Florida Gators: Blair Walsh

Recruiting rivalries: Georgia vs. Florida 

December, 4, 2012
Georgia’s recent success against Florida has been a long time in coming. The Bulldogs had not beaten the Gators in back-to-back seasons in more than two decades, dating back to 1988-89. Florida has an 18-5 record over Georgia since 1990 so the rivalry has been mostly one-sided. But thanks to some recruiting success, Mark Richt has turned the annual showdown in Jacksonville, Fla., back into one of the most highly contested battles of the year.

And he did it with some ringers from the Sunshine State.

Quarterback Aaron Murray has struggled against the Gators but is 2-1 in his career against them. In his first win he completed four passes to tight end Orson Charles of Tampa, Fla. All-SEC kicker Blair Walsh, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., always said the Florida game was the biggest of the year and he scored 22 points against the Gators in his career. Keeping Murray upright this year was a freshman from Jacksonville, right tackle John Theus.

Q&A with DawgNation's David Ching

October, 25, 2012
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- To get the most in-depth information on No. 10 Georgia, which plays No. 2 Florida on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET in Jacksonville, Fla., GatorNation turned to DawgNation's David Ching. We asked him five questions about the Bulldogs:

Q: After being so good on the ground early in the season, the Bulldogs haven't run the ball well in their past two games. It's understandable against South Carolina, but not against Kentucky. What's the issue?

Ching: Missed assignments were a huge deal against South Carolina. It wasn’t as glaring of an issue against Kentucky, but they still failed to impose their will on a Wildcats defense that hadn’t exactly shown much of an ability to play tough run defense beforehand. I think what frustrated Georgia fans more in that game is that they kept trying to run it for too long after it was obvious that Kentucky had no answer in defending Georgia’s passing game. They finally went pass-heavy to pull ahead, and Aaron Murray wound up with a career-high 427 passing yards, but I think they realize they can’t be that reliant on the passing attack if they’re going to have a chance against Florida.

Q: The defense still looks a bit disjointed. A big part of that is not having everyone on the field until several weeks ago, but are there other reasons and can this unit get better for the stretch run?

Ching: Aside from the suspensions keeping some of their best players off the field for the first month of the season, they’ve dealt with several injuries along the defensive front seven. One of their best defensive linemen, Abry Jones, is out this week and might miss the rest of the season. But the more important injury question is whether Jarvis Jones will be close to 100 percent on Saturday. He has the potential to be a terror as a pass rusher -- and I’m sure Florida fans already realize that after his four-sack performance against the Gators last season -- but he hasn’t been healthy entering a game since Week 2 against Missouri. Without him wreaking havoc in opponents’ backfields, Georgia’s pass rush has been almost nonexistent, and I think that has impacted the Bulldogs' general defensive effectiveness. I don’t think that’s their only issue, but it has been a big factor. If they can get Jones going, I think you’ll see the defense perform more effectively immediately.

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Gators game preview: Georgia

June, 27, 2012
ESPN’s GatorNation brings you the 30 things you need to know about Florida’s upcoming 2012 season. For 30 weekdays we’ll preview games, talk about trends, spotlight players and positions, and give you pretty much everything you need to know to be ready for the season before the Sept. 1 opener against Bowling Green.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- GatorNation is previewing each of Florida’s 2012 opponents. Today is Georgia (Oct. 27 in Jacksonville, Fla.).


Mark Richt and Will Muschamp
AP/Photo Stephen MortonGeorgia coach Mark Richt and Florida coach Will Muschamp exchange pleasantries before their first game last year in Jacksonville, Fla.
2011 record: 10-4 (7-1 SEC), lost to Michigan State 33-30 (3 OT) in Outback Bowl.

Coach: Mark Richt, 12th season (106-40).

Series record: Georgia leads 47-40-2 (Note: Georgia records indicate Bulldogs lead 47-39-2).

Top returners: QB Aaron Murray (238-403-14, 3,149 yards, 35 TDs); RB Isaiah Crowell (850 yards, 5 TDs); LB Jarvis Jones (70 tackles, 13.5 sacks); S Bacarri Rambo (55 tackles, 8 INTs).

Did you know? Murray needs just 14 more TD passes to surpass David Greene's school record (72).

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Top SEC performer: Kicker

May, 18, 2012
Our look at the SEC's most productive returning players in 2012 continues with a look at the league's top returning place-kickers.

Past producers: Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | Sacks | Tackles | Interceptions

The SEC returns eight of the top 10 kickers from last season. We decided to go by field goals made over percentage, because a few players had higher percentages, but didn't have as many attempts. The top kicker is back, but when it comes to field-goal kicking, the crown is always always up for grabs.

Here's a look at the top returning kicker when it comes to field goals made:

Caleb Sturgis, Florida: He connected on 22 of 26 field goal attempts for a kicking percentage of 84.6 last season. He hit 19 of 21 kicks within 50 yards, and was 3-for-5 from 50 yards and beyond, including hitting a long of 55. Sturgis also nailed all 31 of his extra-point attempts. Sturgis, who was finalist for the Lou Groza Award, given annually to college football's best placekicker, did all of that after suffering a very serious back in 2010. The injury cost him the final nine games of the season. Sturgis has one of the strongest legs in the country, and really improved his accuracy in 2011. He will likely receive a few preseason accolades this fall, and should yet again be in the conversation as the nation's top kicker.

The SEC returns seven more of the top 10 kickers from 2011:

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McElwain discusses new Florida football
SEC Network's Greg McElory and Booger McFarland sit down to discuss the future of Florida football with head coach Jim McElwain.