For those Florida football players who have been urging their fans to fill up the stadium Saturday, I’ve got news for you. It doesn’t matter. The Swamp isn’t the Gators any more. It belongs to the Seminoles. They own it.
If they want, they can change the name to Doak Campbell Stadium East.
FSU has owned The Swamp like no other team has in recent years. In their last three trips here, the Seminoles have won by scores of 21-7, 37-7 and 27-2. That comes to a combined score of 85-16.
That’s domination. That’s owning someone — and their stadium.
So, is it going to be more of the same Saturday? Are the Seminoles going to come in here and put another whipping on the Gators in front of their fans, in their stadium?
Maybe. The potential is there for it to happen again. The Seminoles are wounded, for sure, but not nearly as bad as the Gators, who are down to 51 available scholarship players.
If the Gators get off to a bad start and FSU quarterback James Blackman hits some deep shots early — which he’s very capable of doing — this game could get ugly just like the last three UF-FSU games in The Swamp.
I don’t think it’s going to play out that way. The Gators seem re-energized under Randy Shannon and his staff and are coming off a feel-good win against UAB in what was an encouraging complete performance.
FSU, of course, is way better than UAB. Maybe way better than Florida. But I just have a feeling the Gators are going to put this miserable season to an end with an uplifting win over their arch-rival. And when I have a feeling, I have a feeling. I’m 9-1 predicting Gator games this season.
UF will need to stuff the FSU run, get after the lanky Blackman and force some turnovers. On offense, the Gators need to sustain drives and score touchdowns, not field goals, when they reach the red zone.
Somehow, the Gators are going to find a way to win this one. Who knows, maybe FSU will miss an extra point and that will be the difference.
Prediction: Florida 21, Florida State 20