UGA Football

Five at the half: Notes and thoughts at halftime of the Georgia-Florida rivalry

EverBank Field.
EverBank Field. The Telegraph

Here are five notes and thoughts at halftime, with No. 3 Georgia leading Florida 21-0.

Full throttle

Georgia's run game churned out quite a few big plays in the first half to help establish an early lead. Nick Chubb kicked things off with a 6-yard touchdown on the Bulldogs' first offensive drive of the game. Sony Michel came back soon to hit a 74-yard touchdown run.

The ground game's start was quite the contrast from last year, which saw Georgia only tally 21 rushing yards. In the first half, the Bulldogs totaled 167 rushing yards. In fact, quarterback Jake Fromm only attempted two passes in the first quarter.

Remember, after last year's game, Chubb and Michel paid a visit to offensive coordinator Jim Chaney's office about running the ball with more regularity and consistency. While problems existed last year, none such were there in the first half.

When Georgia's rushing attack is on, it's a tough team to beat. Florida found out the hard way early.

So much for that

Florida finally had a chance to get back in the game after going down 21-0 early. The Gators forced a punt and brought LaMical Perine into the game at running back. Perine's speed gave the Bulldogs' defense some problems, and Florida was able to run the ball down the field on Georgia.

Yet the Gators got down to the 4-yard line and had a third-and-2. Georgia brought Roquan Smith back into the game, and snuffed out a dive up the middle. Florida decided to go for on it on fourth down and went with the pass. Davin Bellamy got some pressure on quarterback Feleipe Franks and forced an errant throw into the end zone.

Georgia's defense was able to hold, despite giving up a lot of yards on the drive.

In total, Florida ran 15 plays and picked up zero points on the drive.

More touchbacks

Georgia place-kicker Rodrigo Blankenship entered this game with 37 touchbacks, well on pace to set a program record in this department. Blankenship's first three kickoffs went into or out of the end zone, placing him at 40 for the season.

Former Georgia place-kicker Kevin Butler holds the single-season record with 51 touchbacks, which was set in 1981. As long as Georgia keeps scoring at the rate it has, Blankenship will have every chance to shatter the record.

Go up and get it

Fromm has placed a lot of trust in receiver Javon Wims this season. Once again, when needed, Fromm was able to put up a jump ball in man coverage for Wims to go up and get it.

From 17 yards out, Fromm lofted a ball in the air, with Wims identifying the ball first and making a play over cornerback Marco Wilson. The touchdown was Wims' third of the season.

Fromm finished the first half 2-of-4 for 56 yards and the score. His other completion came on a 39-yard screen pass to D'Andre Swift.

No cheering in the press box

There is an unwritten rule about covering a game in the press box. There is no cheering.

Well, when Franks got loose for a long run, which came back due to a holding penalty, a certain someone in the box began cheering gleefully.

That person? Former Florida head coach Steve Spurrier. That was the same 15-play drive that ended up without a score, too.

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