Kyle Trask

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No. 8 Georgia takes over first place in SEC East after topping No. 6 Florida

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If recent history is any indication, No. 8 Georgia (7-1, 4-1 SEC) can start making reservations in Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game now. Georgia came out on top of No. 6 Florida (7-2, 4-2 SEC) in Jacksonville on Saturday, 24-17, to take over sole possession of first place in the SEC East. The winner of the Florida-Georgia game has gone on to play for the SEC championship each of the last four seasons, including the last two years by Georgia.

Jake Fromm passed for 250 yards and two touchdowns for the Bulldogs, with Lawrence Cager being the main target. Cager caught seven passes for 132 yards and a touchdown. It was Cagfer’s touchdown in the fourth quarter that helped keep Georgia ahead for good. Early in the fourth quarter, Cager worked himself into an open spot on the field as the Florida secondary lost track of him, and Cager made them pay for the defensive slip with a 52-yard touchdown to put Georgia up by two scores.

 

As expected, Georgia tried plugging away on the ground as well. D’Andre Swift carried the football 24 times for 89 yards, with a long run of 30 yards against a solid Florida defense. But Georgia’s defense was the unit really taking charge. Georgia limited Florida to 272 yards of offense and allowed just two out of nine third-down conversions (Florida was also 1-of-2 on fourth down).

The win extends Georgia’s winning streak over Florida to three games, as the Bulldogs and Gators continue to exchange three-game winning streaks. Florida won three consecutive meetings from 2008 through 2010, followed by three consecutive wins by Georgia from 2011 through 2013, with Florida returning the favor from 2014 through 2016. This was also the first game in the series decided by one score since Georgia’s 23-20 victory in 2013.

While the recent trends would suggest Georgia is heading to Atlanta, there is still some work to be done before thinking about a shot at another SEC title. Georgia is home next week to play the next biggest threat within the division, Missouri. A win against Missouri would give Georgia a tough-to-beat path to Atlanta with a one-game lead in the loss column on both the Gators and Tigers and head-to-head tiebreaker against each. The reason that is important is that Georgia also plays arguably the toughest remaining game between all three SEC East contenders. Georgia must play a road game at Auburn in two weeks. A loss at Auburn opens the door once again for Florida (and Missouri), but Georgia would still have to lose to Texas A&M at home for either Florida or Missouri to sneak to the top of the division. Missouri hosts Florida on the same day Georgia is playing at Auburn.

So, in brief, next week’s game against Missouri can pretty much wrap up the SEC East race if Georgia wins.

Florida will look to rebound next week at home against Vanderbilt. The Gators likely will have a difficult path back to a New Years Six at-large with the loss.

Georgia holding the upper hand on Florida in SEC East slugfest

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In the most important game in the SEC East, No. 8 Georgia is leading No. 6 Florida 13-3 at halftime in Jacksonville.

Jake Fromm‘s short touchdown pass to Dominick Blaylock gave Georgia a 10-0 lead late in the second quarter. Georgia running back D’Andre Swift has rushed for 56 yards on 13 carries.

Running the ball has been difficult for the Gators. Florida has been held to just nine rushing yards on eight rushing attempts by a hungry Georgia defense. Gators quarterback Kyle Trask has been taken down for a loss of 10 yards to cut into the anemic Florida rushing total.

Dan Mullen rolled the dice on the game’s opening possession by going for it on fourth-and-goal from the Georgia 40-yard line, but an incomplete pass resulted a turnover on downs by the Gators. Georgia then strung together a 16-play drive that resulted in a field goal by Rodrigo Blankenship. The scoring drive covered 47 yards over the 16 plays. Blankenship added one more field goal shortly before halftime to extend Georgia’s lead to 10 points.

No. 10 Florida drains No. 7 Auburn’s undefeated season in The Swamp

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Auburn won a game against Oregon in Texas. Auburn won a game at Texas A&M. But Auburn’s undefeated season got stuck in The Swamp. No. 10 Florida (6-0, 3-0 SEC) handed No. 7 Auburn (5-1, 2-1 SEC) a 24-13 loss fueled by the Gators defense making life tough for Auburn quarterback Bo Nix from the start of the game.

Nix completed just 11 of his 27 pass attempts for 145 yards and a touchdown with three interceptions. Nix was routinely being chased down by Florida defensive linemen in the backfield and too often was unable to make something miraculous happen to save the Tigers. A mix of freshman mistakes and luck drying up for the Tigers may have been bound to happen at some point, and Florida was there to make sure it happened.

The Gators had a scare at the quarterback position of a different kind. Kyle Trask, who passed for 234 yards and two touchdowns, left the game in the second quarter and seemed to be in immense pain and agony after being hit bya  defender in the leg at the end of the play (it wasn’t a dirty hit, just how the player was falling down while being blocked). Trask left the field and immediately went to the locker room for medical assistance, but he jogged back on the field with a brace on and returned to the game before halftime.

Auburn hung around for a while despite having a rough offensive performance (four turnovers, 269 yards of offense) but Lamical Perine put the game out of reach when the Gators running back took off for an 88-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, giving the Gators a 24-13 advantage. Perine rushed for 130 yards in the game but had to be patient for his chance to break the big play.

Florida was not without their share of mishaps though. Florida turned the football over four times, all by way of a fumble. Florida also had just four third-down conversions in 15 tries, but Auburn was a lowly 2-for-14 on third down. It wasn’t the prettiest of wins for the Gators, but it was a win over a top 10 team at the end of the day and that is all that mattered.

