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Georgia vs. Florida: Georgia needs a good effort from special teams

Florida has a distinct advantage over Georgia in special teams, as the Bulldog special teams have struggled in spots this season.

Kevin C. Cox

The Florida Gators have excelled in special teams this season, while the Georgia Bulldogs could stand to improve their consistency. Both units will be on display this Saturday in a crucial clash in the SEC East. Their respective performances could go a long way to determining who leaves the game with the upper hand in the division standings.

Florida got a big boost from its special teams in last Saturday's 44-14 win over South Carolina. Twice, the return coverage team forced fumbles that led to touchdowns.

"I have noticed how they like to punch the ball out," Georgia punt returner Rhett McGowan told the Athens Banner-Herald."

Georgia, meanwhile, has had its fair share of special teams troubles. It's suffered from inconsistency in its kicking game and fumbles in its return game. Bulldog return man Malcolm Mitchell fumbled the opening kickoff against Kentucky.

"We’ve just got to make sure we take care of that," Mitchell said. "Ball security is a key."

Georgia coach Mark Richt expressed an interest in taking over the special teams after this season, and he had nothing but praise for Florida's special teams unit in 2012.

"They’ve been fantastic in that area," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "That’s certainly going to be a big challenge for us. We’ve had some successes here and there, but we’ve got to have a big day in the special team area or it’s going to hurt us."

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.