JACKSONVILLE, FL — Georgia played their first game without John Mackey award winner Brock Bowers. Bowers (ankle surgery) was the leading receiver by a lot heading into this game.

The Gators came out scoring the first touchdown of the game. But, the Georgia offense took over, and the defense took advantage of a couple of fumbles by Graham Mertz. Georgia took down Florida in the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party 43-20.

 

OFFENSE

 

The main headline coming into today was how Carson Beck and the offense would operate without their best player. Today, they showed the CFP committee that they have plenty of weapons outside of Bowers. 

Ladd McConkey was Beck’s go-to guy and looks better than ever after recovering during the bye week. McConkey finished with six receptions and 137 yards, including a 41-yard touchdown.

Daijun Edwards and Kendall Milton complimented the passing game really well with their downhill running. They combined for 150 rushing yards and three touchdowns. The offensive line paved the way for the two backs and did not allow a sack on Beck.

The offense scored all six times they entered the red zone and they tallied 488 total yards

They look just fine without Bowers, but they still need him to return with their championship aspirations.

 

DEFENSE

 

Florida came out with the first punch, driving right down the field and scoring a 22-yard touchdown from Graham Mertz to Eugene Wilson. Other than that, Georgia’s defense locked in and didn’t give up many explosive plays. 

What really changed the momentum of the game was two strip sacks on Mertz (one by Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins, one by Jalon Walker). Mertz’s final statline is not fully representative of the defensive performance Georgia put on. He tallied a lot of yards in garbage time towards the end of the game.

The defense bounced back in a major way, and put on an excellent performance.

 

LOOKING AHEAD

 

Coming off the bye week, Georgia entered their toughest slate of games until the postseason. They will return home to take on No. 16 Missouri (7-1; coming off a bye week) and No. 12 Ole Miss. Then, they will travel to Neyland Stadium (Knoxville, TN) to take on No. 21 Tennessee (5-2). These are arguably the three best offenses Georgia will face all year. So, Georgia will need to keep up with them scoring-wise without Bowers, and the defense will have to put on some of their best performances all season.

The statuses of Brock Bowers and Amarius Mims are still up in the air for this tough stretch of games. Regardless, the Bulldogs still showed why they should be considered as the top team in the nation when the CFP rankings come out on Tuesday.

 

Offensive Player of the Game– WR Ladd McConkey- 6 receptions, 137 yards, 1 TD

Defensive Player of the Game– ILB Jamon Dumas-Johnson- 4 solo tackles, 1 sack, 1 PBU, 1 QB hurry