Florida vs Idaho
11.17.18 / 12:00 PM
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
It is senior day this Saturday in the Swamp. That means it will be a bittersweet moment for the Florida Gators and their fans. In total, 20 seniors will play their final game at Ben Hill Griffin. But, at least they will be going out in style.
Florida will be feasting on the Idaho Vandals come noon time tomorrow. There will be no shortage of fireworks and fans should expect to see the Gators scoring in wholesale.
In their first year back in the FCS, the Vandals have posted a 4-6 record that has seen more struggles than celebrations. The Big Sky conference has often seemed too big for Idaho and they can’t wait for this year to be in the past.
Idaho has played just one DI team this season, a 79-13 drubbing at the hands of mighty Fresno State. Things won’t look much better for them this weekend. The Gators should be able to do all that they want against this fledgling Vandals defense.
Even if Florida comes out flat, they should win this one easily. There is plenty of reason for them to enter this game hungry, however. They’re still in the conversation for a NY6 bowl game, it’s senior day, and they need to make a statement that last week’s resurgence wasn’t a fluke.
A convincing win will go a long way in convincing the bowl selection committee that the Gators deserve that coveted New Years 6 berth.
2018 record: 4-6
Head coach: Paul Petrino
We will see many new faces throughout this game, giving the opportunity to peek into the future just a bit. The league’s cap on how many players can dress doesn’t apply to this game and Dan Mullen plans to give playing time to many of the youngest Gators.
Jacob Copeland should be among those making their debut for Florida. The highly touted freshman has been sidelined with an injury all season but is finally healthy enough to see the field. It’s a strong possibility that we also see Iverson Clement and Emory Jones back in action.
On the defensive side of things, the Gators will be charged with shutting down a Vandals offense that runs through quarterback, Mason Petrino. The junior has completed 62% of his passes this season for just under 1,900 yards and 14 touchdowns. Petrino is also a threat on the ground, carrying the ball 65 times for 158 yards and 3 more scores.
Despite Petrino’s dual threat ability, it is Isaiah Sanders who will take the lion’s share of touches in the Vandals rushing attack. The senior back has 189 carries for 878 yards on the season.
Todd Grantham‘s defense should handle Idaho relatively easily but will still need to play with intensity and sound fundamentals. If Idaho puts up points it will be by way of busted coverage and missed assignments by the Gators.
Currently, the Gators are 39.5 point favorites and should cover everyone of them. This will be a fun afternoon in Gainesville with plenty of highlight reel material, so pack the Swamp and send our seniors out with a bang!