Florida Gators vs. Florida St. Seminoles
The Florida Gators and the Florida State Seminoles look to end their disappointing regular seasons on a high note as they meet in The Swamp on Saturday. The Seminoles are -2 point favorites over the Gators.
It’s never easy to replace someone who had as much success as Urban Meyer had as Head Coach of the Florida Gators but Will Muschamp has his work cut out for him to endear himself to the Florida fans after one of their worst seasons in recent memory. In all fairness Muschamp had to deal with widespread departures from last year’s team and a slew of injuries including one to starting QB John Brantley which left him sidelined for several games. Brantley is healthy now and for the season he has completed 58.9 percent of his passes for 1,808 yards with 10 touchdowns and three interceptions. Florida has one of the fastest backfields in the nation with Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps and Rainey has rushed for 748 yards and two touchdowns and Demps has rushed for 547 yards and six touchdowns. The downfield passing game has been nearly non-existent for Florida as tight end Jordan Reed leads the team in receiving with 28 catches, Rainey is next with 24, and the once highly touted recruits Deonte Thompson and Frankie Hammond Jr. have just 19 and 14 catches respectively. The Florida defense has eight interceptions, three fumble recoveries, and 18 sacks for a minus eight turnover differential. The Gator defense has been allowing 20.5 points per game as their opponents average 318.2 yards per game including 141.6 on the ground. Jon Bostic leads UF in tackles with 81, Matt Elam has 64, and Ronald Powell has four sacks. While it’s been a disappointing year for Florida a win over their in-state rivals would help give them momentum into their bowl game and into next season.
Expectations were sky high for the Florida State Seminoles this season but after losing to Oklahoma Jimbo Fisher’s team never was really the same. QB E.J. Manuel has completed 66.3 percent of his passes for 2,352 yards with 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions and he has run for another four touchdowns. Devonta Freeman has 487 yards on the ground with six touchdowns and James Wilder Jr. has 150 yards and a 4.8 yards per carry average. Rashad Greene leads the Seminoles in receptions despite playing just seven games as he has 33 receptions and six touchdowns while Rodney Smith and Kenny Shaw each have 30 catches and four touchdowns. The FSU defense has nine interceptions, seven fumble recoveries, and 34 sacks for a net even turnover ratio. The Noles’ defense is allowing just 15.9 points per game and 283 yards holding the opposition to just 85.5 rushing yards per game. Nigel Bradham has 75 tackles, Brandon Jenkins has seven sacks, and Lamarcus Joyner has three interceptions. Florida State’s missed field goal against Virginia cost them a shot at the ACC Championship Game but a win against the Gators will help heal the wounds.
Florida is 20-6 against the spread in their last 26 non-conference games, 0-3-1 against the spread in their last four home games, and 0-7 against the spread in their last seven games overall. Florida State is 4-1 against the spread in their last five non-conference games, 2-5 against the spread against a team with a winning record, and 1-4 against the spread following a game which they didn’t cover. The home team has covered in five of the last six meetings of these two.
Once again it looks like Florida’s inability to get the ball downfield is going to cost them as the FSU run defense is going to be way too much here and while Florida State has disappointed several times this year this looks like a spot where they get it done.
Florida St. Seminoles -2 Florida Gators