To Heck with You Georgia, to Heck and Beyond

As a fan of the Florida Gators, you’re afforded many rights this week. Among those is the right to tell Georgia exactly where you think it should go, or be banished to. You can also ask them if they’d like to bite something in particular. The options are really endless for it is Florida-Georgia week and the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party has arrived. (We’re not supposed to call it that, but our goal should be to ensure the moniker lives on with future generations.)

Florida Georgia Football

Your mind will be emblazoned with images of Brandon Spikes playing the role of Top Piece of Bread in the Spikes-Knowshon Moreno-ground sandwich, and it should be. There are moments that live with us forever and that is one of them. Another is the one of those damn dancing Dawgs in what we are required by University of Florida law to call a classless and utterly inappropriate display of arrogance. To take us back to positive images, I must quickly mention that Mohamed Massaquoi is still afraid of Reggie Nelson (REGGIE F’ING NELSON!).

Saturday is a date with destiny that isn’t. More was expected of both the Gators and the Bulldogs, but less has occurred for a variety of reasons. Injuries can be blamed and are the easy way out. Blaming injuries gives us comfort because it means our team doesn’t have offensive issues, wasn’t overrated to begin the season, and doesn’t have questions at various coaching positions. It means that a few very unfortunate circumstances led to 4-3 and the losses can be blamed on the absence of a key player or two or three or seven.

Quick side-note relating to records and not injuries: six of the seven teams in the SEC East are currently on losing streaks (including first-place Missouri). Look across the standings and you will see that six of the seven SEC West teams are currently on winning streaks. The lone West team on a losing streak is last-place Arkansas. Hey, the Gators beat them! YAY!

Moving past the injuries, we get to the issue of offense. No, we don’t. Let’s move right past that because we’ve talked about it all before here, here, and here. I don’t know how much more of it I can stomach and I can only imagine that you all are in the same boat. We need offense. We don’t need it next season. We don’t even need it next week. We need it now, or else the Bulldogs of Georgia will chew us up, spit us out, and end zone dance to an easy victory.

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Target: Nu’Keese Richardson

There are players that get a target on their back for certain reasons. Against Georgia during the 2008 season, that player was Knowshon Moreno. After his performance in the 2007 game, the Florida defense knew they had to stop him early and not let his running control the game. Thanks to Brandon Spikes, Moreno had a ringing in his head that he just couldn’t shake. The star of the 2007 game, only managed 65 yards on 17 carries in the 2008 contest.

For very different reasons, a certain Tennessee true freshman will have a target on him during the Vols game against the Gators this season. Most Florida fans hope Nu’Keese Richardson gets an early and painful introduction to the SEC. Not that I wish injury upon the former Pahokee star, because I don’t, but let’s just say he might be a player the defense is more than aware of when he’s on the field.

And now it seems like Richardson could be on the field a little more than expected. Tennessee is trying him out at quarterback similar to how they’ve used Gerald Jones in the past. If I’m Richardson, I might need an extra pair of shorts after glancing across the line and seeing Spikes and crew ready to take my head off. I’d rather leave Jonathan Crompton to absorb the big hits.

TBG’s MVPs: Florida Linebackers

Sorry for the delay. I’ll be a little quicker in getting through the rest of these.

Brandon Spikes – 12 pts. (4 first-place votes)

There was absolutely no debate on this one. Florida has had a run a very good middle linebackers lately and Spikes is just the next in line. After a solid sophomore year, Spikes broke out as a junior in 2008. His inspired play led the defense to a dramatic turnaround. Surprisingly Spikes returned for his senior season, giving everyone no reason to think the defense won’t get even better.

One-Eyed Willy: “Do I really need to give any stats? Ok, I do. 93 tackles (led team), 8 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 4 INTs, 2 of which were returned for TDs (led team), 1 bone crushing hit and subsequent taunt of Mr. Knowshon Moreno, and 1 shanked punt in celebration. Nuff said.”

2. Ryan Stamper – 6
3. Brandon Hicks – 4
4. A.J. Jones – 2

As for the 2009 season…

Brandon Spikes – 12 (4)

2. Ryan Stamper – 5
3. Brandon Hicks – 3
4. Dustin Doe/A.J. Jones – 2

Up next: Defensive Backs