JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—With junior Faton Bauta making his first collegiate start under center, Georgia’s offense was rather stagnant today in a 27-3 setback to Florida at Jacksonville’s EverBank Field. In committing five turnovers, the Bulldogs were held out of the end zone for the second straight game. Furthermore, in its last four contests, Georgia has scored just three offensive touchdowns.
“We played hard, but we have to be more productive obviously,” head coach Mark Richt said following the loss. “Offensively, we have to get first downs and we have to get points on the board. We struggled in that area.”
While Georgia’s running game struggled, gaining 69 yards on 22 carries, Bauta could only muster a 15-of-33 passing performance for 154 yards. He was intercepted four times—the second-most by a Georgia quarterback making his initial start for the Bulldogs in the modern era.
“Not good,” Bauta replied when asked about his performance. “We lost, and all that counts are wins and losses. It’s not a good feeling. It is something you wish you never have to experience.”
The “experience” came early for Georgia as the Gators jumped on top 20-0 before intermission. They scored first when a muffed punt by Reggie Davis was recovered by the Gator unit in the end zone late in the first quarter. After extending its lead to 13-0 on a 66-yard pass from Treon Harris to Antonio Callaway, Florida punched in a third touchdown with a short run at the goal line, set up by an interception returned to the Georgia 5.
The defense held Florida off the board for much of the second half, allowing a touchdown at the 7:10 mark of the game’s final quarter. The final scoring drive came after the Bulldog offense appeared to gain some momentum, marching into Florida’s red zone before an interception kept Georgia from scoring.
Georgia’s lone scoring drive came after a forced fumble by Davin Bellamy, who had a strong game on the defensive side of the ball with a team-high seven tackles. Six plays later, Marshall Morgan split the uprights from 27 yards out to trim the deficit to 20-3.
Having lost three of their last four games, the Bulldogs return to Sanford Stadium next week, where they will take on the Kentucky Wildcats.
“We just have to stick to our guns, come back tomorrow and get ready to work,” Richt said. “We have a lot of big games coming up, so we have to be ready.”