Florida State Seminoles (4-6 SU, 1-7-2 ATS) vs. Florida Gators (4-6 SU, 3-7 ATS)
College Football Week 13
Date/Time: Saturday November 25th, 2017. 12:00PM (EST)
Where: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium Gainesville, F.L.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: FSU -5.5/UF +5.5
Over/Under Total: 44
The Florida State Seminoles and Florida Gators will collide in the Sunshine Showdown this Saturday inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium for their annual rivalry meeting. Unfortunately, this may be one of the most depressing rivalry games between both schools in history. For the first time since 1979, both the Gators and the Seminoles are looking at the possibility of not being bowl eligible. The Seminoles still have an outside chance thanks to their effort to reschedule their game with Louisiana-Monroe next week that was previously cancelled due to Hurricane Irma. Still, the Seminoles need a victory over the Gators just to keep that possibility alive.
The fall from grace has hit both teams in different ways. Florida State was a potential preseason National Championship contender but they were beat by Alabama in the opener. In that game, quarterback Deondre Francois went down and that started an avalanche of injuries issues which has plagued the Seminoles all year. Florida did not have the National Championship type of realistic expectations but they were expected to contend in the SEC East. Instead, the Gators have been atrocious offensively battling issues to run the football combined with a season long carousel at the quarterback position. The end result has been 5 straight losses against SEC teams, the firing of former Head Coach Jim McElwain, and the seemingly nothing has changed under interim coach Randy Shannon.
Still a win over the Seminoles could wash away the bitter taste of disappointment this year has brought and possibly carry some hope into the 2018 season. For Florida to accomplish that feat, they need to find some answers on offense. Once again, Feleipe Franks took over the starting job at quarterback last week in the win against UAB. However one again, he did not look good completing just 15 of 300 passing for 152 yards with 2 scores.
Despite effort, the Gators have not been able to run the football this year. Both Lamical Perine and Malik Davis have barely combined for a 1,000 yards. Therefore, I am not sure if the Florida run game is going to emerge this Saturday. Instead, I think Franks has to play well. Florida needs to get their tight ends involved and possibly come up with some screen plays to formulate some ball movement. If that happens, perhaps it opens up further opportunities for Franks down the field. Either way, this Florida coaching staff has to get creative.
The good news for Florida is that the Seminoles have had similar struggles on the offensive side of the football. Quarterback James Blackman has struggled in his freshman campaign completing just 57% passing with 12 scores and 8 picks. The youngster has a big arm but struggles with accuracy and sometimes his decision making has been questionable. However as a whole, this offense is a lot more threatening in nature compared to the Gators. Despite the consistency, Blackman has shown the ability to hit targets down the field and the Florida State rushing attack has been decent. Freshman running back Cam Akers has shown flashes of the playmaking potential that most expected and has tallied 779 yards on the season. Akers has even bigger potential and he definitely gives this offense some reliability in the running game.
Ultimately, this game is going to come down to the team that can make a few plays on the offensive side of the ball. I would not be surprised to see turnovers play a major role especially if it can create opportunities on the short side of the field. Both defenses are talented but their stats do not reflect the capability due to the offensive woes both teams have shared. Therefore, I expect this game to be low scoring with a few potential big plays being the difference.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I believe the Seminoles are the better team and have the better coaching staff to game plan for this matchup. Dont be surprised if the scoring stays low and take the Seminoles -5.5!. - Bet this game for FREE by taking advantage of a FAT 100% bonus up to $1000 at MyBookie! (Use Promo Code: PRDCT14)