Thankfully, after a win against Boston College, Florida State became bowl eligible before its rivalry showdown with Florida. The stakes this Saturday, outside of recruiting and possible last second bonus points toward a certain somebody’s application for a job opening, are pride and the privilege of always having the final say in an argument with a Gator fan for the next year.
Here’s how some of the staff thinks things will shake out.
As much as I want the ’Noles to be competitive in the fourth quarter of this game, I just can’t predict it. I anticipate the ’Noles fighting much harder in this game than they did against Miami, but they just don’t have the bodies. No Marvin Wilson, who is left on the offensive line, nobody who can rush the passer is a disaster against a very well coached offense and a loaded front seven.
Florida 40 - Florida State 17
What needs to happen in order for this game to be watchable as a ’Nole fan?
In order for this game to be competitive, FSU is going to have to be able to block UF long enough to force some explosive plays down the field. They’ll need to be ultra-aggressive if they find themselves in manageable fourth-down situations.
The common theme in FSU’s bad losses this year is that they simply can’t block them up front, and a bye week isn’t going to change that; if FSU somehow consistently finds itself at or in UF territory (whether it’s via explosive plays or game-changing mistakes from UF’s offense) interim HC Odell Haggins’ consistently wrong decisions on fourth-down will be another nail in the coffin.
Florida 38 - FSU 6
If you spent money on this game, I just hope to one day be as financially stable as you so I can make the same poor financial decisions.
Let Cam Akers audition for the league before he rests up during the Boston Market Bowl, see what other kind of effective ridiculousness can be squeezed out of this offense and just hope Kyle Trask plays like Kyle Trash (not searching this name on Twitter so I can pretend that I was the first person to make that joke) so the score isn’t too bad.
Florida 42, Florida State 25
This season was a long, difficult road. Perhaps more difficult than it had to be. It’s not gonna end the way we had all hoped. But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t improvement. Or things to be happy about along the way. This year’s ’Noles may have limped to bowl eligibility, but they made it, and I’m proud of them for that.
There were also sad things along the way. Willie Taggart’s firing, for one. Brutal injuries to several key players, for another, many of them accidentally self-inflicted. But around the corner is a new chapter, and a new head coach awaits. Unfortunately, before they can get there they have to take a beating. One step back for two steps forward.
FSU 13 - 33 Florida
I am not sure FSU has any advantages in this game. Florida’s defensive line is sure to overpower the FSU front and the Gator’s OL will have the upper hand on the other side as well. UF will score on sustained drives due to FSU’s inability to pressure the quarterback. It should be a long night.
Florida 45, FSU 10
We won a national title first, and no amount of wins in this series will prevent UF from always being bitter about that fact. Congrats on your first and only home win over FSU this decade, Gators.
FSU: A few points, UF: A few more points
Florida is going to destroy Florida State. FSU just cannot match up at any point on the field. I think Florida can name its score, as they are probably better at every position outside of maybe wide receiver and running back. Even then I’m not so sure. Saturday is going be bad, but this too shall pass.
Florida 69, FSU 0
First things first Mr. Johnson, #Nice.
I’m gonna be honest, this could get FUgly early, and if it were any other opponent I might feel bad, but not this week. “It’s great to beat the florida gators.”
This will be the icing on the Odell Cake. And despite what you might expect to be a more talented roster on the gator side, the FSU players will give 113% more effort than their opponent, play with more heart, and overcome adversity better than those players from down south there in Hogsville. The Noles will want it more.
A couple of garbage-time scores by the gators will make the score more respectable for them, but the game will never really be in doubt.
FSU 41 - uf 31
I’m curious to see what an unencumbered Kendal Briles can do with three weeks to prepare for this elite Florida defense since Florida State’s win over BC. But curious doesn’t mean optimistic. I think he can dial up a shot play here and there, but I’m not at all confident in the Seminoles’ ability to consistently block UF and sustain drives.
I thought the ’Noles could win this game early in the season. But that was UF with Franks, not Trask. And FSU with Marvin Wilson. Now, the most confidence I can muster is including my contribution next to Frank’s in the hope that some of his optimism rubs off.
Spoiler: it’s not working.
FSU 10, UF 31