Back in the summer, going down Florida’s schedule, I penned in (as opposed to penciled in) this Mississippi State game as a loss for the Gators. A sure thing. Two weeks ago, I upgraded it to a blowout loss. A category five disaster.
I’m not so sure now. In the words of the HBC, the Gators have a chance. I’m not saying they’re going to beat the Bulldogs on Saturday night, I’m just saying they’ve got a chance.
And, really, isn’t that all Gators everywhere are asking for — a competitive game, a chance to pull the upset.
For the upset to happen, the Gators have to stay composed in what may be the most hostile environment many of them have ever been in. They can’t get rattled, they can’t collapse when bad things happen, and bad things will happen, because that’s the way it is on the road in the SEC.
They also have to contain dual-threat quarterback Nick Fitzgerald and prevent him from killing them with his legs. Kentucky showed that can be done last Saturday. Keep Fitzgerald in the pocket, put him in some third and longs, then go make plays. He’s a great runner, but not a great downfield passer. Not even close.
Offensively, Dan Mullen has to give Feleipe Franks plays that he knows he is comfortable with and can execute. And he has to help his QB manage the game and avoid difficult situations.
The Gators also have to win the turnover battle and play great on special teams.
It can happen. The Gators can pull the upset. They’ve got a chance.
But I’m not saying it’s going to happen. Not quite.
Prediction: Mississippi State 24, Florida 13.