Georgia Bulldogs: D.J. Humphries

Here are five matchups to watch when Florida has the ball in Saturday's game in Jacksonville:

Florida's running game vs. Georgia's front seven: This is perhaps the most important matchup on this side of the ball. Florida's offensive identity is built around pounding the run and controlling the clock, and it made hay in that department with Mike Gillislee toting the rock an SEC-high 244 times for 1,152 yards last season. The results have been highly uneven this year with quarterback Jeff Driskel and running back Matt Jones sidelined by season-ending injuries. Georgia native Mack Brown (99-359, 3 TDs) is Florida's leading rusher, but he is not the Gators' scariest ball carrier. That honor goes to freshman Kelvin Taylor (28-172, TD), the son of Gator great Fred Taylor. Kelvin has played more recently. The problem is that, like most freshman, he is a liability in pass protection. Until he becomes a more consistent blocker, defenses know what Florida likely intends to do when he lines up in the backfield.

Georgia pass rushers vs. depleted Florida line: The Bulldogs' defense hasn't had much to brag about this season, but they have actually applied fairly consistent pressure against opposing quarterbacks. Georgia is tied for third in the SEC with 19 sacks -- many of which have come from the revitalized defensive line. Defensive end Ray Drew leads the team and is tied for fourth in the SEC with five sacks. Outside linebackers Leonard Floyd (four) and Jordan Jenkins (three) are just behind him. Florida has struggled with its pass protection this season, and it could be an even bigger issue on Saturday now that left tackle D.J. Humphries is out of the picture for the next few games. The Gators have allowed 17 sacks this season -- only Ole Miss and Vanderbilt (19 apiece) have allowed more among SEC teams -- so their injury-depleted line needs to raise its level of play or Florida's offense might have difficulty moving the ball on Saturday. Jarvis Jones, who wreaked havoc against Florida in each of the last two meetings, is no longer on the roster, but Drew, Jenkins and Floyd are good enough to give the Gators problems.

Tyler Murphy on the edge: Driskel's replacement under center, Murphy, started out well enough, leading the Gators to wins against Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas in his first three games. But Murphy took a pounding in the last two games, both losses, and Florida's offense was barely able to generate any scoring punch. He is most effective as a run-pass threat -- Murphy ran 10 times for 84 yards after taking over against Tennessee -- but his Total QBR numbers have fallen off a cliff since his strong start. According to ESPN Stats and Information, Murphy posted an outstanding Total QBR of 93.8 in the first three games, completing 72 percent of his passes, but he averaged an 8.9 QBR against LSU and Missouri -- including a 3.0 against Missouri, the lowest QBR by a Florida starter in the last decade. He'll have to make some things happen with his legs for Florida's offense to be effective Saturday, as he leaves a lot to be desired as a pure drop-back passer.

Containing Florida's receivers: The Gators have pretty much stunk in the passing game over the past few seasons, and 2013 has been no different (12th in the SEC in passing at 175.4 ypg). The speedy Solomon Patton (28-426, 4 TDs) -- whom Georgia safety Shawn Williams bulldog tackled just before he reached the first-down marker on a run last season, knocking Patton out of the game -- has been one of the Gators' only consistent receiving weapons. Otherwise, Florida's receiving corps has been a train wreck this season. Andre Debose is out for the year with an injury. Trey Burton (29-336, TD) has the most catches on the team, but hasn't been particularly consistent. Quinton Dunbar (22-301) is the only other Gator with more than 46 receiving yards. Georgia's secondary has been subpar this season -- the Bulldogs rank 11th in the SEC in pass defense (253.4 ypg) -- so the matchup between its defensive backs and Florida's mediocre wideouts pits two weaknesses against one another.

Burton as wild card: Think back to Florida's 2010 win in Jacksonville. Florida utility man Burton might have been the most effective quarterback on the field that day. Operating out of Florida's Wildcat package, Burton ran for 110 yards and two touchdowns, led the team with five receptions and completed two passes for 26 yards. He still operates out of the Wildcat at times, so keep an eye on the versatile senior, who is capable of impacting the game in a variety of ways.

