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Staff predictions: Florida State Seminoles vs. Florida Gators

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FSU’s Jermaine Johnson II and Keir Thomas have combined for 29 TFL’s so far this season before UF

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NCAA Football: Florida State at Boston College
FSU’s DE’s Jermaine Johnson II (11) and Keir Thomas (4) sack BC QB Jurkovec (5)
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida State Seminoles will travel to Gainesville to face the Florida Gators for a nooner in Ben’s Stadium on Saturday. This year's Sunshine Showdown will break a 20-year tie between the two Florida State Universities located in the State of Florida. Both FSU and UF have won 10 games each since the year 2000.

The game will be televised on ESPN.

The 5-6 Seminoles will face the Gators in a rivalry that is evenly split with ten wins apiece since 2000. The Seminoles are once again the road underdog this week versus the 5-6 Gators, as they match up for the 65th time.

The all-time series dates back to 1958 with the Gators owning a 36-26-2 lead. Which in reality is an insignificant difference in the number of wins when considering how many more years UF had been playing football while FSU was just a girls nursing school.

FACT CHECK: *One of the two ties between these two teams was considered by everyone as a win for the Noles in the classic Choke At The Doak game*

Both teams have enjoyed significant winning streaks in the series. Florida claimed six-straight over FSU from 2004-09, while the Seminoles won five-straight vs. the Gators from 2013-17

According to DraftKings, Florida State is presently a 3 point road underdog vs. Florida, with the over/under set at 59 points.

Your Tomahawk Nation staff, as they do every week before a game, have broken down the film, charted every All-22 play-by-play snaps, performed A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) virtual simulations of the individual man-to-man matchups [by position], compiled, sorted, and analyzed all of the data, and have come to the conclusion that the Noles will probably maybe win despite being a 3 point dog this Saturday.

  • Read what your TOMAHAWK NATION PROGNOSTICATORS think about this Saturday’s showdown.
  • Then look over and digest all of the FREE PREGAME CONTENT we’ve posted below.
  • Please then share your opinions and thoughts how you are feeling about this game in the comments, and a final score prediction, for a chance to win something shiny.

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NoleThruandThru (Season prediction record: 8-3):

At the beginning of the season, I was all aboard the “6 wins and a bowl game” train. I had no idea that the wins and losses columns would look the way they do but here we are, with FSU and UF fighting for that 6th win and a bowl game.

FSU is a different team now than it was six weeks ago, in all the best ways. UF is also a different team than it was six weeks ago, in all the worst ways. FSU’s OL vs UF’s DL will play a major role in the outcome, and I love FSU’s chances to force Anthony Richardson into a couple of interceptions. If FSU comes out firing like it did against BC, the reeling Gators will quit. If FSU fails to dictate the pace and lets UF hang around, it could be a shoot out.

Jermaine Johnson and Keir Thomas have been integral to the resurgence of FSU’s defense, and the two are a combined 2-4 against UF at their prior schools. They’ll go out on top. Give me a garnet and gold victory and a 2-0 record for Mike Norvell against his in-state rivals.

FSU 24 UF 20

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LastNoleOfKrypton:

I won’t be diving into any kind of advanced statistics or anything like that. UF could be 11-0 and FSU could be 0-11; I’m not picking the Gators to beat the Seminoles of Florida State.

FSU A whole lot UF a whole little

FSU 34 UF 17

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Jon Marchant (Season prediction record: 7-4):

FSU 5-6. UF 5-6. Bowl game playoff. I think UF is going to play really hard, at least early. They are overall more talented than FSU. But what will the Gators’ game plan be? They’re missing their HC (and OC), their OL coach, and their defensive coordinator. If FSU can get up by a couple scores the Gators may quit. But that’s a big if. Still, if the ’Noles can pull this off it would be one of my favorite FSU wins of all time, considering that FSU started 0-4. So I’m going to try and speak this into existence. But I don’t want the results of this game, whatever they are, to distract from the truth that this has already been a successful rebuilding year for the program. Winning this game would be extra sweet though.

FSU 26, UF 20

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Tommy (Season prediction record: 5-5):

There are just too many uncertainties involving the University of Florida’s football program. Losing one of the better offensive minds in the business, the Florida Gators are down more key pieces to their puzzle and might have thrown in the towel. It shouldn't be easy, however, this game will have an atmosphere to remember and the talent on their roster will make it hard for a win in a classic showdown. The Seminoles have marked, circled, thrown darts at, named their jockstraps after, and who knows what else but this is it. This is the game. So cut up some Jorts and make little jean tissues for our neighbors to the east because FSU is coming home with some sod and bragging rights for the state of Florida.

Florida State 28, UF 21

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FrankDNole (Season prediction record: 5-6 on the books, but 11-0 in my mind):

This is gonna be FUn.

