ATHENS (CBSMiami/AP) — The Florida Gators have some fierce rivals, but not all of them are from inside their home state.
Georgia Bulldogs players dismissed trash talk from Florida players as predictable and say the taunts won’t affect their game Saturday.
On Monday, Florida safety Chauncey Gardner said No. 3 Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm was successful because he throws “simple passes.”
Also, Florida receiver Josh Hammond questioned the Gators opening as 14 ½-point favorites for the game in Jacksonville, Florida.
“They might be the No. (3) team in the country, but they can’t beat Florida,” Hammond said.
Georgia safety J.R. Reed said the comments were not surprising.
“That’s Florida, so that’s what you expect from some teams,” Reed said. “From some teams you don’t expect it. But it doesn’t bother me that much.”
Fromm, a true freshman, has led Georgia (7-0, 4-0 Southeastern Conference) to the top of the SEC’s Eastern Division. He ranks second in the conference in passing efficiency at 170.4.
“He’s throwing simple passes,” Gardner said. “I get it. Anybody can throw a slant. I get it. But like I said, we’re just playing football. If you call him the best quarterback, so be it, but he has to play Saturday. We’re going to see what his best attribute is.”
There is reason for Florida’s strong talk. The Gators have won 21 of 27 in the rivalry, including three straight.
Reed said Georgia’s answer to the taunt will come on the field.
“We’re just going to let them find out on game day and see what he can really do and keep them moving,” Reed said, adding he first heard the Florida comments on social media.
“I found out just by Twitter blowing up and other people telling me about it and people texting me about it,” he said, adding “I didn’t really pay that much attention to it.”
Asked how Georgia coach Kirby Smart would respond to similar trash talk from the Bulldogs to reporters, linebacker Lorenzo Carter said “I don’t know, but I’m not going to find out.”
Carter said the comments from Florida’s players won’t matter on Saturday.
“A little bit of it gets back to us, but at the end of the day nothing that you say is going to affect the outcome of a game,” Carter said. “You just try to keep preparing the way you’re preparing and let our football and our helmets do the talking.”
Carter said there will be talk from both teams during the game.
“It’s a rivalry,” he said. “You don’t expect anything less. There’s going to be a lot of trash talking out on the field, too. As long as we just keep playing football the way we’ve been doing, just keep playing physical and fast, all that stuff is going to take care of itself.”
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)