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Rapid Recap- Georgia wallops Florida in rivalry game

Florida Football Insiders

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Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire

The latest installment of the Gators rivalry with the Georgia Bulldogs had coaching controversy before it began, and when it did, the ‘Dawgs dominated from beginning to end in a    wipe out in Jacksonville.

Prior to the game, rumors were rampant that head coach Jim McElwain, who began the week making veiled reference to “death threats” without explaining them to anyone, was soon to be out as head coach. The posts and tweets were flying fast and furious that McElwain’s influential agent Jimmy Sexton and new Florida AD Scott Stricklin were discussing a contract buyout to allow McElwain to leave.

It had so much traction that Stricklin had to release a statement a few hours before game time to deny the internet conjecture:

With that out of the way, Georgia took it to Florida like a Mike Tyson legendary 1st round knockout in the 1980’s.

The Dogs took their first possession and promptly marched downfield and RB Nick Chubb punched it in from six yards out for an early 7-0 lead.

Florida’s offense was completely ineffective, especially early, and gave the ball right back on a Feleipe Franks interception at his own 29 yard line. Georgia took three plays to score again:

Jason Wims’ spectacular catch (photo above) from Jake Fromm made it 14-0 Georgia and they were on their way.

When Florida went three and out quickly again, the Bulldogs used their other running weapon, Sony Michel, who didn’t take long to blow the game open:

One play. 74 yards. 21-0 in the first and like we said, Mike Tyson-esque.

Florida actually put a drive together late in the first half and had third and goal inside the five before being stopped and then, Franks threw incomplete on 4th and goal to remain scoreless.

Coming out of the locker room, Georgia added to the lead when Michel raced in, again, this time from 45 yards and a 28-0 advantage. Then, the Georgia defense ended any chance of comeback, and sent Gator fans streaming for the Everbank Field exits with this play:

J.R. Reed stripped Franks, recovered and it was 35-0.

Michel finished with 137 yards on just six carries and Georgia rushed for nearly 300 yards in the game.

It is only the sixth win for Georgia in the last 27 games of the series, but it was clearly one of the most lopsided in the modern era of the game.

Florida now has a three game losing skid in conference play.

Meanwhile, Georgia remains unbeaten at 8-0 and will likely be ranked #2 or #3 in the first College Football Playoff rankings this season, when they are released Tuesday night.

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Gators announced home and home series with Cal Friday

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Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Gators continued their philosophy of striking “home-and-home” deals with Power 5 opposition, when they announced on Friday that they will be doing so with the Cal-Berkley Bears out of the Pac-12 coming later in this decade.

The Gators made the announcement through their website and social media mid-day Friday that they will play Cal at home first and then travel to Berkeley the following year:

A.D. Scott Stricklin has broken up the long tradition that Florida would only play two home out of conference games in September and usually, against much lesser competition before entering SEC play. Stricklin has been very outspoken that in the age of the College Football Playoff, strength of schedule is emphasized and the selection committee holds schools responsible for not playing top-notch out of conference opponents, at least some of the time.

With that in mind, the Gators opened the 2019 season in Orlando against the Miami Hurricanes and won a sloppy game. And, they already have other Power 5 schools laid out to play home and away.

As we previously wrote, Florida will be playing the Texas Longhorns first in Gainesville in 2030 and then. return the game the following year in Austin.

Florida had previously announced last year that they will also play the Colorado Buffaloes out of the Pac-12, again with the first game in Gainesville in 2028 and then, returning it to Boulder the following season.

It’s interesting with Friday’s announcement that Stricklin and the football program are working backwards with the schedule. And, they will now play Cal before Colorado in September of 2026, and then will be opening on the Berkeley campus the following season.

Florida and Cal have only met two times, having played first in Gainesville in 1974 as the Gators wo 21 – 17 and then, they also met in Tampa to open the 1980 season with a Florida 41-13 blowout victory.

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Second National Signing Day recap for top state schools

Jamil King

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

National Signing Day 2020 has come and gone, and several in state schools were able to improve their classes heading into spring ball. The University of Florida watched rival Georgia secure the number one overall class, but the Gators were still able to land the best class in the state with the number eight class overall.

The Gators officially signed former five-star receiver Justin Shorter from Penn State, and Florida stayed in the family today as well, Xzavier Henderson officially joined the Gators. He’s the ounger brother of  former DB C.J. Henderson.

Dan Mullen also able to dip into the state of Texas inking four-star DE Princely Umanmielen. It wasn’t all great news for the Gators, as they missed out on a few key guys, including losing out on arguably top state safety Avantae Williams to in state rival Miami. Overall it was a good cycle for the Gators both recruiting and in the transfer portal.

The Miami Hurricanes continued an impressive offseason on National Signing Day. The Canes made arguably the biggest move in the state by landing Williams and keeping him Florida. Williams became the highest rated Hurricane in the class and propelled the U to the number 13 spot.

Miami has the second-best class in the ACC behind Clemson. With an impressive offseason in the books, once again excitement will be in the air in Coral Gables. The question is: will they live up to it in year two for Manny Diaz?

Florida State and new coach Mike Norvell have been working hard to get this class rolling last minute. After a good early National Signing Day Norvell looked to keep the momentum going. The Noles took a big hit Wednesday though, with the loss of Venice four star WR, Malachi Wideman, who flipped to Tennessee.

The Noles came back from that by landing a handful of other recruits. They got the number six Juco running back La’Damian Webb, ass well as, Robert Scott, an offensive lineman and Corey Wren, an athlete/running back.

Replacing Cam Akers will be tough for Norvell and building the offensive line is a top priority. The former Memphis coach came in late like he did, yet he finishes with a decent class sitting at 22 on 24/7.

Now the work begins turning around the former powerhouse.

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