I’m tempted to put the 18-point favorite Gators on upset alert, but I’m not going to do that. I think these guys are going to be ready to play and with The Swamp crowd behind them, the Gators are going to take care of business.
Talking to the players this week, they’re saying there’s so much to play for, and one of the big things is beating the Seminoles so the Gators can lay claim to being state champs. Beating Miami and FSU in the same season would be a significant deal. It would establish that Florida, which was mired in mediocrity just two years ago, is the top football program in this talent-rich state. Recruits are going to notice that, and they are going to be drawn here.
So, lots to play for, plenty of things for the Gators to be motivated about.
Florida has no running game and that’s always going to be a concern. But every week, Dan Mullen finds a way to coach around that and get the offense moving through the air. It will be more of the same in The Swamp, which is sold out for the game Saturday night. The Gators should be able to go up and down the field against an FSU defense that is giving up more than 400 yards a game.
Defensively, the Gators are back at full strength with the return of end Jabari Zuniga and should be ready to play one of their best games of the season. The defense, however, will be challenged by a big-play offense that features some real home-run hitters, most notably wide receiver Tamorrion Terry and 1,000-yard running back Cam Akers. So, the Seminoles are going to make some plays and score some points.
This is going to be an intense game with a great atmosphere. The teams are going to be highly energized, and this is going to be a fun rivalry game to watch and play in.
The Seminoles have a chance. But the bottom line is Florida is a better team and the Gators are not going to take FSU lightly. Add in the big home-field advantage and it should be a good night for Florida.
Prediction: Florida 31, Florida State 21.