Florida vs. Florida State prediction, pick, odds, spread, how to watch live stream, game time, TV channel

By OnlyGators.com Staff
November 25, 2023
Florida vs. Florida State prediction, pick, odds, spread, how to watch live stream, game time, TV channel

Image Credit: Michael Nash

It all comes down to this. Literally. The Florida Gators have nothing else to play for this season except what they face on the field on Senior Night as the No. 5 Florida State Seminoles visit Ben Hill Griffin Stadium looking to continue their undefeated season, which has recently been met with some adversity.

Florida and FSU both lost their starting quarterbacks last week with redshirt junior Graham Mertz (collarbone) and Seminoles star Jordan Travis (leg) going down with season-ending injuries. While FSU enters with the more experienced backup, Florida clearly has homefield advantage on its side under the bright lights of The Swamp on Saturday night.

This game is everything for the Gators, which have one last shot at bowl eligibility in Year 2 under head coach Billy Napier. If they are successful, the cherry on top will be ending the rival ‘Noles shot at a national championship as a win for UF would remove FSU from College Football Playoff contention. Florida State, of course, wants to not only remain undefeated but sweep its Sunshine State series and maintain momentum in recruiting, which is always a hotly contested battle between these programs.

The Gators will be facing a fourth ranked opponent in their last five games, three of which have been top-10 teams. It’s by far the toughest closing schedule in the nation this season, but Florida saw at least two chances at victory slip away when it fell 39-36 to Arkansas at home and 33-31 to Missouri last week on the road.

What will go down Saturday night? Let’s find out.

Take a look at the updated Gators depth chart, which includes some notable changes on both sides of the ball, along with Napier’s thoughts on quarterback changes and the impact of The Swamp.

Tale of the tape

Florida GatorsNo. 5 FSU Seminoles
Head coachBilly NapierMike Norvell

Injuries and absences

Active (1): DB Devin Moore (concussion)
Questionable (3): OL Austin Barber (upper body), WR Andy Jean (lower body), TE Tony Livingston (upper body)
Out (4): WR Caleb Douglas (leg), TE Keon Zipperer (knee), OL Caden Jones (foot), TE Jonathan Odom (upper body)
Out for season (5): QB Graham Mertz (collarbone), LB Shemar James (knee), LB Jack Pyburn (knee), DL Justus Boone (knee), RB Cam Carroll (knee)

Viewing information

Date: Saturday, Nov. 24 | Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium — Gainesville, Florida [88,548]

TV: ESPN (Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Holly Rowe)
Live stream: ESPN+ | SiriusXM: 119/191 | Radio: WRUF, TuneIn
Live updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

Game notes

» Florida is 37-27-2 all-time against Florida State with a 22-12-1 edge in The Swamp.
» The Gators have won three of the last four meetings overall with two straight wins in Gainesville. They are 4-1 this season and 9-3 at home overall under Napier.
» The last time an unranked UF team defeated a a ranked FSU team was 2004. Florida is 0-4 in such meetings since, though three of those games were in Tallahassee.
» The Gators started the season with 35 new scholarship players on the roster, tied for 12th most in the FBS. They also had just 115 combined starts returning, second-fewest in the nation, and only 69 returning players, ninth-fewest in the nation.
» Florida ranks 19th nationally in red-zone conversion rate (.911) scoring on 39 of 41 such trips over the last 10 games.
» The Gators under Napier are 10-1 when leading after the third quarter and 9-4 when rushing for at least 150 yards (losing consecutive games). They are 4-1 this season when scoring first, 5-0 when leading at halftime and 4-1 when outrushing their opponent (losing last week). However, UF is 3-9 under Napier when opponents score first, 1-6 when scoring less than 21 points, 4-13 when allowing 21+ points, 1-12 when tied or trailing after the third quarter (0-5 this season) and 2-9 when being outrushed.
» Florida is 2-9 against AP Top 25 teams under Napier, 1-4 this season. That drought extends to 8-17 against ranked opponents (2-6 vs. top five teams, 5-10 vs. top 10 teams) since 2018. In that same span, UF is 37-12 against unranked opponents.
» The Gators have scored in 447 consecutive games, an NCAA record.

Prediction and analysis

Spread: Florida +7 | O/U: 50.5

Prior to the Missouri game, there was no doubt that Florida would be the pick this week — not only against the spread but straight up — with an immensely high confidence level. Mertz and Travis dueling in The Swamp would have been quite a sight, and the way Mertz has led the Gators offense over recent weeks left us bullish that Florida could muster enough defensively to upset FSU just as it did a more talented Utah team last season.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Max Brown brings an entirely different element to the offense, but the Gators lost that element of surprise as he had to see significant snaps last week against the Tigers. FSU now knows exactly what to expect from him. Meanwhile, ‘Noles replacement Tate Rodemaker is far more experienced in both years and in-game snaps (nearly eight time as many passes thrown), though he has never faced a pressure situation like he will Saturday night.

That makes for an immensely difficult handicap. FSU has not truly been tested this season, while Florida has fought through a gauntlet despite being largely unsuccessful. The Gators have also been maddeningly inconsistent against the spread as their game-to-game performances have been unpredictable. Where Florida has been beaten most consistently is by playmaking quarterbacks, and Rodemaker does not look like one of those. The Gators getting a full touchdown at home is the play, as is the under as there should be plenty of emphasis on the run game both ways.

2023 records: ATS picks 3-8 | O/U picks 7-4 | Underdog SU picks 1-0

Odds and ends

» Uniforms: Florida will wear blue jerseys, blue pants and orange helmets. (Fun fact: UF will not wear orange jerseys or pants at all this season.)

Senior Night

The following 12 Gators scholarship players will walk on Senior Night: C Kingsley Eguakun, CB Jaydon Hill, OL Lyndell Hudson II, DL Jaelin Humphries, CB Jalen Kimber, OL Micah Mazzccua, LB Teradja Mitchell, TE Jonathan Odom, WR Ricky Pearsall, DB Ja’Markis Weston, TE Dante Zanders and TE Keon Zipperer.

Eguakun, Hill, Humphries, Kimber, Mazzccua, Odom and Weston all have eligibility remaining, and Zipperer is eligible for a redshirt after missing the entire season. Generally, when a player walks on Senior Night, they either leave for the NFL, graduate and/or depart the program. It will be interesting to see how much attrition comes to the roster after the game.

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