NCAA Football – Week 13
There is always tons of passion when these two teams meet, but there will be even more on the line this week when the Gators battle the Seminoles. Florida is back in the national title picture after last weekend’s upsets at the top of the rankings. Florida State doesn’t seem to have a chance for the title, but they are 10-1 and looking to finish off a terrific regular season. Can the Seminoles spoil the Gators hopes at playing for a national title?
The Gators didn’t seem to have much of a chance to get back to the title game after losing to Georgia in late October, but they have a bit of hope once again. Obviously, they have to take care of business in this one if they are going to have any chance. Florida State has won this rivalry game the last two years, so that gives the Gators a little extra incentive here. Jeff Driskel missed last week’s game, but he is listed as probable for this one. Driskel has been the key to Florida’s offense this year. He has 424 yards on the ground, and he has thrown 10 touchdowns and has been picked off only three times. Florida is a team that relies on its running game in a big way.
The Gators defense is the strength of their team. Florida has allowed 11 points or less in five of their last seven games. This unit has speed all over the field, and they are extremely well-balanced. No defense has been able to pick on this unit. Texas A&M’s terrific offense sputtered quite a bit against this group.
Florida State slipped up against NC State earlier this year, or they would likely be in position to be playing for a BCS Championship if they won this game. Still, the Seminoles have had a great year. E.J. Manuel leads a much improved offense for Florida State. Manuel has thrown 21 touchdowns compared to just six interceptions. The Seminoles are stacked in the backfield, and they are averaging 212 yards per game on the ground. Florida State is putting up 42.7 points per game this year.
Just as it is for the Gators, the true strength of Florida State’s team is their defense. The Seminoles rank first in the nation in total defense. Opponents are averaging only 236 yards of offense against them each game. The rushing defense ranks first in the nation, and the pass defense is fifth best in the nation. This is an aggressive defense that will really get after the passer and take a lot of chances. The Seminoles opponents have to be ready to be hurting after a full game against this unit. Can this team stop the Florida running attack this week?
Free Pick: Florida +7
This game means a whole lot to both teams. Both defenses are tremendous, and I expect a very close game all the way to the end. I’ll take the Gators with the seven points here.
Florida State 16 Florida 13