Week 14 - Florida State at Florida

Posted Nov 27, 2013

Week 14 Fearless Prediction & Preview - Florida State at Florida

Florida State (11-0) at Florida (4-7) Nov. 30, 12:00, ESPN

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Rivalry games can be a little frightening, especially on the road when the host has absolutely nothing to lose.

Florida is at rock bottom, lost six straight games, with the most recent one coming in the Swamp against Georgia Southern of the FBS. The Gators are assured of their first losing season since 1979, so naturally Will Muschamp's future in Gainesville has become a topic of great interest. And here comes the No. 2 team in the country, a juggernaut that'll take no pity on one of its hated rivals.

Florida State is two wins away from a spot in the national championship game. Just beat the floundering Gators and whoever emerges from a weak Coastal Division and then start packing bags for Pasadena. It's that simple. However, head coach Jimbo Fisher knows his kids can't take their eye off the ball for a second, because that's when disaster can strike in a hostile environment.

Why Florida State Might Win: There isn't an area of the field where Florida will be better than Florida State on Saturday. That's a huge gap for a team to overcome. The ‘Noles are winning by an average score of 55-11, cranking out points with ease behind the passing of Jameis Winston and the running of a deep backfield that's headed by Devonta Freeman. Even if FSU doesn't unleash the fireworks, who will produce points for Florida against a defense that leads the nation in picks and pass efficiency D? It sure won't be QB Skyler Mornhinweg, the former third-stringer, who's not ready for this assignment.

Why Florida Might Win: The Gators have nothing for which to play … except ruining the season of a longtime rival it despises. Florida—and its fans—will lay it all on the line, knowing that the next game won't occur for another nine months. While nothing has gone well in Gainesville, the Gators do have talent on the defensive side of the ball. Vernon Hargreaves and Loucheiz Purifoy have star potential out of the secondary, and Dante Fowler and Ronald Powell will get after Winston. Yeah, injuries have forced Muschamp to dig deep on his roster, but there are still some gems who'll be suiting up on Saturday.

Who To Watch Out For: The Florida State secondary has been brilliant this season, allowing just 11 touchdown passes, despite playing in so many lopsided games. CB Lamarcus Joyner is the leading man, but true freshman Jalen Ramsey is a future star at free safety.

- The Gators would love to see a return from QB Tyler Murphy this week, but a shoulder injury suffered earlier in the month is likely to keep him out again. Putting Murphy on the field at less than 100% against the Seminoles would be bad for the player and the program.

- It's going to be another week—at least—before any clarity comes out of Tallahassee on the criminal charges against Winston. In the meantime, he can expect to endure the venom and vitriol of a Gator crowd frustrated by the direction of its own program.

What Will Happen: Could it get any worse for Florida? Possibly. The only thing tougher than getting embarrassed by a rival is getting embarrassed by a rival in your own building. The Gators are ill-equipped to hang with this Florida State team for more than a quarter. The Seminoles will jump all over Florida, only letting up in the second half because there's still an ACC title game left to be played.

Prediction: Florida State 47 … Florida 10
Line: Florida State -27.5 – O/U: 44
Must See Rating: (American Hustle – 1 The Sound of Music Live!) … 3.5
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