Florida Gators vs. Florida State Seminoles Preview

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Florida State Seminoles
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 17: Feleipe Franks #13 of the Florida Gators drops back to pass during the first half of their game against the Idaho Vandals at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 17, 2018 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

The Florida Gators are playing their final game of the 2018 regular season against the Florida State Seminoles. The Gators will be on the road in Tallahassee to take on their hated in-state rivals. Florida State is currently on a five-game winning streak against the Gators. Both teams come into this game with a first year head coach. Dan Mullen has had a successful first season with the Florida Gators but a loss to the Seminoles would ruin their season. Willie Taggart is in first season as the Seminoles head coach and has struggled mightily. But a win would make the Seminoles bowl eligible and save their NCAA-best 36 year bowl streak.

Florida State Seminoles

The Florida State Seminoles offense is led by their redshirt-junior quarterback Deondre Francois. The Florida State quarterback has had a rough campaign since coming back from his knee injury last season. Francois has completed 58 percent of his passes and thrown for 2,577 passing yards, 14 touchdowns and ten interceptions. The Florida State featured back is Cam Akers. The sophomore running back has 148 carries for 669 yards and six touchdowns. Another running back to watch for is Jacques Patrick. The senior running back has 98 carries for 326 yards and one rushing touchdown. The leading receiver for the Seminoles is Nyqwan Murray. The senior wide out has 51 receptions for 709 yards and three touchdowns. Tamorrion Terry is another Florida State wide out to watch for. He has 32 catches for 666 yards and a team-high eight receiving touchdowns.

On defense, the Florida State Seminoles have had their issues but are still talented. The Seminoles top defensive player is junior defensive end Brian Burns. The American Heritage graduate has 46 tackles with team-highs 15.5 tackles for loss and ten sacks. Sophomore defensive back Stanford Samuels III leads the Seminoles in interceptions. He has four interceptions on the season along with three pass breakups. Hamsah Nasirildeen is the lead tackler for the Seminoles. Nasirildeen has 81 tackles on the season with one interception and two pass breakups.

Florida Gators

The Florida Gators are coming into this game with a lot on the line. If Florida wins, they are in great shape to play in a New Year’s 6 Bowl. They’ll also snap the afore-mentioned losing streak against Florida State. The Gators offense is led by their two star running backs and redshirt-sophomore quarterback Feleipe Franks. The Florida signal caller has improved significantly from last season. He he has a 58.2 completion percentage with 2,030 passing yards, 20 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also leads the Gators in rushing touchdowns with six. Junior running back Lamical Perine leads the Gators in rushing. Perine has 115 carries for 643 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Redshirt-junior Jordan Scarlett has 102 carries for 629 rushing yards for three touchdowns. Van Jefferson leads Florida is receiving with 27 receptions for 347 yards and five touchdowns.

The Florida Gators defensive game plan this week is to win the in the trenches and pressure Francois. This should be a huge game for defensive end Jachai Polite. The junior defensive end has 8.5 sacks on the season and should add to his total. Another defensive end to keep an eye on is Jabari Zuniga. He’s one of Florida’s most disruptive defensive lineman with ten tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks on the year. Vosean Joseph leads the Gators in tackles with 79 on the season. He also has four sacks and one fumble recovery. David Reese is Florida’s best run stopper with 72 tackles with 2.5 tackles for loss and a fumble recovery. C.J. Henderson, Brad Stewart and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson leads Florida in interceptions with two.

5 Players to Watch: Florida State Seminoles:

  1. DE Brian Burns
  2. WR Tamorrion Terry
  3. S Stanford Samuels III
  4. DT Marvin Wilson
  5. RB Cam Akers

5 Players to Watch: Florida Gators

  1. RB Lamical Perine
  2. LB David Reese
  3. DE Jabari Zuniga
  4. WR Kadarius Toney
  5. RB Jordan Scarlett

5 Predictions:

  1. Florida Gators rush for over 200 yards and two touchdowns.
  2. Deandre Francois throws for over 230 yards and at least one touchdown.
  3. David Reese leads Florida in tackles.
  4. Brian Burns gets a sack in the game.
  5. Florida Gators beats Florida State Seminoles 38-24.

In The End

There’s a lot on the line in the Sunshine State Showdown. Florida State’s record setting bowl streak and a little bit of program pride on one side. For the Gators, breaking the streak and climbing a little higher in the College Football Playoff rankings. It might be the Sunshine State, but it’s going to rain on someone’s parade on Saturday.

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images

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