The good news on Friday for the Georgia Bulldogs, is that Todd Gurley is ready to come back from an ankle injury. Without Gurley playing a major factor, the Bulldogs have lost three games already this season. It's a far cry from the championship aspirations that Georgia had going into the season. Still, he wasn't the only injured player to disrupt what was thought to be a powerful team in 2013.
The Florida Gators have not fared much better this season either. At (4-3), the Gators have dealt with as many season injuries as a top ranked team in a long time. Although many players from the defensive side of the ball were injured, it could be the losses on offense that have crushed the Gators' hopes.
This is certainly shaping up to be a battle between strengths. Florida's defense is still in the top five, while Georgia has continued to have their moments offensively. However, special teams has killed Georgia all season long.
The offense has been serviceable as of late, but they were missing all of their skill position players. Before the major injuries, Georgia was on track to win the SEC East and maybe earn a spot in the BCS national championship game. Yet, each game became more and more treacherous for the Bulldogs. Aaron Murray went from preseason All SEC quarterback with a ton of weapons, to a quarterback trying to survive the season with a winning record. Murray is still completing 62 percent of his passes, but the consecutive losses have the Bulldogs reeling. The reemergence of Todd Gurley and Michael Bennett should help Georgia immensely.
Defensively, it was likely that Georgia would struggle, but they've really been bad. Out of seven games, Georgia has held one team under 30 points. They had a chance to step up, but could not get the job done. Now they have a Florida offense, that hasn't been very good at all. Florida has only scored 30 or more twice. If Georgia can't slow this offense down, they'll have a hard time becoming bowl eligible.
There's not much to say about the Gators' offense. Florida has to pound the ball against Georgia's front. They more success Florida has in the running game, the easier it will be for Tyler Murphy to make plays downfield. Mack Brown and Kelvin Taylor have to produce a tremendous game on Saturday. Taylor is getting more and more involved with the offense.
The defense has to be dominant against Georgia. The Gators will be dealing with the most complete Georgia team since LSU lost to Georgia in the final minute. Florida only gives up 100 yards per game on the ground. They should also be able to handle the pedestrian passing game. Still, the Gators will need to force turnovers to hang in this game. It's especially true if, Florida's offense is nonexistent.
It's a shame that neither team is playing their best, but the winner will still have a shot at the SEC East crown. The loser is out of it and sitting at .500. It would be highly possible that the team that loses won't make a bowl game. That will not go over well in Athens or Gainesville. Todd Gurley will be healthy and ready to show why he's the best running back in the country.