College Football Pick’em
Your Daily NFL Fix
Daily Soccer Podcast
One of college football’s best rivalries and one of the top annual events in college football takes place Saturday on The SEC on CBS Game of the Week. No. 1 Georgia and Florida clash in Jacksonville with bragging rights on the line and the chance to set the tone for the remainder of the season for each team.
The Bulldogs recovered from some sluggish play in early October by topping the 40-point mark in each of the last two games (a 42-10 win over Auburn and a 55-0 triumph over Vanderbilt). The Gators had a bye week to lick their wounds following a 45-35 home loss to LSU.
What will happen on Saturday on the banks of the St. Johns River? Here’s a preview of the matchup with picks straight up and against the spread.
Follow all the action from Georgia vs. Florida with LIVE updates here.
Date: Saturday, Oct. 29 | Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: TIAA Bank Field — Jacksonville, Florida
TV: CBS | Live stream: CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App (Free)
Richardson’s golden opportunity: Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson was one of the most hyped up players of the offseason. Stories about him as a potential first-round draft pick, budding superstar and Heisman contender were common. So far, he hasn’t lived up to those expectations.
The 6-foot-4, 232-pounder has more interceptions (seven) than touchdown passes (six), and he has completed just 51.7% of his passes against SEC opponents. That’s going to have to change in this one. Richardson is a flat-out stud on the ground, but Georgia’s defense is an impossible riddle to solve for one-dimensional teams. However, a bye week is a perfect chance for Richardson to decompress and for the coaching staff to work on some of his shortcomings without having to focus more on game prep than pure development.
Impactful injuries: Georgia wide receiver Adonai Mitchell, who was expected to be one of the Bulldogs’ primary deep threats, only has five catches on the year and has been out since Week 3 with an ankle injury. “AD is a high ankle sprain. And high ankle sprains when you talk to everybody across the NFL and across college football, it’s hard to pinpoint a measurement,” said coach Kirby Smart on Monday. “The first thing you look for is do they need to do the repair? They do the tightrope and things like Arian did. His was not that kind of injury. But it is lingering. It’s a pain in the butt. So he’s battling to come back and doing everything we ask.”
Stud defensive lineman Jalen Carter’s status and potential impact is also up in the air after he injured his knee against Missouri and missed the last two games.
“In terms of Jalen, it’s the knee right now. It’s the MCL,” Smart said. “But the degree of that, severity of that just depends on conditioning level, how fast he can get back. He’s working to get back and we’re hopeful to get both of them back.”
The bye week might have come at the perfect time for these two stars to get healthy and return for the stretch run.
Can Georgia open it up? Bulldogs’ quarterback Stetson Bennett IV ranks third in the SEC in passing yards per game (290.4) and is tied for the most completions of 20 or more yards (30). That doesn’t bode well for a Florida defense that is giving up 244.3 passing yards per game and just got torched by LSU’s Jayden Daniels, who had 349 yards passing and three passing touchdowns, during the Gators’ last game two weeks ago.
If Bennett lights up Florida, it’ll reinsert the veteran into the Heisman Trophy race and serve as a reminder that this Georgia offense is dangerous, balanced and a perfect complement to its lights-out defense.
Georgia will take the win and do it rather handily. The Florida defense will have no answer for what Bulldogs offensive coordinator Todd Monken drew up during the bye week, and it’s impossible to create a scenario in which Richardson finally develops a downfield passing game. With that said, Smart will likely take his foot off the gas as quickly as possible, which will allow Florida to keep this within three touchdowns. Prediction: Florida +22.5
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 9, and which top-20 favorite will go down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $3,000 in profit over the past six-plus seasons — and find out.
© 2004-2023 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved.
CBS Sports is a registered trademark of CBS Broadcasting Inc. Commissioner.com is a registered trademark of CBS Interactive Inc.
Images by Getty Images and US Presswire