Gators not seasoned enough to beat Georgia … yet

by Gary Shelton on October 28, 2018 · 0 comments

in College Sports in Florida, general, University of Florida

Freddie Swain celebrates his touchdown catch./CARMEN MADATO

Sunday, 2 a.m.

Someday, the Florida Gators will be big enough for the opponent.

Someday, they will be good enough on third down. Someday, they will be able to make a 14-13 lead stand up. Someday, they will prevent the opposing team from scoring 23 of the final 26 points of the game.

Someday, the Gators may catch up to the Georgia Bulldogs. For now, however, Georgia pulled away for a 36-17 victory.

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Jordan Scarlett ran for 56 yards for Gators./CARMEN MANDATO

"I don't think we played very well," Gators' coach Dan Mullen said. "That might have been our worst execution performance of the year, and I'm really disappointed with that. We'll learn as a team. You go into those big-game situations, you've got to go execute."

Florida's CeCe Jefferson reacts to making a stop./CARMEN MANDATO

The Gators took a 14-13 lead early in the third period when Feleipe Franks hit Freddie Swain for a 36-yard touchdown. But the Bulldogs took over thereafter.

Florida showed flashes, including holding Georgia to a field goal after six plays from the one-yard line.

"There's a lot of things in the course of this game that showed us we can be an excellent football team," Mullen said. "There are times in the game you look and say 'Okay, we're playing like the Florida Gators, like we expect to play. Other situations, we weren't as clean as we need to be."

Van Jefferson reacts to a pass interference call against Georgia./CARMEN MANDATO

Franks threw a touchdown pass and ran for another, but he had only 105 yards passing. The Gators had three turnovers.

In their last five possessions, the Gators totaled just 78 yards. Fifty of that came on their field goal drive. Florida was held to a season low of 275 yards on offense.

The Gators lost cornerback C.J. Henderson on the first series of the game. The Gators had lost Marco Williams in the second game of the year.

“Two corners, the two best players on the team who like to play man coverage and they’re both out ... that’s a struggle,” Mullen said. “All year we’ve had guys banged up, injured. But the next guys have to step up and go make plays.”

For Georgia, Jake Fromm had been under fire. Against the Gators, he threw for 240 yards and three touchdowns.

The Gators are home next week against Missouri. The game time has yet to be determined.

 

Franks threw for a touchdown and ran for one for Florida./CARMEN MANDATO

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