No. 1 Georgia enters Cocktail Party as 2-touchdown favorite

Florida running back Dameon Pierce (27) celebrates running back Malik Davis (20) after catching a touchdown pass in the second half of an NCAA college football game against LSU in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021.

Florida (4-3, 2-3 SEC) vs. No. 1 Georgia (7-0, 5-0) in Jacksonville, Florida, Saturday at 3:30 p.m. EDT (CBS).

Line: Georgia by 14 ½, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Debatable. Georgia counts a 52-0 victory in 1904 and says it leads 53-44-2. Florida insists it didn’t compete at the varsity level until 1906 and calls it 52-44-2.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Georgia has won 11 in a row since getting steamrolled last year in the rivalry game known as “The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party." The Gators racked up 571 yards – the most in Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart’s tenure – against a defense that played without massive nose tackle Jordan Davis and two others. Georgia looks to avenge that loss and move a step closer to winning the SEC’s Eastern Division for the fourth time in five years.

KEY MATCHUP

Georgia’s dominant defense against one of the nation’s top rushing attacks. The Bulldogs lead the country in total defense, giving up just 208.4 yards a game. The Gators are averaging a nation-leading 6.33 yards a carry, with much of that coming from quarterbacks Emory Jones and Anthony Richardson.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Florida: Jones is expected to start again, but no one would be surprised to see Richardson on the field for the second series and end up playing more snaps. Richardson is bigger, faster and more dynamic than Jones, who was benched in a 49-42 loss at LSU on Oct. 16.

Georgia: Freshman TE Brock Bowers could be the toughest matchup for the Gators. Bowers has 25 receptions for 416 yards and six touchdowns. He caught five passes for 101 yards and two scores in his last game, a 30-13 win against Kentucky.

FACTS & FIGURES

Like Florida, Georgia hasn't announced its plans at quarterback. Stetson Bennett started the last three games while JT Daniels recovered from a strained lat. ... Georgia is the fourth No. 1 team to play in “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.” The other three enjoyed blowouts: the Dawgs dominated 75-0 in 1942; Florida won 47-7 in 1996; and the Gators coasted 41-17 in 2009. … Georgia’s Smart is 3-1 in head-to-head matchups against Florida coach Dan Mullen. … Georgia is a double-digit favorite in the rivalry for the third time since 1990. ... Jacksonville’s City Council approved a contract Tuesday that will keep the game at TIAA Bank Field at least through 2023. The schools have a two-year option after that. Florida and Georgia make roughly $1.5 million more annually by playing the game in Jacksonville instead of on campuses. … There will be 6,000 fewer fans than usual in the stands for this one. The schools no longer want temporary bleachers erected in the north end zone. The city paid each school $400,000 to make up for lost ticket sales.

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