Neither team’s record is what we’re used to. Yet the hate very much remains. Here’s how we see things going down in Hogtown on Saturday.
I’ll go first. Florida’s defensive line is talented, and the healthy pieces of the secondary are talented too, but their linebackers are probably the worst Florida LB unit you can remember seeing. Those guys are simply not up to par, so I expect both of FSU’s talented running backs to have a big game vs. the Gators. Bold prediction: FSU runs for over 300 vs. Florida, and yes, I’m aware that Jimbo Fisher is still calling plays. Derrick Nnadi forces a turnover, and the ’Noles leave Gainesville with a victory and a 5-game winning streak over its most hated rival.
FSU 24 UF 16
I like Franks’ arm. But he’s a mess on any MOF reads. So we can relate. UF moved some guys around on the OL, and that paid off vs. UAB. But I wouldn’t call their rushing game a strength; more like much less worse than their passing game. It is not going to be pretty, and I would not be surprised to see this score flipped. Still, give me the ’Noles.
FSU 23, UF 20
I’m hoping the ’Noles gained some much-needed confidence last week. The players shouldnt have trouble getting hyped for this one, and as frustrated as I am with FSU’s season, it could always be worse. We could have UF’s “offense.” Ugly game, beautiful victory in the Swamp.
FSU 19, UF 16
There’s no such thing as an ugly win over the Gators in the Swamp, even when both teams are bad and their offenses are non-existent. Make it four straight over UF in Hogtown and five straight overall. Bonus for extending that 10-quarter streak of not allowing an offensive TD to Florida to 14.
FSU 20, UF 10
I know jokes have been made all season long about how FSU’s offense has been a crime against football, but this may be the first time in months where the Seminoles have the more competent offense. And it’s not particularly close. UF didn’t look great on offense under Jim McElwain and has only taken a turn for the worse under interim coach Randy Shannon. Cam Akers has a solid day against UF’s shoddy run defense and, once again, this one is in hand by the end of the third quarter.
Florida hasn’t been able to stop the run all year. Florida State has one of the top young running backs in the nation. Will any of this matter? Probably not. Both offenses will be offensive. Here’s hoping that FSU prevails.
This is going to be an ugly football game. Both Florida and Florida State have horrible offenses and bowl eligibility is still on the horizon for both teams.
The good news for FSU is the fact that Florida has not been able to stop the the run all year. If Florida State wins this game, it’s because Cam Akers and Jacques Patrick were able to hit a couple of explosive plays to put the Seminoles in scoring position.
In the end, I’m more confident about Florida State’s chances in this game. The ’Noles get one step closer to bowl eligibility.
Florida State 17, Florida 13
Florida State isn’t great, but Florida is worse. Cam and Patrick combine for two scores, one of them set up by a turnover. In a game that’s uglier than a mud fence, FSU is the least bad team and wins by double digits.
Florida State 27, Florida 17
Florida State will score just one touchdown all game, a long rushing touchdown by freshman Cam Akers. Besides that play, the FSU offense will struggle against the Gators, who boast a pretty solid defense. Blackman’s accuracy issues will haunt the offense once again and the receivers will never be able to get into rhythm. Fortunately for the Seminoles, UF’s offense isn’t much better, despite the Gators coming off a 36-point performance vs. UAB. A turnover will set the Gators up for a short touchdown drive for its only touchdown of the game. It’s going to be a low-scoring event, which should be completed shortly with how slow both offenses run.
Florida State 13, Florida 10
Florida State isn’t great at football this year. Neither is Florida. But UF has enough of its defense intact that the ‘Noles are going to struggle to move the ball. And Florida State is even worse on the road. Sure, the UF offense is a dumpster fire, but the road version of Florida State just about matches. FSU will lose the battle in the trenches on both sides. Not by much, but enough to be the difference.
UF 20, Florida State 17.
I’m not overly concerned by what UF did against UAB last weekend— nor should the Gators be too worried about the Seminoles’ blowout of Delaware State. I’ve (accurately) picked against FSU for a number of games this year, because things tend to stay the same if there’s no real reason to change. Football inertia.
That said, I can’t find a legitimate reason to believe that the Gators have changed enough to halt their losing streak to the Seminoles, especially not with an interim head coach who has made losing to Jimbo Fisher a tradition as consistent as any other you may enjoy over this Thanksgiving weekend.
FSU 24, UF 23
Be sure to check out the Nolecast for predictions from our Bud Elliott and Ingram Smith.