogs when the word Florida is involved.
“I think Coach (Will) Muschamp’s teams have been like this since he’s been there,” Pruitt said. “I feel like they’ve been very physical. I’ve had an opportunity to coach against him a few times. They’ve been very physical and you’ve got to be able to stand up and you’ve got to be able to tackle and you’ve got to be able to get off blockers. There’s no trick in that and we just didn’t do a very good job of that today.”
According to senior defensive tackle Mike Thornton, Florida didn’t come into Jacksonville with some sort of surprise attack. Rather he agreed with Pruitt in the fact that Georgia just didn’t line up like it was ready to play.
“I’m not surprised. I’m disappointed,” Thornton said. “I’m disappointed in the way we played because we’re better than that. They shouldn’t even be on the field. They shouldn’t have been on the field with us, but we’re better than that. I give credit to them for doing what they did today.”
What Florida did was upset ninth-ranked Georgia, ending the Bulldogs’ hopes of winning four in a row. That’s for certain, but nothing else is in terms of the race for the SEC East. Georgia gets back to work on Monday and it wouldn’t be a surprise if run defense is a main focus for Richt and company.
"I'd have to watch the film to know exactly what happened,” Richt said. “I know there were times when it looked like we were fairly stout up the gut and a couple of things bounced. Some of the bigger runs bounced outside so we didn't really play the edge like we ought to, but when you run for 400 yards...they did a good job period. They just executed better than we did."