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NoleGameday Staff Score Predictions: Florida State Seminoles vs. Florida Gators

Our staff provides their predictions and analysis as the Seminoles look to end the regular season on a high note against the Gators.

The conclusion of the regular season is finally here for Florida State (8-3, 5-3 ACC). It's been a roller-coaster of a year as the Seminoles jumped out to a 4-0 start, lost three consecutive games to ranked teams, and have now won four more games in a row. The team has a chance to continue its winning ways in a Friday night primetime rivalry matchup with the Florida Gators (6-5, 3-5 SEC). It's not just an opportunity to win nine games, this contest also marks a chance for FSU to get some revenge on the program that held head coach Mike Norvell out of the postseason in 2021.

READ MORE: Florida State flips four-star quarterback Brock Glenn from Ohio State

The Gators were unable to rally in the fourth quarter against Vanderbilt last weekend after falling behind 28-12 in the second half. Florida will be missing two of its top receivers and five total scholarship pass-catchers against the Seminoles. Transfer Ricky Pearsall was injured in the loss to the Commodores but head coach Billy Napier expects him to play this week. Pearsall will be the most productive option in the lineup with 24 catches for 448 yards and three touchdowns this season.

Florida is 1-3 away from home in 2022 with an average margin of defeat of 33.8-29.5. With a shorthanded offense and star linebacker Ventrell Miller set to miss the first half due to a targeting penalty last week, the Gators will need dynamic quarterback Anthony Richardson to set the pace. Richardson threw for 400 yards with three touchdowns and a pick against Vanderbilt.

Our staff provides their analysis and predictions as the Seminoles take on the Gators.

Dustin Lewis (@Dussttin)

Rivalry games are always tough to predict, especially when they're taking place on a short week and one of the teams is favored by double digits. Florida State is a massive favorite against the Gators and that number is only continuing to rise with the news that Florida will be without a plethora of wide receivers. It's a dangerous situation to be in but the Seminoles haven't overlooked an opponent all year.

Over the last four weeks, Florida State won by 25+ points in each contest while dominating on both sides of the ball. The 'Noles are also expected to be nearly fully healthy with Mike Norvell noting he expects wide receivers, Johnny Wilson and Mycah Pittman to suit up.

It's evident how important this game is not just simply because it's a rivalry but also due to how this matchup went in 2021. The Seminoles had a chance to earn bowl eligibility in Gainesville but melted down thanks to ill-advised turnovers and crucial penalties.

That changes on Friday night. The focus throughout the year pays off as Florida State enacts a little revenge while sweeping the state for the first time since 2016. The Seminoles keep their hopes for ten wins and an Orange Bowl berth alive.

Season Prediction Record: 9-2

Florida State 38, Florida 20

Logan Robinson (@LogansTwitty)

The Seminoles come into this game fighting to take the state with wins over Miami and Florida. Can they do it?

I'm not at all worried about Florida's defense. Mike Norvell should be able to handle things on the ground if they want to but if need be can go to the air attack with a fully available Johnny Wilson, Mycah Pittman, and others.

This one in my opinion feels like a big night for big names. Jordan Travis, Trey Benson, Jared Verse, Fabien Lovett, Kalen DeLoach, and Jammie Robinson. Could it be some of those players' last night in Doak? We shall see...

Season Prediction Record: 10-1

Florida State 34, Florida 20

Austin Veazey (@NolesVikesVeaz)

Florida is missing too many weapons on offense with at least 5 WRs out, they’re missing one of their top LBs for the first half for a targeting call, on top of the players they’ve dismissed over the last month. 

FSU is going to have to keep Florida’s rushing attack tamed, and if they can do that, they should win handily. 

Season Prediction Record: 8-3

Florida State 38, Florida 20

Charleston Bowles (@Cbowles01)

In the ABC primetime slot, Florida State welcomes Florida first-year head coach Billy Napier to the rivalry by handing the Gators their first loss in the series since 2017. I’m expecting the X-factor to come within the trenches, where FSU flexes its muscles with physicality and defensive disruption for all four quarters. 

The Seminoles finish the regular season on a five-game win streak and keep their chance at 10 wins alive. 

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Season Prediction Record: 9-2

Florida State 35, Florida 23

John Jenkins (@_jmj4_)

Florida State will look to end the regular season with a win over rival Florida. Quarterback Anthony Richardson is a dynamic playmaker and will do everything in his power to leave Tallahassee with a W. Florida State is the better team but as we know with rivalry games it can go either way. 

Coach Mike Norvell has exceeded expectations this year and a win over the Gators would be icing on the cake. I believe the Seminoles will be dialed in and Jordan Travis will continue his impressive play to end the season. The 'Noles lost a close one in Gainesville last year but this year the result will be different.

Season Prediction Record: 10-1

Florida State 35, Florida 25

Maddox Nebel (@MaddoxNebel)

The 'Noles are playing with a lot of confidence and with their arch-rivals coming to town, it will be a showdown that will show where the FSU program is heading.

Season Prediction Record: 9-2

Florida State 33, Florida 20

Jacob Stevens (@Jacob_Stevens26)

FSU has a lot of momentum going into this game. Matching up against a very disadvantaged Florida team, I'm taking the 'Noles.

Season Prediction Record: 8-3

Florida State 48, Florida 10

Dillon Riera (@13d_riera)

Here we are. The end of another college football season is upon us, and with it comes a new edition of an age-old rivalry. The Sunshine Showdown returns to Tallahassee for the first time in 4 years, and there is absolutely no love lost between these two programs. The Gators and the Seminoles are two of the most prestigious college football programs in the nation. Even though both teams have spent the last few years trying to crawl back into national contention, there's always a lot more on the line than just the final score. Neighbors pitted against neighbors; friends pitted against friends; family pitted against family. It's a rivalry that needs no extra juice.

Sure, it doesn't need any extra juice, but it sure does have it. The 6-5 Gators are trying to find their footing in a tumultuous first year under Billy Napier. A win against the Seminoles would serve as a symbol of a promising future. The Seminoles are chasing their first 10-win season since 2016 and hope to finish the season ranked for the first time in just as long. A win against the Gators puts them well down that path. Two storied programs. Two goals for the end of the 2022 season. Two sets of impact players filled with hatred for the other. One collision course.

Florida State is the betting favorite heading into Friday night. The cover has the 'Noles ahead by 10.5 while ESPN's FPI gives them a 76.9%-win probability. If Florida hopes to leave Tallahassee with a victory, they will need to find a way to slow down the Seminole offense, which becomes a daunting task when you take into consideration their 408.5 yards allowed per game. The Seminoles will have to maintain their defensive prowess and continue to find ways to mix up the offensive attack. Personally, I think they're going to do just that.

Quarterback Jordan Travis will take the top off the Gator defense, connecting with Wilson, Pittman, and the deep Florida State receiving corps. The trio of running backs will add some pressure on the ground, pushing the Gators around. On the other side of the ball, Jared Verse and the Seminole defensive line will cause fits for Anthony Richardson and limit his time in the pocket. While I believe Friday night's contest will remain a close one, I think the 'Noles are just too much to handle for the Gators. Florida State moves on to 9-3 and sends UF on a long, disappointing drive back to Gainesville.

Season Prediction Record: 8-1

Florida State 34, Florida 24

CONSENSUS: Florida State (8-0)

READ MORE: Florida State Seminoles release Depth Chart for rivalry game against Florida Gators

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