Florida State squandered a possibility in its final sport in opposition to rival Florida.
After beginning 0-4 final season, the Seminoles compiled a 5-2 file and have been in place to complete on a excessive notice. Their 24-21 loss to the Gators, although, saved them one win away from reaching bowl eligibility.
One 12 months later, and No. 16 FSU (8-3) now has an opportunity of redemption when internet hosting Florida (6-5) in Doak Campbell Stadium at 7:30 pm Friday (TV: ABC).
And with a win, the Seminoles would finish a number of droughts.
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They might end 5-0 for the primary time since 2016. They might defeat the Gators for the primary time since 2017. They might beat Florida and Miami in the identical season for the primary time since 2016. And they’d maintain their probabilities alive of incomes an Orange Bowl bid, together with profitable 10 video games for the primary time since 2016.
Per Wager On-line on Wednesday night, the Gators are available as a 9.5-point betting underdog. They’ve skilled an up-and-down season below first-year coach Billy Napier. They’re coming off their first loss at Vanderbilt because the 1988 season, falling in 31-24 style.
So, how will this sport seemingly unfold? Why would FSU win, and why would Florida come out with the victory? Beneath is a breakdown of these situations, together with a rating prediction.
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Why FSU will win
Florida most likely will not be capable to cease the run.
In any respect.
The Gators have the second-worst run protection on the Seminoles’ schedule, permitting 171.5 yards on the bottom per sport (No. 92 nationally). Additionally they have given up a 100-yard rusher in seven of their final eight video games in opposition to FBS opponents.
To not point out considered one of their greatest gamers, sixth-year senior linebacker Ventrell Miller, will miss the primary half due to the concentrating on penalty he acquired in opposition to the Commodores. He ranks second on the workforce in tackles (73) and run protection grade (77.2) on Professional Soccer Focus.
Working the soccer has been FSU’s largest energy this season. The Seminoles common 5.54 yards per carry (ninth) and 217 dashing yards per sport (14th). They need to surpass 200 dashing yards for the seventh straight sport, which has not occurred for this program since 1987.
Total, Florida might wrestle to cease an offense that has probably the most performs of 20-plus yards (80) within the nation and ranks No. 6 in third-down conversion share (51.4%). The Gators are No. 127 in third-down protection (48.3%), together with No. 78 in scoring protection (27.3 factors allowed per sport) and No. 98 in complete protection (408.5 yards allowed per sport).
On protection, FSU most likely will not shut down standout Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson. However the Seminoles might gradual him down sufficient to win. They have been dominant defensively within the final 4 video games, holding opponents to 104.8 dashing yards and 121 passing yards per sport.
FSU’s beginning protection has not allowed a landing this month. The Seminoles additionally will face a Gator offense that, at greatest, can have solely 5 of their 10 scholarship huge receivers accessible for the sport.
On its depth chart Wednesday, Florida listed receivers Justin Shorter (decrease physique), Ja’Quavion Fraziars (higher physique), Xzavier Henderson (decrease physique), Marcus Burke (higher physique) and Thai Chiaokhiao-Bowman (higher physique) as out with accidents. Receiver Ricky Pearsall (higher physique) was listed as questionable.
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Why Florida will win
With Richardson, Florida all the time has an opportunity.
The Gainesville product has proven sufficient this season to be projected as one of many first quarterbacks chosen within the 2023 NFL Draft. His arm energy and dual-threat capability actually makes opponents must defend each blade of grass on the sphere.
Solely two different quarterbacks within the nation have handed for two,300 yards and rushed for 600 yards. Richardson is also considered one of seven gamers to file 12-plus passing touchdowns and nine-plus dashing touchdowns. His 6.6 yards per carry ranks second amongst quarterbacks.
Till its four-game profitable streak, FSU ranked No. 85 in run protection (157 yards allowed per sport). The Seminoles have since improved to No. 53 (138 yards allowed per sport), however they solely confronted a top-80 offense throughout that stretch, in Syracuse (forty fourth).
So possibly FSU will wrestle in opposition to one of the best dashing assault on its schedule.
The Gators are second in yards per carry (5.9) and fifteenth in dashing offense (209.3 yards per sport). Together with Richardson (93 carries, 613 yards, 9 TDs), the Seminoles should account for working backs Montrell Johnson Jr. (127 carries, 742 yards, 9 TDs) and Trevor Etienne (93 carries, 576 yards, 5 TDs) .
On protection, it’s unrealistic to anticipate Florida to wreak havoc. However the Gators rank No. 8 in turnovers gained (23). In a high-scoring affair, Florida might pressure a pair turnovers that may find yourself being the distinction on this sport.
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There needs to be quite a lot of offensive fireworks on this one.
Do not be shocked if this sport – which has an over/below of 57.5 factors – is a shootout.
It additionally wouldn’t be shocking to see Florida play impressed and begin effectively. However FSU in the end has been taking part in a lot better protection and is extra balanced on offense. The Gators are too quick handed on offense and will not be capable to decelerate this vaunted Seminole assault.
Anticipate FSU to win by a double-digit margin.
Rating predictions: FSU 38, Florida 27.
Who: No. 16 FSU (8-3) vs. Florida (6-5)
When/the place: Friday, 7:30pm; Doak Campbell Stadium
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