Now Florida gets ready for a mega matchup on the road next week. The Gators head to Baton Rouge to face No. 5 LSU. Today’s Auburn game was the first of three in four games against opponents that could be ranked in the top 10. Florida faces No. 3 Georgia on November 2 in Jacksonville.

After falling one game behind Alabama and LSU in the SEC West Division standings, Auburn will look to bounce back after a bye week when they return to action at Arkansas in two weeks.

Florida QB Kyle Trask injured in first half as Gators lead Auburn

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The No. 10 Florida Gators are down to their third-string quarterback as the Gators look to hold off No. 7 Auburn in Gainesville. Florida quarterback Kyle Trask left the game after taking a hit to his left knee in the first half. Emory Jones stepped in to take over at quarterback for the Gators. At the halftime break, Florida leads Auburn 17-13 in a battle of unbeaten SEC programs.

Trask left the game with just over 10 minutes to play in the second quarter. At the time of his departure from the game, Trask had completed 11 of 17 pass attempts for 130 yards and two touchdowns, with Florida clinging to a 14-13 lead. Although Trask was able to walk off the field on his own, he headed directly to the locker room for medical examination. Before the end of the second quarter, Trask jogged back on the field and began warming up on the Florida sideline. He was seen wearing a brace and returned to the game in the final two minutes of the first half.

Auburn’s quarterback, Bo Nix, had a tough start to the game throwing the football. Nix has completed five of his 14 passes for just 57 yards, but one of those completions was for a touchdown to bring the Tigers within one after the extra point was kicked.

Florida wasted little time getting on the board. After forcing Auburn to a 3-and-out to start the game, Trask completed a 64-yard pass to Freddie Swain for a touchdown on Florida’s second offensive snap of the game. Auburn chipped away with a couple of field goals later in the first quarter. After three consecutive turnovers by both teams combined, Florida extended its lead with a touchdown pass from Trask to Josh Hammond. Auburn had botched a punt return that was recovered by Florida, but Auburn forced and recovered a fumble by Trask just three plays later. Unable to take advantage of the turnover, Nix was picked off by Shawn Davis on the first play of the drive. The 41-yard interception return received a 15-yard bonus thanks to a personal foul penalty on Auburn.

Florida’s defense has held Auburn to fewer than 100 yards of offense after one half of play. Still, Aubrun is hanging around and within striking distance of the Gators.

IT’S OVER! Florida ends one-game losing streak to Kentucky; Feleipe Franks injured

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A year after seeing their 31-game winning streak against Kentucky snapped, No. 9 Florida hopes to have started a new streak. Florida’s 29-21 victory in Lexington was all but clinched when a last-minute field goal by Kentucky narrowly missed going through the posts for a go-ahead score. But the win comes with a tough loss as Florida’s starting quarterback Feleipe Franks was carted off with an injury during the second half.

Franks suffered a serious-looking injury late in the third quarter when he was pinned between defenders on a 4th and 1. Franks was taken off the field on a cart after his entire team came out to wish him well. It looked as though Franks dislocated his ankle, and the emotion on his face coming off the field told a not-so-optimistic outlook moving forward.

With Franks injured, Kyle Trask took over at quarterback and immediately went to work. Trask completed four of his first five passes and led the Gators to a touchdown on his first series, with Lamical Perine capping the drive with an eight-yard run for the score. That touchdown meant Kentucky had to keep its foot on the gas pedal for the remaining 12 minutes. Unfortunately for Kentucky, the gas pedal wasn’t quite working anymore.

The Wildcats were forced to punt on the ensuing possession and Sawyer Smith was intercepted on their next possession. That setup Florida to take the lead with a Trask touchdown run from four yards out. The drive was given a boost when a Kentucky player was ejected for targeting. Immediately after the targeting ejection gave Kentucky 15 free yards, Trask completed a 30-yard pass to Kyle Pitts before ending the drive with the go-ahead touchdown run.

Kentucky kicker Chance Poore missed a would-be-go-ahead field goal from 35 yards out with 54 seconds to play, giving Florida the ball back with a chance to ice the game. A 76-yard run by Josh Hammond effectively did that, although Kentucky still got the ball back while trailing by eight points. But Florida’s defense made sure there would be no more scoring by Kentucky for the night.

Florida has now won 16 straight games at Kentucky. The Wildcats missed a chance to celebrate their first home win against Florida since 1986, and their first back-to-back wins against Florida since 1976-1977.

A few of players were also tossed from the game for targeting penalties. In the first quarter, Kentucky’s Yusuf Corker was ejected for a hit. Corker will be eligible play in Kentucky’s next game from the start. His teammate, T.J. Carter will have to sit the first half because he was ejected in the fourth quarter of the game for a hit on Trask (Carter’s targeting penalty led to Florida taking the 22-21 lead). Florida’s Donovan Stiner was ejected in the second half, which means he will have to miss the first half of Florida’s next game. It was the first targeting penalty this season for each player.

SEC play will continue for both teams next week. Kentucky will take to the road to face Mississippi State in a cross-division matchup. The Bulldogs took a loss at home earlier in the day against Kansas State, so they’ll be looking to bounce back from a loss. Kentucky defeated the Bulldogs last season, 28-7. Florida will remain in the SEC East to face Tennessee in Gainesville. The Vols finally got into the win column earlier in the day after dropping the first two games of the season at home.