For Gators from the peach state, Florida-Georgia is personal
If you listen to Florida LB Mike Taylor or OL Max Garcia, you can hear just a little something extra in their voices when they talk about the heated Florida-Georgia rivalry.
It's not that all the Gators don't want to defeat Georgia. But for the Georgia natives, it's more than just another rivalry.
“I don’t really think about that (SEC East race), I just really want to beat Georgia," Garcia said this week. "That’s what I want to do. This is the first time I get to play against them, against the home team. That’s all I want to do. I just wanna beat Georgia.”
The Bulldogs will enter Saturday's game at EverBank Field with a two-game winning streak over the Gators. And that, Taylor said, is two victories too many as far as he's concerned. And it's not just his problem. For Florida players from Georgia, the pain of losing extends to family members too.
"My last two years playing, my two years playing here, I haven't beat them yet," Taylor said. "This is one of the schools that recruited me, recruited a lot of us, and we know a lot of those players. Even my mom will tell me because she lives in Atlanta, she'll tell me, 'Y'all have to beat them this year because I don't want to have to hear about it from supervisors,' Because all the supervisors went to Georgia. So I have even more motivation to win this game so my mom ain’t got to hear about it for the next 365 days of the year."
Last year's loss knocked the Gators out of the SEC East race. The final score, 17-9, has been hanging in the Gators' practice facility ever since.
"That was the one loss, granted before Louisville, but that was the one loss that separated us from going to SEC Championship, getting to play in the national championship," Taylor said. "That's the one thing that stood in between us and all those goals. So we owe them some payback. Saturday will be interesting."