Florida State Seminoles vs. Florida Gators
Date and Time: Saturday, November 25, 2017, 12 p.m. ET
Location: Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, FL
Opening College Football Odds: Florida State -4.5
Florida State vs. Florida TV Coverage: ESPN
The Seminoles and the Gators are both 4-6 teams this year, but only FSU still has a chance to play in a bowl game. The Seminoles rescheduled their game against Louisiana-Monroe that was canceled due to Hurricane Irma for December 2. The Gators never rescheduled their game against Northern Colorado.
Of course, FSU did that for good reason. Not only is it good for the university to get the extra gate, but that 12th game could be the difference between going to a bowl game and watching the nation's longest streak of consecutive years in a bowl coming to a close.
Both of these teams are obviously having huge problems at the quarterback position.
Randy Shannon elected to make the move that his predecessor, Jim McElwain never did by starting Malik Zaire under center. After a couple failures, the ball came back to freshman Feleipe Franks, who did play well last week against UAB in a 36-7 romp. It was easily the best performance of the season for UF, and Shannon was rightly celebrated for a win against a team that is going to be in a bowl game.
The Seminoles have had issues ever since Deondre Francois went down for the season in the opening game against Alabama. True freshman James Blackman has been under center ever since, but it's hard to say that he's been even modest successful. The frosh has thrown for just 1,672 yards and 12 touchdowns, and he hasn't been able to use his mobility for anything positive on the ground.
History will tell you that this game will be decided by the team that can run the football better. We know that the Gators aren't going to be asking Franks to put the ball in the air 35 or 40 times if they want to win, but this is so much more of an important factor for Florida State due to the fact that it has the best tailback on the field in Cam Akers.
Akers' freshman year hasn't always gone swimmingly, but he does lead the team with 780 rushing yards and four touchdowns on just 148 carries.
If Akers can get loose as he did against Syracuse, he could be in for a huge day.
Florida State vs. Florida Free Picks
Florida State has dominated this series over the years, losing to the Gators just once since Tim Tebow left Gainesville. The Seminoles haven't looked up to par, and they are the only team in America this year not to beat the odds set by the college football sportsbooks in a single game against an FBS foe this season, but they still have an elite defense and really seem to be playing hard in spite of some suspect results.
The Gators have looked like they've given up far too many times this season. They were only 10.5-point favorites against UAB at the open last week, and bettors never seemed all that confident in them. That's telling.
Blackman isn't getting any better, and he isn't the future of Florida State football, but we think he's going to do enough to win this game for the visitors to officially start the UF rebuild.
College Football ATS Pick: Florida State -4.5 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Florida State 27, Florida 9