Preview: Florida State at Florida

When: 7:30 PM ET, Saturday, November 28, 2015
Where: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, Florida


Florida has put itself in position to make a case for a spot in the College Football Playoff despite some unimpressive performances over the last three weeks. The ninth-ranked Gators will try to find their best form on both sides of the ball over the next two weeks, starting with a visit from No. 14 Florida State on Saturday night.

“We’ve had some lulls, but it’s your rivalry game with a lot on the line,” Gators tight end Jake McGee told reporters. “... There should be a lot of fired-up guys in the locker room.” Coach Jim McElwain’s team dropped four spots to No. 12 in the latest CFP rankings after edging Florida Atlantic 20-14 in overtime last week, but Florida could face No. 2 Alabama in the SEC title game. Florida must re-ignite its offense, which has produced 53 points and turned the ball over eight times the last three games, while finding a way to contain Florida State’s Dalvin Cook. The sophomore tailback has recorded a school-record 1,475 yards and scored 17 times – 16 on the ground – this season. 

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Florida State -2.5

ABOUT FLORIDA STATE (9-2): Sean Maguire has connected on 65 percent of his passes and thrown for seven scores the last four games, completing 12-of-17 attempts for 152 yards in last week’s victory over Chattanooga. Coach Jimbo Fisher told reporters Maguire has shown he is ready for the challenge, especially with his performance against No. 1 Clemson Oct. 7 when, “That whole day was not too big for him.” Travis Rudolph (51 catches, 693 yards), Kermit Whitfield (51, 690) and Jesus Wilson (45, 516) give Maguire three dangerous targets.

ABOUT FLORIDA (10-1): The Gators' defense likely will have to go without ends Alex McCalister (ankle) and Jordan Sherit (hamstring) along with talented tackle Jonathan Bullard (knee) among others, but they have plenty of depth. The key will be finding answers on offense after managing just 252 yards last week against a two-win Owls team. Quarterback Treon Harris, who has completed only 54.6 percent of his passes, must raise his game while tailback Kelvin Taylor (841 yards, 13 TDs) has to be a major factor the next two weeks.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Florida has limited opponents to 14 or fewer points eight times and is tied for third in the nation at 14.5 per game against. 

2. Cook has 2,483 rushing yards in less than two seasons and needs 57 to pass Greg Jones and Sammie Smith for fifth on the school’s all-time list
 
3. Florida State has won four of the last five meetings, but the Gators lead the series 34-23-2 overall.

PREDICTION: Florida 21, Florida State 17

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Florida State 9-2 W2 32.8 17.0 7-0 2-2 7-2 0-0 6-2
Florida 10-1 W4 27.4 14.5 6-0 4-1 9-1 0-0 7-1

Last Meeting

Florida State Florida
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/29/14 FLA 19 FSU 24 306 181 125 282 113 169

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
FSU J. Winston 50.0 125 2 4
FLA T. Harris 40.6 169 1 2
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
FSU D. Cook 24 144 6.0 0
FLA T. Harris 9 41 4.6 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
FSU N. O'Leary 4 52 13.0 2
FLA D. Robinson 4 71 17.8 0
TDs Player TD
FSU N. O'Leary 2
FLA C. Burton 1
Season
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
FSU E. Golson 67.1 1778 11 3
FLA T. Harris 54.6 1231 8 4
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
FSU D. Cook 185 1475 8.0 16
FLA K. Taylor 217 841 3.9 13
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
FSU T. Rudolph 51 693 13.6 6
FLA A. Callaway 27 541 20.0 4
TDs Player TD
FSU D. Cook 17
FLA K. Taylor 13

Quickchart Matchup

Florida State Off vs  Florida Def
435.9 yards
281.7 yards
5.4 yards/rush
3.2 yards/rush
8.1 yards/attempt
5.6 yards/attempt
Florida Off vs  Florida State Def
361.3 yards
333.6 yards
3.6 yards/rush
3.9 yards/rush
7.7 yards/attempt
5.9 yards/attempt

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Florida State Overall Florida
9-2-0 W/L 10-1-0
7-4-0 ATS 7-4-0
4-7-0 O/U 4-7-0
32.8 Pts For 27.4
17.0 Pts Against 14.5
Florida State A/H Florida
2-2 W/L 6-0
2-2-0 ATS 3-3-0
0-4-0 O/U 3-3-0
16.8 Pts For 31.2
15.2 Pts Against 15.8
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