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Billy Napier, Anthony Richardson talk FSU rivalry ahead of Friday night

"When we win this one, it's definitely gonna build momentum for us."

Rivalry week has arrived across College Football and Doak Campbell Stadium will be front and center on the national stage on Nov. 25.

The 66th meeting between Florida (6-5) and No. 16 Florida State (8-3) is approaching, and it'll pit the Seminoles and third-year head coach Mike Norvell against first-year head coach Billy Napier and the Gators.

READ MORE: Recruits react to FSU's 49-17 win over Louisiana, four-game winning streak

FSU hasn't defeated Florida since 2017 but is riding a four-game winning streak and holds its highest national ranking since Norvell arrived in 2020.

Before reflecting on the tradition of the rivalry, Napier said he's noticed the Seminoles' development under Norvell.

"[I have a] ton of respect for Coach Norvell and his team and how it's improved," Napier said. "Certainly when you watch the tape, you see that improvement. Year one to two to three and certainly they're playing really good football right now." 

Florida sophomore quarterback Anthony Richardson only played in parts of the Gators' 24-21 win against FSU in 2021 but did throw a touchdown and rack up 27 rushing yards on 11 carries.

In 2022, the 6-foot-4, 232-pound Gainseville, Florida, native has accumulated 22 total touchdowns (13 passing, nine rushing). Richardson didn't hesitate while speaking on the magnitude of the rivalry.

"[It's a] big game for the city of Gainesville, the University of Florida, so we gotta bring it this week," Richardson said. "Growing up, [I] always heard about Florida State, always heard about the Gators. A lot of people trying to pull you to one side or another."

Florida has either won back-to-back games or lost back-to-back games dating back to Oct. 2. Richardson said a win in Tallahassee could bolster confidence for the Gators.

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"We try to win every game, so we're not really focused on who we're playing because that can really alter your mind [and] the way your thinking when it comes to gameplan and stuff like that," Richardson said. "When we win this one, it's definitely gonna build momentum for us."

Napier, who spent time at Clemson in multiple roles, including offensive coordinator earlier in his career, said he respects Florida State's tradition and is excited to be a part of the rivalry.

"When I was growing up, Florida and Florida State were dominating college football," Napier said. "It was Steve Spurrier, it was Bobby Bowden. [It's] pretty awesome to be a part of this game."

Richardson admitted he remembers one particular Florida State running back having success in the rivalry.

"I do have some memories, not great ones, especially [with] me playing for the University of Florida," Richardson said. "Watching Dalvin Cook just go crazy against the Gators almost every year, that's probably one of the biggest memories I have."

Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. on ABC.

For the full press conference, click here.

READ MORE: Florida State leaves RB Cedric Baxter Jr. with a decision to make

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