Florida Gators (6-5, 6-5 Towards The Unfold)
A herky-jerky season for the Gators slipped on the banana peel final weekend in a 31-24 defeat at Vanderbilt, the place Florida had gained 15 consecutive instances since dropping a 24-9 choice to the Commodores in Oct. 1988.
(That, by the best way, capped a tough 0-3-1 run for the Gators in Nashville, Tennessee.)
Within the present win-now-or-else theme of school soccer, that positioned an enormous pink mark subsequent to new coach Billy Napier, the previous Furman quarterback who got here from Louisiana.
Friday night, the Gators’ key weapon could be 6-foot-4 sophomore punter Jeremy Crenshaw, whose 46.9-yard common is third within the nation.
Florida State, nevertheless, can trump that Florida card with Mycah Pittman, whose 10.1-yard common punt return is top-20 within the land. A 5-11 speedster from Tampa, Pittman performed his first three seasons at Oregon earlier than returning to his house state.
The Gators offset a really mediocre passing sport with the three-headed floor monster of quarterback Anthony Richardson (613 yards and 9 touchdowns), and tailbacks Montrell Johnson Jr. (742 and 9) and Trevor Etienne (576 and 5).
Jared Verse, a 6-5, 250-pound ’Noles sophomore defensive finish who performed at Albany final season, has a nationwide top-15 14 tackles for loss and will probably be Richardson’s foremost antagonist.
The Seminoles yield 3.8 yards per run, which is within the prime third of the sport. At house, that improves to three.3. If Florida State can power Florida to make errors by the air by stuffing the run, will probably be one other lengthy 4 quarters for the Gators.
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No. 16 Florida State Seminoles (8-3, 8-3 ATS)
The Seminoles have rounded into kind over the previous month, not solely profitable 4 in a row however overlaying the unfold in every of these video games.
Higher but, their protection has grow to be nasty, yielding solely two touchdowns over the previous 12 quarters.
Three video games in the past, Florida State allowed 188 complete yards in a 45-3 trouncing at Miami. Two video games in the past, it allowed 160 in a 38-3 victory at Syracuse. And final week, Louisiana gained 291 yards within the Seminoles’ 49-17 choice.
Of these three foes, it was Ragin’ Cajuns who discovered pay grime, as soon as by the air and as soon as on the bottom towards Florida State.
On offense throughout that run, its points-per-play margin of 0.508 is tops in school soccer. For a Seminoles program that has misplaced its previous three to Florida — and 5 of the previous eight to the Gators in Tallahassee — the timing is ideal.
Furthermore, the concord of the ’Noles appears distinctive. Jordan Travis, the 6-1, 200-pound junior quarterback out of West Palm Seaside, ran for 2 TDs final weekend and handed for an additional one earlier than halftime within the rout of Louisiana.
Third-year coach Mike Norvell was in a position to play three of his quarterback reserves, and Travis didn’t blink an eye fixed. On Twitter afterward, he wrote concerning the “large win” and congratulated his backups on getting snaps.
Travis has thrown for 21 TDs and 4 passes have been intercepted, and he’s run it in 5 instances. His stacked backfield is highlighted by Trey Benson, with a team-best 854 yards and 6 TDs.
Lawrance Toafili and Treshaun Ward, who missed just a few video games with a shoulder damage however has performed within the Seminoles’ previous two, have mixed for 960 yards and 10 touchdowns.
They might exploit a Florida protection that’s within the backside quarter of the nation in rush protection, permitting 4.7 yards per carry and that loosens to five.1 on the street.
When Travis — or any of his backups — goes to the air, he’ll have the posh of one of many nation’s greatest targets: 6-7, 225-pound sophomore Johnny Wilson.
The native of Pacoima, Calif., and former Arizona State Solar Satan holds staff marks with 33 catches, 649 reception yards, and 5 TDs.
Florida vs. Florida State Sports activities Betting Suggestion & Decide
Florida State has a pleasant little run going of 4 consecutive victories and covers. It is not going to take this one calmly, because it serves as a warm-up to a bowl sport for which this fan base is starved.
In 2014, the Seminoles acquired blasted, 59-20, by Oregon in a Rose Bowl that served as a nationwide semifinal. Since then, they’ve break up 4 bowl video games, however have missed postseason motion in every of the previous two seasons.
To grow to be a nationwide participant as soon as once more, Florida State should use a decisive effort towards its Sunshine State foe as a springboard to a powerful displaying in a top quality bowl.
Our Decide: Seminoles -9.5 (-110)