The Florida Gators need several balls to bounce their way if they have any chance at a national title, but first they must beat Florida State on the road Saturday afternoon at Doak Campbell Stadium.
The Gators need a win Saturday, and need Notre Dame to lose, or Alabama or Georgia to lose for a chance at the big stage in Miami.
Florida has had an impressive run this year, knocking off three ranked teams, including LSU, and prepared for Saturday’s matchup with a 23-0 shutout of Jacksonville State last week.
Running back Mike Gillislee led the the Gators offense with 122 rushing yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, and the Florida defense held the Gamecocks to 48 yards on the ground.
Still the Florida offense failed to score a touchdown in the second half against a very limited and less talented Jacksonville State.
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The Gators will have to bring their offense against one-loss Florida State, who crushed Maryland 41-14 last week, and have won five straight since their sole loss at North Carolina State back in October.
The No. 10 Seminoles ranked seventh in points scored and fifth in points against this season, and are led by quarterback E.J. Manuel, who’s thrown for 2,785 yards and 21 touchdowns this season.
Running backs Chris Thompson and Devonta Freeman bring up the ground game, with Freeman posting 148 yards and two scores against Maryland.
Despite their rankings in offense and defense, Saturday will be Florida State’s second game against a ranked opponent this year. They beat then-No. 10 Clemson 49-37 back in September.
The contest begins at 3:30 p.m. EDT and will be broadcast by ABC.
Betting Odds: Florida State is favored by 7 points.
Over/Under: 44 points
Prediction: Florida holds the all-time mark in the rivalry, but Florida State has won the last two meetings. The Gators will have to pick their offense up, with Gillislee carrying most of the weight again. Look for a close game with Florida State winning by less then a touchdown.
Predicted Score: Florida State 27, Florida 24