After all the arrogance the gata’s directed at the NOLES peaking around Sunday morning September 26, 2021, and now being in a position of desperation needing to beat what they consider to be a less-talented, in-state rival, in order to get a bowl bid, well, well, well, how the turntables.

If Florida loses to the undermanned Noles resulting in the loss of a bowl bid, that alone might be the single most embarrassing moment for the gators in the FSU/UF series history, and yet another humiliating moment for that once proud relic of a SEC program.

I think the FSU players and the Seminole fans will have a FUn game. And as we all know, whenever a Nole talks about UF, the first thing we think about is spelling FUn.

The Florida State University Seminoles 37 - The Hogsville Shoe Throwers 24

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Perry Kostidakis has a funny name (Season prediction record: 8-3):

Finally, the hypothetical “would you lose to an FCS team if it meant beating your rivals?” scenario has been manifested as a real-life situation.

FSU will face off against the Gators on Saturday, with a chance to turn a season that had an 0-4 start into what could be a building block for a strong 2022 campaign. The win over the Lizard Boys would not only set up FSU as the most established program in the state, especially with the 2022 recruiting class coming, but provide the much-needed extra days of practice, experience and team-building that would come from earning a bowl game bid.

Florida is a more talented team overall, but they’ve lost their identity, their head coach, their offensive line coach, their defensive coordinator, the certainty of health of their quarterbacks — the list goes on. This isn’t a layup game, it isn’t a must-win, but it would be a pretty disappointing loss to take, especially after the apparent progress of the team over the last few weeks.

Florida State 43, Florida 34

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Brian Pellerin (Season record: 5-6)

Saturday is not just a huge game for FSU and UF, I too am chasing bowl eligibility as I sit at 5-6 on the season. I laid out my thoughts on this game pretty extensively on the Seminole Wrap podcast (listen, rate, review, subscribe at the link above) and my college football getting guide so I’ll keep this pretty simple. Florida is a rudderless ship and the Noles keep climbing. So I’m backing the good guys.

Florida State 31, Florida 27

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Florida State Seminoles vs. Florida Gators

Pre-Game Coverage from Tomahawk Nation

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Game notes via Seminoles.com

  • Florida State has won five of its last seven games, the program’s most wins over a seven-game stretch since winning five of the last seven games in 2017. FSU’s five wins since the start of October are tied for 3rd in the ACC, trailing only the six wins by Coastal Division champion Pitt and Clemson.
  • Mike Norvell is 16-4 (.800) in the month of November as a head coach.
  • The Seminoles have converted 29 consecutive Red Zone trips for a total of 174 points, the longest active streak in the country and the 4th-longest streak in 2021 (via ESPN Stats & Info). It is also the program’s longest Red Zone scoring streak since converting 31 straight across the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
  • FSU was 1-for-1 with a touchdown in the Red Zone against Louisville, 6-for-6 against Syracuse, scoring four touchdowns and two field goals, 3-for-3 at North Carolina with three touchdowns, 6-for-6 against UMass with five touchdowns and one field goal, 1-for-1 at Clemson with a touchdown, 2-for-2 with two touchdowns against North Carolina State, 6-for-6 with three touchdowns and three field goals vs. Miami and 4-for-4 with three touchdowns and one field goal at Boston College.
  • FSU ranks 1st in the ACC and 11th in the country with a 71.8 Red Zone touchdown percentage this season (28-of-39).
  • FSU ranks 3rd in the ACC and 9th nationally in Red Zone defense, allowing a score on 70.0 percent of drives that reach the Red Zone. Florida State held opponents to 6-of-12 (.500) Red Zone conversions in October, the best defensive stop rate in the ACC and 2nd-best defensive stop rate in the country.
  • Since the start of October, Florida State ranks 2nd in the ACC in total defense and pass defense, allowing an average of 359.4 total yards and 207.0 passing yards per game, and 4th in the conference in scoring defense with an average of 23.9 points per game allowed.
  • Florida State has recorded at least one interception in seven straight games, the program’s longest streak since 2007. Via ESPN Stats & Info, it is the 3rd-longest streak in the nation this season. The Seminoles rank 2nd in the ACC with 11 interceptions and 17 total takeaways in 2021.
  • FSU’s average of 7.3 tackles for loss per game ranks 10th in the nation. The Seminoles have four games with at least 9.0 tackles for loss, their most 9.0 TFL games in a season since registering five in 2017.
  • Florida State is tied for 13th in the country with six plays of at least 60 yards this season and tied for 18th with three plays of at least 70 yards. FSU’s three rushing plays of at least 60 yards and two rushing plays of at least 70 yards both rank 1st in the ACC and are tied for 6th and 7th nationally, respectively, while its four rushing plays of at least 50 yards are tied for 4th in the conference and 18th in the nation.

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