Mission: Ending losing streak to Florida State

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Florida running back Lamical Perine (22) is stood up by FSU defenders during last year's game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

With the Seminoles coming up Saturday, the Florida Gators are trying to slip into streak-snapping mode this week.

Snap the five-game losing streak to Florida State.

Snap the Seminoles’ bowl streak at 36 consecutive years.

They can do both with a win in Tallahassee on Saturday.

Florida coach Dan Mullen, of course, would like to see both streaks end. But he seems to really like the idea of ending FSU’s remarkable bowl streak.

“That would be great. I’d love to do it,” he said Monday. “But that’s what rivalry games are all about, right? When you look at this rivalry game, there are not that many Florida State fans that really sit there on the weekend cheering for the Gators. There’s probably not a lot of Gator fans cheering for the Seminoles.

“So, anything you could do that just makes it fun in these games. Because for the players, every game is huge. You want to win. You want to celebrate in the locker room. But outside of our locker room, the rivalry games, they mean a lot more. That also seeps in for the players as well because they hear about it all the time.”

The players apparently are not hearing a whole bunch about the Seminoles’ bowl streak.

Quarterback Feleipe Franks said he didn’t even know about it until someone told him Monday.

“The first time I even heard about that was out there like five minutes ago,” Franks said. “I’m not really worrying about that. Just worrying about going out there and winning the football game. That’s pretty much it.”

Junior wide receiver Josh Hammond echoes that sentiment.

“I don’t think it’ll mean too much for us,” he said. “It’s more about ourselves and the things that we want for our future as far as the different bowl games we could go to if we come out with a win, and things of that nature.  “I don’t really think we’re too much worried about spoiling for them, we’re just worried about the success that we’re having if we go out and execute like we’re supposed to on Saturday.”

While the players are having a hard time finding motivation from FSU’s bowl streak, they are very much in tune with the five-game losing streak to the Seminoles.

They’ve been mired in it. No player on this team has beaten Florida State. No Gator has since Florida won in Tallahassee in 2012.

So, stopping the losing streak is big, and important.

“Definitely,” Hammond said. “Not only just for the sense of it being a streak, but definitely for our future for this year as well with bowl games and things of that nature. Our momentum from last week, just working hard all week in practice and not letting the opponent dictate how our practice went.

“If we continue to grow and excel and keep getting better it’s going to help our momentum and help us continue to get better.”

Ending the losing streak is not a main source of motivation this week for the Gators, Franks said.

“It would be fun (to end the streak),” he said. “But at the same time, it’s just the next opponent. I didn’t even think about it like that.

“It’s just rivalry week, one of the funnest weeks all season, you circle it on your calendar. You’re ready to go play them no matter what each person’s record is.”

Mullen has a record against the Seminoles from when he was the UF offensive coordinator under Urban Meyer. He’s undefeated, a perfect 4-0.

And he doesn’t like the look of the current 0-5 against FSU.

“That’s not good. We were on the four-game winning streak when we left,” Mullen said. “It’s huge (to end the current streak). Every year it’s huge.

“You get in these games, you’re talking about in-state rivalries. You’re talking a lot of neighbors against neighbors. You go to the grocery store, you want to have bragging rights over your neighbors for the year. To get that win, it gives all of the Gator Nation the bragging rights over all of State’s fans.”

6 COMMENTS

  1. I really believe we are the better team this year. I couldn’t say that for the last 5 or so years but this is the first year I’m actually feeling good about us pulling out a W. This is the first year that we have been favored since 2009…that’s way to long for our boys! Let’s flip this streak back in our direction again as DM said he was 4-0 against them. That’s the confidence we’ve been needing. Go Gators!

  2. It is my hope this Gator team has learned its lesson about having “off” weeks following big wins. Destroying Idaho was a little too easy – Idaho is simply not that good. Not trying to take ANYTHING away from the team. Practice with determination, with fire, with spirit – END THE 5 GAME LOSING STREAK TO FSU. We are talking about bragging rights, and key recruits are watching. BE READY – PLAY YOUR BEST GAME – IGNORE FSU’S LOSING RECORD THIS YEAR. GO GATORS, BEAT FSU!!!

  3. Just stay focused and do your talking with how you play during the game. Try channeling Donnie Young, when the night before the NC game in the French Quarter, he told his fellow O lineman Zach Pillar, that if Pillar kept trash talking to the fsu players, he was might as well go home now, because they wouldn’t win the game. Fortunately Pillar followed the advice of a real man. 52-20 BABY!! THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!

  4. A Meaningless tidbit, but NONETHELESS: Florida historically plays the ‘Noles in Tally very well when the Gators wear ALL WHITE (WHITE TOPS w/ WHITE PANTS) and with the traditional Orange helmets.
    Just a thought! No different styles necessary! Just go back to what has worked, because every little bit of ”an edge” helps in the FLA/FSU games. Go Gators!