Florida State Seminoles at No. 1 Florida Gators
- Updated: November 23, 2009
NCAA Football Betting Preview
Florida State Seminoles (6-5) at No. 1 Florida Gators (11-0)
Saturday November 28th, 3:30PM Eastern
Betus.com betting line – Florida -23
The biggest question entering this week’s annual rivalry showdown between the Florida State Seminoles and Florida Gators is not will the Seminoles have a chance to ruin the Gators chance at defending their National Title, but rather will this be Bobby Bowden’s last game coaching football? Bowden has been under heavy scrutiny all season after a disappointing 2-3 start and yet another average 6-5 season. Many think this will be Bowden’s last season as a coach after 34 years at Florida State even though there is no official announcement.
Meanwhile, the Seminoles will be trying to capture the biggest of all upsets this Saturday by taking down the top ranked team in the country. The Florida Gators are well on their way to having a chance at winning yet another National Championship as they anticipate a huge collide with no. 2 Alabama which sits on the horizon just two weeks away. However, the Gators can not get caught looking ahead and they will try to cap off a perfect regular season this Saturday.
The Gators are sure to present a ton of problems to the Florida State offense this weekend as they sport the nation’s number 2 defense that has held opponents to just 229 yards per game. The Gators elite defensive line will get plenty of pressure to Florida State quarterback E.J Manuel. The Seminoles lost their senior quarterback Christian Ponder to a shoulder injury and Manuel has been the guy to step in to pick up the slack. However,
Manuel has thrown 4 picks to just 1 interception in two games and has not proved that he can move the ball down the field. Of course those struggles will be put under the microscope when they take on the Florida defense, and if Manuel gives up another 3 picks like he did last week to Maryland then things could get ugly quickly. To help Manuel, Florida State receivers Bert Reed and Rod Owens will have to get open quickly. Both guys can make plays, but Manuel will have to get rid of the ball quickly so they will have to get open quickly if there is to be any success in the passing game.
Of course the Gators offense needs little introduction as they are led by senior quarterback Tim Tebow who now owns the SEC’s all time touchdown mark. Tebow has completed 14 touchdowns with just 4 picks for just less than 2,000 yards this season through the air. However, the Gators rushing game is the real cream of the crop. Tebow leads some of the best running backs in the nation with 706 yards on the ground. Running backs Jeffery Demps, Chris Rainey, and Emmanuel Moody are all averaging over 6.5 yards per carry to lead the Gators offense. Demps tends to get the biggest workload as the starter and he may be the most dangerous of the bunch.
It just goes to show the type of depth Florida has as all of these tailbacks could be starts for any team in the conference, but rather they give Florida a carousal of dangerous threats in the running game. WR Riley Cooper is the big play guy in the passing game. Cooper has a knack in getting behind defensive backs and there will be big plays to be made against the Florida State secondary. The question will be if Tebow and Cooper can hook up and how often? For most teams, this could be an upset situation for the Gators. However, their defense and running game is just too good to cause any worry here.
Pick – With Manuel now at quarterback, Florida’s defense will force a few turnovers turning this into a blowout.
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