Rivalry weekend is here, providing us with one of the most heated rivalries in all of college football.
Florida vs. Florida State.
The Gators (9-2, 6-2 SEC) are hoping to advance to a second straight New Year's Six Bowl, and a win over the Seminoles (6-5, 4-4 ACC) is necessary to reach one. As for Florida State, interim head coach Odell Haggins has his team juiced up on a two game win streak since filling in for Willie Taggart, who was fired earlier this month.
Will Haggins' energy and success so far lead to an upset in The Swamp? The GatorMaven staff doesn't believe so.
Zach Goodall: Florida 38, Florida State 13
I don't think this game will be close, but I'll give FSU the benefit of their momentum to score a few times behind the efforts of star running back Cam Akers and deep threat wide receiver Tamorrion Terry. While FSU is currently in shambles, those two are serious playmakers that can give the Seminoles some life on offense.
But again, it really won't be close. Florida went on the road and beat FSU badly last year, and the Seminoles are a worse team this year that doesn't appear to have a plan moving forward with their program. It's been almost a month since Taggart was relieved of his duties, and FSU is still vetting candidates as no one as expressed serious interest in the job. Also, I'm feeling a touchdown from wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland in his final game in orange and blue.
Graham Marsh: Florida 50, Florida State 0.
The Seminoles are like Vanderbilt-level bad. Ok, maybe a little better. Maybe about six points better. So, I like FSU’s offense to be anemic outside of a few Cam Akers splash plays. I like Kyle Trask to hit chunk plays 15-20 yards down the field. I think Emory Jones gets some time in this game and the ‘Noles aren’t disciplined enough defensively to prepare for a second quarterback. They can’t really even prepare for a first. The entire Florida offense is going to eat, and the entire FSU offense is going to starve.
Jeremy Klump: Florida 41, Florida State 13
The Gators defense has been one of the best defenses in the country over the last few weeks. There is no doubt that they will continue to dominate against the Seminoles on Saturday night. The defense has played so well that it has masked how underwhelming the offense has played, but look for Mullen’s offense to shine as well. I predict that Florida will end the regular season with a bang and cement themselves as one of the top 10 schools in the country.
Ainslie Lee: Florida 45, Florida State 13
Night game, senior day, last regular season game of the year, an opportunity to take back The Swamp from the ‘Noles, Percy Harvin as Mr. Two Bits and so much more. What more could a team ask for? As if they were even needing a reason to get riled up in the first place.
However, I will say that the Seminoles are trying to show their athletic association that interim head coach Odell Haggins deserves a shot at the helm of FSU’s ship. So, even though it may not seem like it considering both teams are on different ends of the playing spectrum, there’s a lot to play for here. And because of that, emotions will run high — which is pretty typical of this game. Being disciplined will be important. As long as Florida can win the penalty battle, there’s no doubt they should win convincingly. I’ve got the Gators finishing their homestand undefeated.
Victor Prieto: Florida 31, Florida State 7
Florida State enters Gainesville claiming the last four matches against UF in the Swamp. Florida will finally end that streak today. I could give you numbers like how Kyle Trask has thrown for more than 200 yards and two touchdowns in his last six games or how Florida’s defense has allowed less than 20 points seven times this season, but I won’t. Florida is just the better team on Saturday and the better team will win.
Ethan Budowsky: Florida 45, Florida State 10
I really think the Gators want this one badly. They know that they haven’t beaten FSU in The Swamp this decade and they want to show the country just how much they own their rivals right now. They also have a statement to make to the committee and I think this is a great chance to do it. Florida is just too good for FSU right now and I think this one gets ugly.
Donavon Keiser: Florida 45, Florida State 10
This year’s game won’t be close. UF ought to light up the scoreboard on senior day, and Dan Mullen will try to get a touchdown for each of his four receivers and La’Mical Perine. It’ll be a feel-good game for everyone involved, and it’ll be a great game for Florida to show their strides against a bad in-state rival. I can see Florida throwing for over 400+, as the school out west has a weak secondary and a struggling pass rush. It won’t be close, and Dan Mullen won’t have mercy as he has never lost to the Seminoles.