Florida football has a matchup with one of the top teams in the FCS, Towson, on Saturday. The Gators are coming off a 34-3 rout of rival Tennessee while the Tigers are now 3-1 following an overtime loss to FCS contender Villanova.
The following are our staff predictions for the game:
Towson is no slouch. They are a top 10 team in the FCS and currently have eight players in the NFL. Don’t be surprised to see them put up a bit of a fight before the talent and depth of the Gators takes hold. The Gators are favored by 33 points and as long as they come out focused on Towson, instead of looking ahead to homecoming, I believe they will cover the spread. I like the Gators to improve to 5-0 on the season with a lopsided victory. Gators win 45-10.
It’s the year of the Tigers for Florida — but before we play the BIG Tigers in Auburn, LSU and Missouri, the Gators have to get past the Towson Tigers first. While coaches, players and fans alike are eager to look past this matchup in anticipation of the Auburn game next week, this team must be ready to play come Saturday at 4 p.m.. Coach Mullen has been pretty critical of scheduling FCS opponents — but if you must play one, Towson is a good one to pick. The Tigers were formerly No. 5 in the FCS before losing to Villanova last week in OT. Nonetheless, Towson can move the football. Their quarterback, Tom Flacco (yes, THAT Flacco) has posted two 300+ passing yard games already this season, while Florida quarterbacks haven’t posted one. But, take it with a grain of salt — the Tigers haven’t seen a glimpse of anything close to an SEC caliber defense. And after last week’s performance, Grantham and the Gators will be quick to sniff out every opportunity to make a big play. Florida will be 5-0 come Saturday night — Gators cruise 42-7.
A matchup between two top 10 ranked teams, one FBS and one FCS. Yeah, Towson may be a smaller Division 1 school, but I am not convinced the Gators will walk all over them as many fans might expect. The Tigers are a well oiled machine on the offensive side of the ball, as they are averaging 400-plus yards per game as well as 40 points a game. I can see this being a one possession game at halftime, before the Gators are able to pull away. Florida has the advantage, because they are bigger and better defensively, and honestly, Florida could also average 40 points a game if they played Towson’s schedule. This will be fast paced and high scoring, I’m taking the Gators in the end 45-28.
The Towson Tigers enter their David-and-Goliath matchup with Florida ranked 10th in the FCS coaches poll.
Their offensive averages of 40 points per game and 423.8 yards per game are nothing to take lightly, but their defense may be a different story. Towson is 71st in the FCS in total defense, giving up 420.0 yards per game and 22 first downs per game. If it’s having difficulty stopping the likes of The Citadel, Maine and Villanova, how will Towson stop UF’s athlete-riddled offense?
The Gators will score early and often on this mediocre defense, and they should nearly double Towson in time of possession, effectively taking the sting out of its offense. Florida rolls, and it covers the 33-point spread with a 52-14 victory.
Towson is not your typical FCS cupcake. Led by a QB with a real chance of being drafted, the Tigers are a serious contender to win a national championship at the lower level of D-I football.
While Towson has put up points (No. 9 in total scoring in the FCS), they haven’t faced a defense with nearly the talent that Florida has.
The Gators should be able to keep the defense off the field and run over the Tigers in all phases of the game.
What scares me a little is that this is the perfect scenario for a trap game. An underrated opponent this week with a major matchup (Auburn) to follow. Mullen needs to make sure the team is focused on this week, or it could be closer than it should be. I think Florida gets it done, 48-13.
Florida and Towson are set for a 4:00 PM kickoff. The game will be aired on ESPN. You can follow @ChompTalk and @MikeyPfeffer on Twitter for live updates of the contest. What are your predictions, Gator Nation? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter or Facebook.