Planning for success: Georgia

October, 31, 2013
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ATHENS, Ga. -- The persistent story for Georgia over the last month has been the seemingly endless list of key players sidelined by injuries -- a dilemma that looks a bit sunnier this week as the Bulldogs (4-3, 3-2 SEC) prepare to face arguably their biggest rival, Florida (4-3, 3-2).

For starters, All-SEC tailback Todd Gurley seems ready to play for the first time since spraining his ankle in a Sept. 28 win against LSU. If you wonder why the Bulldogs seem to have a bit more bounce in their step, the return of one of the nation's best running backs is one of their biggest reasons for optimism.

“I did see a little bit of that today,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said after Wednesday's practice. “A couple guys had a conversation saying it was kind of nice to have the big guy back. Because if you know Todd, he's just a fun guy to be around. He'll be in the huddle and he'll be cutting up a little bit and keeping things loose. I think they might have missed that. Not as much as his ability to run the ball, but they missed that part of him, too.”

[+] EnlargeTodd Gurley
Scott Cunningham/Getty ImagesThe return of Todd Gurley would be very good news for Georgia.
Gurley rushed for 118 yards and a touchdown against Florida's stout defense a season ago, so adding him back to the mix with freshmen J.J. Green and Brendan Douglas -- both of whom are also back to full speed after dealing with injuries recently -- will be a major factor on Saturday.

“Todd's been resting for over a month now it seems and the two other guys had a week off, so I think we're have a pretty good understanding of what we can do with that attack,” tight end Arthur Lynch said. “And I think Todd will be 100 percent as will the other guys, so if we can run the ball I think it will help us significantly.”

It appears that receiver Michael Bennett -- who caught a key fourth-down touchdown pass against the Gators in 2011 -- is also on track to return this week, as are safeties Josh Harvey-Clemons and Tray Matthews. That's a striking difference from the injury issues at Florida, which grew Wednesday when the Gators revealed that left tackle D.J. Humphries will miss Saturday's game, adding to the problems for a team that has already lost eight players to season-ending injuries.

The two battered teams enter the game unranked and on matching two-game losing streaks, so Saturday's meeting will hardly occupy its typical spot on the national radar. At best, the winner still has an outside shot of running down No. 9 Missouri (7-1, 3-1) in the SEC East race.

“This game's probably a lot more important to us and Florida than it is to the rest of the country right now, obviously -- both being out of the top 25 and for all intents and purposes out of the national championship hunt,” Richt said. “I think we still, we're both dark horses in the Eastern Division race right now, but again like I've been saying all along, I think we're still in the race and we'd like to stay that way.”

And it's still Georgia-Florida, one of the nation's most heated rivalries, even when BCS implications are not in play.

“It grows on you, and all you need is one game … to really fall in love with the hatred that everyone here has for Florida, and it's not a one-way street. They legitimately hate us too,” said Lynch, a native of Massachusetts. “It's pretty interesting because it's nothing like I've ever seen before.

“I told myself I'd never fall into that cliché Southern mentality of football this, football that, but when it comes to Georgia and Florida, you have a deep-rooted hate that it seems like I've had since I was a little kid, and I didn't start coming to Georgia games until I started playing in them.”

2012 SEC signing day wrap

February, 2, 2012
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National signing day is finally over and the SEC once again showed its dominance.

With the ESPN.com class rankings finalized, the SEC came away looking pretty good yet again, as the conference had eight teams in the top 25 rankings.

Alabama led the way with the No. 1 class in the country, after inking 26 commitments, including 13 ESPNU 150 members. Florida finished fourth, with 23 signees and nine ESPNU 150 members. And Georgia rounded out the top five with 18 signees. Georgia waited until Thursday morning to finally get No. 1 outside linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons (Valdosta, Ga./Lowndes) to fax his letter of intent in, after family issues prevented it Wednesday. That gave the Bulldogs 19 signees and six ESPNU 150 members.

