Fall Sports

Staff Predictions: Gators vs Florida State

Photo by Logan Stanford / Getty Images

Florida looks for it’s first ten win regular season since 2015 when they take on in-state rival Florida State on Saturday.

The following are our staff predictions for this year’s game:

Michael Pfeffer:

The Gators will be looking to put the cap on a solid second year under Dan Mullen. They have the opportunity to do so in front of what promises to be a raucous crowd under the lights of the Swamp. From the emotional side of this game, there is plenty of motivation to beat FSU soundly. This will be the final game in The Swamp for the senior class and they want to be the team that restored the Gators’ standard by defeating their hated foes at Ben Hill Griffin for the first time since 2009. The Gators are a team on the rise while the Noles are a team in turmoil even if they’ve won each of their two previous games. Florida at home, under the lights on senior night will be far too much for Odell Haggins and his interim team. The Gators run away with this one, 38-6.

Ainslie Lee:

Night game, senior day, last regular season game of the year, an opportunity to take back The Swamp from the ‘Noles, Percy Harvin as Mr. Two Bits and so much more. What more could a team ask for? As if they were even needing a reason to get riled up in the first place. However, I will say that the Seminoles are trying to show their athletic association that interim head coach Odell Haggins deserves a shot at the helm of FSU’s ship. So, even though it may not seem like it considering both teams are on different ends of the playing spectrum, there’s a lot to play for here. And because of that, emotions will run high — which is pretty typical of this game. Being disciplined will be important. As long as Florida can win the penalty battle, there’s no doubt they should win convincingly. I’ve got the Gators finishing their home schedule undefeated — 45-13, Gators roll.

Brandon Buckman:

Throughout the season, the Gators and Seminoles have had completely different experiences. As Dan Mullen and company have remained around the top ten of college football’s elite all season, Florida State has struggled mightily in the leadership role of the head coach. Now that the Willie Taggart era is over, the ‘Noles are riding some momentum into Gainesville after back-to-back wins under interim Head Coach Odell Haggins. Put all the FSU momentum and Gators Senior Day festivities to the side, because this is a rivalry game and both teams will show up to play. Ultimately, the Gators are much better off, on the field and in the locker room, which gives them the advantage in this one. I am looking for the Gators defense to shut down Florida State and hopefully the offensive unit can put it out of reach in the first half, I am taking the Gators, 35-13.

Mark Stine:

Florida State interim head coach Odell Haggins is 2-0 since taking over for Willie Taggart (38-30 win over Boston College, 49-12 win over Alabama State).

The Seminoles put up a lot of points against two struggling opponents, but they don’t excel in any particular area.

FSU’s best team statistics are 30th in the nation in passing (277.5 yards per game) and 31st in sacks (2.64 per game). However, it counters that by being one of the NCAA’s worst passing defenses (114th, 273.8) and offensive lines (122nd in sacks per game, 3.27).

One thing Florida State does well is drawing a lot of opponent penalty yardage (61.1 yards per game), but it cancels that by being penalized more yardage (71.3).

Offensive coordinator Kendal Briles runs a hurry-up approach that could score some points against Florida, but FSU’s defense will struggle covering the immense depth UF has at receiver. The Seminole defense will likely tire as well, as FSU is 128th in time of possession (25:49:91).

Because of that, I have a blowout in The Swamp. Gators win, 41-17.

Brian Fox:

FSU has looked like a fairly competent team since firing Willie Taggart.

FSU has looked like a fairly competent team since firing Willie Taggart.

Odell Haggins will be coaching for his job, and by all accounts, his players love him and support him as the next head coach at Florida State. But Florida is seeking revenge.

The Gators haven’t beaten FSU at home since Tim Tebow last played at UF.

That will end this year. Florida still has a lot to play for and will take out a ton of frustration on the Seminoles. Gators, 52-13.
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Florida and Florida State will kickoff at 7:30 PM and will be aired live on SEC Network. You can follow @MikeyPfeffer and @ChompTalk for live updates.

Also make sure to check out Own The Fourth Quarter featuring Michael And Will Miles of readandreaction.com.

What are your predictions, Gator Nation? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter or Facebook.

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