Phil Steele predicts
Amazingly the last 5 years this once close rivalry has now been decided by 33, 30, 21, 24 and 14 points. From 2007-‘09 the Gators went 3-0, winning by an avg of 42-14 and were +260 ypg. The last 2 years UF lost on the road 31-7 but were only outgained 333-276 and last year UF actually had 184-95 yard and 11-7 FD edges but lost 21-7. Head coaches Fisher and Muschamp purchased a house together when both were assistants but expect no love lost here as both of these teams, especially the Gators, are back in the National Title chase after last week’s shake-up. This will be the 1st time since ‘00 that both come into this game ranked in the Top 10. UF QB Driskel is expected to return this week (missed last week) although his playing time is unclear, but Brissett does have some experience dating back to last year (1st start came in Death Valley). On the other side FSU QB Manuel is avg 253 ypg (69%) with a 21-6 ratio and last week the Noles clinched the ACC Atlantic with a 41-14 win over MD as their #1 total D allowed just 27 yards and 3 FD’s in the 1H. Both teams feature top-notch D’s and ST’s but the real mismatch is on offense where FSU is avg 43 ppg this year, while UF is avg just 18 ppg the last 4 games and that came against the likes of Mizzou, Louisiana and an FCS team last week. Keep in mind, FSU is just one bad half away (NCSt) from being the #1 team right now and I think they make an emphatic statement here against one of the SEC’s best.
PHIL’S FORECAST: FLORIDA ST 27 FLORIDA 13