Even with Florida-wrecker Jarvis Jones now in the NFL, the Gators’ pass protection may go a long way in determining how this game plays out.
Florida quarterback Tyler Murphy (3) passes under pressure from LSU defensive end Danielle Hunter (94) in the second half of an NCAA college football game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. LSU won 17-6.
Florida has surrendered 10 sacks the past two games to Missouri and LSU.
The Gators were already looking for fixes on its offensive line before left tackle D.J. Humphries sprained his MCL on Monday.
“We need to improve,” Florida coach Will Muschamp said. “They’ve got some guys certainly — Jordan Jenkins and [Leonard] Floyd — and those guys certainly can pressure the quarterback. Garrison Smith does a good job inside of getting push. They’ve got some guys that can rush the passer and we need to protect better than we have, that’s for sure.”
And that’s without mentioning Ray Drew, who leads Georgia with five sacks despite getting ejected in the first half against Vanderbilt on a targeting call.
“Now instead of the Jarvis Jones show, it’s the whole defensive line,” Jenkins said.
Florida right tackle Tyler Moore will shift to left tackle and Trenton Brown will take over as the starting right tackle. Center Jon Harrison and right guard Jon Halapio have combined for 72 career starts.
Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham will line up Jenkins and Floyd where he thinks the Bulldogs can get to Murphy.
“The whole key to the drill is getting guys in position where they can win one-on-one matchups, whether that’s in the rush, that’s in the coverage,” Grantham said. “That’s really what we try to do. We try to obviously get Jordan and Leonard on the field at the same time. Jordan’s done a good job of kind of tweaking his position a little bit and learning a couple of things.
Florida’s 17 sacks allowed is tied for third most in the SEC.
“We’ve got to do a better job of protecting the quarterback,” Muschamp said.
“They’re pro-style and that’s what we like,” inside linebacker Ramik Wilson said. “It will be a good game if (Jenkins and Floyd) have a good game.