Five (not so) easy steps to upsetting Florida

ATHENS – Dean Legge takes a look at the five not-so-easy options for upsetting Florida this week in Jacksonville

5. Win special teams. This has been expected in the last few games with Florida. But with a very, very inconsistent Andy Bailey and shaky kickoff and punt teams, a one-time Georgia strength is now a weakness. Drawing even with Florida in special teams is not going to get it done.

4. Use a trick play. This worked last season, so why not use it again? Georgia's offense has shown that it can score points with Matthew Stafford under center, but using a trick play to grab momentum has helped Georgia win more than once against Florida (Appleby to Washington is the most famous, but Hines Ward was used at times in 1997 to confuse the Gators – it worked). Lining up and beating Florida physically is probably not going to work. Yes, the Gators have weaknesses and a team playing better than the Dawgs (Auburn) could exploit them – too bad the Dawgs are not an offensive juggernaut.

3. Stop the run. This includes when Tim Tebow is in the game. The Georgia defense, which many have recently left for dead, can rise up and give Florida a very difficult game – they must in order for Georgia to have a shot.

When is comes to stopping Tebow, Richt said there are three problems with stopping him. "Florida is scheming things well with Tebow; when your quarterback is a runner your running back becomes a blocker; and he is a very physical runner and fresh coming off the bench." Richt added one last problem for the Bulldogs defense as is relates to Tebow – "He is a pretty special cat right now."

Figure out how to stop the Florida run or come back home with another loss to Florida.

2. Hit Chris Leak. Georgia has never done this enough, in part because Leak is very sneaky, dangerous and well aware of his surroundings. No quarterback (perhaps save Tebow) likes getting hit, but it seems Leak particularly does not like it. Sacks not withstanding, Georgia must put pressure on Leak, and put him on the ground as much as possible.

"Any quarterback you play that is a passer – you want to hit him," said Richt of disrupting Leak. "Even if you don't hit him, you have to pinch the pocket. We have to find a way to disrupt their protection because we can't let him sit back there."

1. Do not turn the ball over. Georgia and Florida both have around the same turnover ratio for the season, but the Dawgs' turnovers seem to have been more costly. Two second-half turnovers in the Bulldog red zone gave Vanderbilt and Tennessee what they needed to get back into the game and eventually win. Mississippi State nearly did the same thing last Saturday.

The Bulldogs have turned the ball over a slew of times in their last three games, which has resulted in 47 points. Before that Georgia allowed only three points in five games on turnovers.

"We have to make sure we respect the ball more. We can't afford to turn it over – not even once," Richt said.

You got that right.

If Georgia turns it over once (and several players including Stafford and Danny Ware have struggled with ball protection) they will lose. The Bulldog defense must give the team a shot by forcing at least two game-changing turnovers. Chris Leak has never thrown an interception against Georgia – that must change this week.


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