• Florida running back Malik Davis fights for extra yards Saturday in Jacksonville (JOE MORGAN/Special to the Reporter).
    Florida running back Malik Davis fights for extra yards Saturday in Jacksonville (JOE MORGAN/Special to the Reporter).

Georgia crushes Florida to remain unbeaten

Gators nearly shutout, McElwain future unclear


JACKSONVILLE – Bragging rights are back in Athens. Florida’s offensive woes were on center stage while No. 3 Georgia was as good as advertised Saturday.

Georgia’s electric running back Sony Michel recorded a game-high 137 rushing yards. The Bulldogs were just as impressive defensively, applying pressure all night en route to a 42-7 win over the Gators.

Freshman quarterback Jake Fromm, who scored early, commanded the Bulldogs to their largest win in rivalry history since a 44-0 shutout in 1982 and helped snapped the Bullgdogs' three-game series skid in the rivalry series.

“Anything that happened before, what does that have to do with this team?,” said Georgia coach Kirby Smart. “It has nothing to do with this team. We talked a long time this week about the burden of being a highly-ranked team. Own the burden of your work, and let it pay off on Saturdays. And I think they’ve done that.”

The Bulldogs tallied three touchdowns less than eight minutes in – their best start in the series since 1942 – and never relinquished their comfortable advantage.

“Anytime you start fast I think it says a lot about your gameplan, energy level and preparation,” said Smart. “When you come out fast like that, it has a big effect. Most games aren’t that way but when you come out like that it gives everyone a little more energy and confidence.”

Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks struggled throughout the contest as the Bulldogs held him to just 30 passing yards. The Gators avoided being shutout for the first time since 1988 with a Mark Thompson scorewith the game out of reach.

After suffering to blowout loss title contender Georgia (8-0, 5-0), Florida (3-4, 3-3) tries to find answers now mathematically eliminated from the SEC championship.

Florida head coach Jim McElwain’s future becomes less clear with his status growing more uncertain. More reports have surfaced regarding his job security.

“Walking into pre-game meal was the first time I’d heard anything of that nature,” said McElwain, who is 22-12 in three seasons. “I talked to [the team] right there so we’ll see.”

The rivalry rout comes at a peculiar time – just days after a death threat debacle.

“At the end of the day, we were brought here to win,” said McElwain. “And we haven’t done it. My concern isn’t about my job. My concern is about these players. We have a fantastic staff. That’s the concern – it isn’t’ about me.”

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