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Florida Gators preparing for top-10 showdown with Georgia

Here are some of the first thoughts from the Gators as they get ready for Georgia week.
Florida Gators quarterback Feleipe Franks (13) gets sacked during the third quarter of the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at EverBank Field, in Jacksonville, Fla. on October 28, 2017. [ MONICA HERNDON  |  Times ]
Florida Gators quarterback Feleipe Franks (13) gets sacked during the third quarter of the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at EverBank Field, in Jacksonville, Fla. on October 28, 2017. [ MONICA HERNDON | Times ]
Published Oct. 22, 2018

GAINESVILLE — As No. 9 Florida prepares for to play No. 7 Georgia on Saturday, the Gators aren't putting any extra attention on a top-10 matchup, the appearance of ESPN's College GameDay or any of the other hoopla surrounding the rivalry's biggest game in a decade.

But UF has taken a moment to step back and consider how far it has come since last year's 35-point blowout loss in the middle of a 4-7 season.

"It's really exciting, especially after last year," safety Donovan Stiner said. "We turned this thing around and (got) back to what Florida's known for. We're really excited, and we worked really hard for it."

Players haven't done a lot of game planning yet. UF (like Georgia) had an open date, and Gators coaches wanted the players to recover physically and mentally last week.

"It got our legs back," linebacker Rayshad Jackson said.

Georgia, as usual, has very good running backs. D'Andre Swift has 362 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Eljiah Holyfield is bigger and has 488 yards and four scores. Jackson said Holyfield has shown all season that he trucks defenders.

"We're all capable of trucking him back," Jackson said.

I'll have more on UF-Georgia later today and all week.