Abolverdi's Analysis: Too many moving parts for Gators to beat FSU

Zach Abolverdi
Gator Sports

It’s amazing how much has changed in two months with the Florida and FSU football programs. 

The Seminoles were 0-4 at the end of September and going nowhere fast, while the 3-1 Gators had just bounced back from a narrow-loss to Alabama with a dominant win over Tennessee. 

If you told me back then where these rivals would be in late November, there’s no way I could’ve believed it. But, alas, seeing is believing, and I have zero faith in this UF team after what I’ve seen this season.  

Florida has imploded down the stretch, losing four straight SEC games, two assistant coaches and now head coach Dan Mullen. That means the offense has a new offensive coordinator in quarterbacks coach Garrick McGee, who last called plays in 2017 as the Illinois OC. 

I think his debut as a coordinator at UF will go better than Christian Robinson’s two weeks ago, but McGee may be without starting quarterback Emory Jones. He missed time in practice this week with an ankle injury, which could keep him out of the game Saturday. 

And while Florida fans are excited about the possibility of backup QB Anthony Richardson getting the start, he has been banged up the last few weeks and played just one series in the past three games. His last significant action was against Georgia, and Richardson didn’t exactly light it up that day. 

The UF defense played better against Missouri after allowing 52 points to Samford, but still struggles to stop the run and create turnovers. After giving up 146 yards rushing to Mizzou’s Tyler Badie, the Gators will likely have trouble trying to defend FSU dual-threat quarterback Jordan Travis and running backs Jashaun Corbin and Treshaun Ward. 

The ’Noles will win the rushing battle with that trio outgaining Florida’s three-man tailback rotation. And regardless of who starts at quarterback, UF’s offense will look like a unit with a new play-caller and two graduate assistants in on-field coaching roles. 

Prediction: Florida State 27, Florida 24