(CBS/AP)  Georgia (6-1, 4-1) faces back to back games against the two East teams who have matched the Bulldogs’ record.

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No. 7 Georgia vs. No. 9 Florida in Jacksonville, Florida: Georgia, Florida and No. 12 Kentucky are in a three-way tie for first place in the SEC East with 4-1 conference records.

Saturday’s Georgia-Florida game and next week’s Georgia-Kentucky matchup in Lexington should clear up which of these three teams represents the East in the SEC championship game. Kentucky is visiting Missouri on Saturday. Georgia trounced Florida 42-7 last year to snap the Gators’ three-game winning streak in this annual series.

It’s a harder road for some division contenders than others.

The Bulldogs have had an extra week to regroup from a 36-16 loss to LSUthat might have served as a wakeup call for the challenges ahead.

“I wouldn’t say we needed one, but it definitely woke us up for sure,” Georgia tailback Elijah Holyfield said. “We’re awake and we know what’s at stake now.”

Dan Mullen’s Gators, the only team to beat LSU, have an earlier loss to Kentucky that could prove costly in the head-to-head competition depending on how the coming weeks play out. Florida lost last year’s meeting with Georgia 42-7 .

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“I mean, rivalry games, you love winning because it’s bragging rights for that year,” Mullen said. “That’s what makes rivalry games so much fun for the players and especially for all the fan bases. So, I understand that aspect of it being a big game, but is one game going to define our season or our program? Probably not, but it’s still a lot of fun to go play in it.”

While the Gators and Bulldogs are on the field, LSU (7-1, 4-1) and Alabama (8-0, 5-0) will sit and wait for their own big divisional showdown.


(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. AP Sports Writers Brett Martel, Mark Long, Steve Megargee, George Henry and David Brandt in Jackson, Mississippi, contributed to this story.)



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