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Florida State football opponent Q&A: Florida

In a sense

Indiana v Purdue Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

We’re very fortunate to have the SB Nation network of team sites to work with during game weeks. Unfortunately, however, we were not able to complete the process of the catch this week with Alligator Army. As such, we had to make alternate plans. Joining us this week is our own resident Florida Gator expert, Juan Montalvo III. Juan does not believe in Twitter, but you can follow his football thoughts each week in our film review. We talk the SEC East, Gator quarterbacks, and other riveting subjects. I realize I may not have sold this effectively, but let’s do it anyway. I think you’ll enjoy.

TN: The Gators sit at 8-2 and clinched their second consecutive SEC East championship last week. What were your expectations for 2016, and how has this team measured up?

TN: Well, Dylan, I expected decided improvement from the Fighting McElwains, and improve they did. From 27th in 2015 final F/+ to a current 19th, Florida has improved from "decent" to "slightly better than decent". They did this despite facing the toughest SEC East slate in modern history for another chance to get blown out by Nick Saban.

TN: The Florida quarterback season has continued to remain in a state of flux this year. What does Austin Appleby bring to the table, and what will he need to do well against the Seminoles to give the Gators a shot to win?

TN: Austin Appleby is a decided improvement over Luke From The River. Luke had a limited skill set, and despite his father being a good coach, nepotism couldn't keep the starting job.

Additionally, Appleby always allows ample alliteration additions. And he offers 2 for 1 on everything.

TN: Which match-ups do you like for the Florida offense against the FSU defense, and which concern you?

TN: None. All.

TN: The Gator defense is, in a word, nasty, yet again. What has allowed this unit to remain excellent year in and year out?

TN: Will Muschamp recruiting defense, and only defense. Neglecting to recruit skill players and quarterbacks really helps you load up on defensive stars.

TN: What do you see as being the key match-up for the UF defense against the Seminole offense?

TN: Deondre Francois vs air. Francois has really struggled this year with the air, which has deflected many of his passes. That and the defensive line. For whatever reason they're always good.

TN: How have the Gator special teams fared in 2016? Are there any unmentioned playmakers you feel FSU fans should keep an eye on this weekend?

TN: I don't know, TBH. I don't get SEC network and Florida games aren't shown on basic cable.

TRICK QUESTION: UF has no playmakers.

TN: Finally, let’s get a prediction. FSU opened as a 7-point home favorite. How do you see this edition of the nation’s best inter-conference rivalry unfolding?

TN: Considering the UF defense and the state of the offensive football in Florida, this is going to be an offensive snoozer. I predict a defensive battle with FSU coming out on top to the tune of a scoreline like 27-13.

Big thanks to Juan for coming through for us in a bind! Be sure to click on his profile and read all of his posts and comments. I have been asked no questions for this match-up, and thus, I don’t have a link for you to click to take you to my answers. No word on whether Juan will ask me some in an effort to really double down on our rivalry week of redundancy. And alliteration, apparently.