Yelling Kirby

During the Gators' game against the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla. (UAA Communications photo by Piper Hansen)

Georgia’s loss to Florida is more than just a notch in the loss column, it might eliminate them from contention for an SEC title.

The Bulldogs fell to the Gators 44-28 to record their second loss of the season, now sitting at 4-2, and second in the SEC East. Georgia trails Florida in the standings, who must lose at least two more games to be dethroned. The Gators have Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Tennessee and LSU. All of their remaining opponents have lost at least three games this season.

Georgia won the east and played in the SEC championship game in each of the last three seasons, winning it once. Coincidentally, the Bulldogs also defeated Florida in each of those years. Now, Florida appears to be on a similar track.

Head coach Kirby Smart made no excuses after the game. He understands the circumstances, and is still confident in his players’ ability to put it aside.

“Nobody is going to feel sorry for us,” Smart said in a virtual postgame press conference. “We just have to get ready to go play. The leadership of the team, they will handle that, they will bounce back. These kids are resilient, they will have to be.”

The last time Georgia did not play in the SEC championship game was in 2016, when it went 8-5 with quarterback Jacob Eason, and defeated TCU in the Liberty Bowl.

Wide receiver Kearis Jackson and defensive back Eric Stokes both emphasized that Georgia players need to move on from the loss to Florida. Similar to Smart, Stokes said he knows the Bulldogs will bounce back, and it starts with the upperclassmen.

As it stands with two losses, Georgia is virtually eliminated from playoff contention. There were 14 undefeated teams in the AP Top 25 poll going into Week 10, although some conferences including the Big-10 and MAC have only just begun to play.

Georgia’s two losses have come against playoff contenders in Florida and No. 2 Alabama. The Bulldogs have four games remaining in their schedule, none of which come against a ranked opponent.

“Our playoff chances got cut short today but at the same time we are still a team, still together and we need to go out there and get better,” Jackson said in a virtual postgame press conference. “We still have games to be played and there is still a season. We cannot let this loss define us.”