It’s that time of year again, and we’re not talking turkey. Rivalry Saturday awaits, as does the annual grudge match between the Seminoles and Gators. This particular iteration of Florida State football has been a difficult one to forecast, but heading into this weekend’s noon contest against UF, we make our best estimate as to which FSU team will show up, and what the final scoreboard will read.
I’ve long sided with my fellow TN buddies that this UF team is a good matchup for FSU. The key will be in the trenches— if (big if) the OL can give Frenchy time, Terry could feast on deep balls to go over 150 yards and get a couple TDs. FSU must get the running game going, but that will also be a tough proposition against the Gators’ DL.
FSU’s defense will make some mistakes, but I expect the DL to get into the backfield often. The recent break out of Dontavious Jackson couldn’t have happened at a better time, as FSU will need a season-best effort from its maligned LB unit. Franks isn’t a great QB, so FSU cannot afford to make him look great. Look for the turnover satchel to make an appearance.
In the end, give me FSU 27, UF 23. Let’s beat the damn Gators again, y’all.
Two Tamorrion Terry touchdowns plus one Brian Burns strip sack times a healthy Marvin Wilson tackle for loss divided by two Feleipe Franks interceptions equals:
Florida State 28 - Florida 24
Streaks are of the utmost importance to fans of all sports. Florida State currently has a 5-game win streak over the Alachua Swamp People and needs a victory this weekend to continue a bowl streak that is MUCH older than I am (it’s not really that much older, but the caps lock made me feel better.)
Both are venerable accomplishments and bring to mind some of the greatest athletes ever to compete in professional sports. Joe DiMaggio. Wayne Gretzky. Cal Ripken. The Undertaker.
For 21 straight years, The Deadman never lost at Wrestlemania. Wrestlemania, for the uncultured, is the Super Bowl of professional wrestling, except with more entertainment and less Maroon 5. Coming into Wrestlemania 13, ’Taker’s streak stood at 5-0. His opponent was Sycho Sid, who was extremely dangerous, but a bit of a weirdo.
Dangerous, but weird...who else does that sound like?
It was a titanic struggle, where the ending was very much in doubt. But, as he did for so many years before and after, The Undertaker prevailed. The streak was not eternal, but it sure as hell wasn’t going to be ended by some awkward maniac.
FSU 27 UF 24
This Saturday, Dan “hold me back” Mullen will look to snap FSU’s five-game winning streak over the Gators in his first year as head coach.
Based on that gif alone, give me FSU. A couple deep balls to Tamorrion Terry and Nyqwan Murray hit, the run game is serviceable, and the defense puts in another gritty performance. The bowl streak is saved and we pray for the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl because if you’re going to play in a crappy bowl, it might as well have a cool name.
Florida State 24, Florida 20
Throw records out the window in this one. FSU better be prepared to handle man pressures offensively and stop the run defensively. Expect explosive plays against Florida’s safeties and an electric defense.
FSU 27, Florida 17
I feel like this will be similar to most games this season. Florida State’s defense will put up a fight, the offense will struggle. And in the end, UF will score more and end the bowl steak.
UF 24, FSU 17
Call me a homer, but I like how FSU matches up with these Gators. UF’s offense is efficient but not explosive, and the ability to keep UF’s rushing attack in check will be the difference. As for FSU’s offense, can the offensive line provide enough holes for Cam Akers to build on his impressive performance against BC? Will Francois again provide enough of a rushing wrinkle to keep this talented Gator defensive line on its toes? We’ll also need more accurate throws from 12 if FSU stands a chance of pulling this one out. UF’s defense has shown a weakness on passing downs that FSU should exploit.
From what I’ve seen of Florida, they’re pretty average. This is a team that is frankly a few lucky plays against LSU, Vandy, and South Carolina from sharing a 5-6 record. The Seminoles shouldn’t be intimidated by them. No one on this FSU roster has ever lost to the Gators, and the ’Noles are well aware of what they’re playing for. Will the weight of the streak cause boneheaded, emotional mistakes, or sharpen their focus? In addition to keeping the bowl streak alive, a sixth straight win over UF by the worst team FSU has fielded since 1976 would be a momentum-building win for Willie going into year two. Give me the ’Noles in a close upset at home.
Florida State 27, Florida 24
Florida 24, Florida State 20
As others have said, when FSU and UF play you can throw the season records out the window. There will be blood, and it is bad blood.
The ’Noles will play their best game of the season and extend their win streak over the Gators to 6 straight, and to 8 wins out of the last 9 games played.
FSU 34 - Gators 24
I think UF is the better team this year, but I think FSU matches up well and maybe they figured some things out against BC last week. I think FSU can generate enough plays through the air to give themselves a shot as the UF defense struggles more with offenses that are pass focused. Even still, a big question going into this game for me is Cam Akers. The RB finally looked comfortable last week against BC, and if he can deliver a similar performance, FSU should be able to wear down the UF defense, unless they turn it over. I don’t think UF can generate enough splash plays on offense and the FSU defense ought to be stout enough to prevent long drives from UF. Ultimately, starting field position probably decides this game.
FSU 28 - UF 21
Can the UF defense resist its basest urges not to blitz? I think that’s the biggest question heading into this year’s Sunshine State Showdown. If the Gators can, I think UF wins.
The Gators are primed to stop their losing streak to FSU, and because of that, I think they press a bit, giving Florida State just enough big-play opportunities. Big plays, special teams insanity, and a Seminole defense believing in itself again result in a victory for the garnet and gold.
UF 23, FSU 24
Be sure to head over to the Nolecast for predictions from our Bud Elliott and Ingram Smith.