There are still a couple of prospects unsigned and waiting to make their decisions, so the 2012 recruiting season isn't quite done for some teams.

As we try to say goodbye to the 2012 recruiting class, we'll end things with an awards ceremony. It's time to hand out our 2012 recruiting superlatives!

Take a look:

Top class -- Alabama: Alabama had most of its stellar class done before national signing day even started. The Crimson Tide was in it for a few top prospects Wednesday, but most importantly, Alabama didn't lose any significant prospects, including No. 1 safety Landon Collins (Geismar, La./Dutchtown), whose mother had her eyes set on him signing with LSU. Beyond bringing in 13 ESPNU 150 members, Alabama met every need on both offense and defense.

Biggest surprise -- Torshiro Davis flips to Texas: Davis was supposed to be LSU's headliner in its 2012 class, and seemed to be locked up ... until the 11th hour. The LSU coaches waited and waited for his letter of intent to come in Wednesday, but it never did. Instead, Davis pulled a shocker and signed with Texas. LSU usually doesn't let top players leave the state of Louisiana, but did Wednesday.

Recruiter of the year -- D.J. Durkin, Florida: The Gators' linebackers coach went into North Carolina and cleaned up for Florida. He helped to secure commitments from four of the state's top 14 players, including No. 1 offensive tackle D.J. Humphries (Charlotte, N.C./Mallard Creek) and No. 4 defensive end Jonathan Bullard (Shelby, N.C./Crest).

Player you’ll see often next season -- Dorial Green-Beckham: Missouri needed a big-play receiver in its lineup to make its transition to the SEC complete, and got it in Green-Beckham, who has drawn comparisons to Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green and Julio Jones. He'll see plenty of playing time this fall.

Future Thorpe Award winner -- Landon Collins: Alabama is stockpiled with talent in its secondary, but Collins is someone who shouldn't have to sit and wait very long in Tuscaloosa. With his athleticism and game-changing ability, he should see the field in some capacity next season, but he might be a real star in the future. He can play down in the box like a linebacker and be a ballhawk in the secondary. This award will definitely be on his mind.

Biggest headache -- Woodrow Clemons: Josh Harvey-Clemons' grandfather appeared to be the only thing standing in the way of him faxing his LOI to Georgia. As his legal guardian, Clemons had to sign his grandson's LOI in order for it to be valid, but he wanted him to sign with Florida. After refusing to sign in Wednesday, Clemons did the right thing early Thursday morning by signing Harvey-Clemons' LOI to the right school

Most underrated -- South Carolina: Steve Spurrier and his staff had a pretty quiet national signing day, but the Gamecocks had a heck of a class. South Carolina's class ranks 16th, but has really good balance on both sides, and No. 5 wide receiver Shaq Roland (Lexington, S.C./Lexington), No. 5 safety Chaz Elder (College Park, Ga./Benjamin E. Banneker) and No. 6 running back Mike Davis (Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson) should compete for early playing time.

Program on the rise -- Vanderbilt: James Franklin's first full class at Vanderbilt was a total success. It spent most of the year in ESPN's top 25 before a late fall, but met the needs of what Franklin wanted. He got bigger and more athletic on the offensive line, and added really good depth to the linebacker spot. For the first time, Vanderbilt was really competing with the bigger SEC schools for prospects. Franklin signed a lot of speed and athleticism, and the types of players who wouldn't have considered Vanderbilt in the past.

ESPNU 150 Southeast breakdown 

October, 20, 2011
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Kimbrow motivated
Coming into his senior season this fall, Memphis (Tenn.) East’s Brian Kimbrow was a motivated running back.

Only 5-foot-7 and 165 pounds, Kimbrow felt he was slighted by the recruiting services, despite having Percy Harvin-like skills and game-breaking speed.

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