This is the weekend where the records are thrown out and in-state teams fight for bragging rights.
Florida State has owned the right to trash talk since 2013, winning five-straight in this rivalry match-up. However, for the first time since 2012, the No. 11 Florida Gators will have the better football team trot out onto the field for their best chance of snapping their losing streak to the Noles.
Despite Florida having a phenomenal transitional year, while Willie Taggart’s first year in Tallahassee (Fla.) has been rocky, the Gators aren’t overlooking the ‘Noles.
Florida linebacker David Reese II talked about the Gators being in a similar situation just a year ago.
“They are a very talented team. We were probably in their same position last year and still gave them a good game. So, I know the talent that they have over there. you know they still got the same guys. They just might click, you never know. You can’t take that team lightly.”
Across the board, Florida’s offense and defense is statistically better this season. The game plan and coaching also favors the Gators in the game (something Florida hasn’t been able to say in nine years). Again, that won’t be the difference on Saturday, execution will be and that starts with practice.
Tyrie Cleveland spoke about the upcoming in-state battle.
“You going out there to win the state. This a state game so this game gonna be competitive. Everybody gonna give it their all so we just build up a good practice and come out there and try to get the W.”
Not a single Florida player has defeated Florida State in their time in Gainesville. This is a game that has been circled by many on their calendar since losing in The Swamp last November. R.J. Raymond talked Saturday following the win over Idaho.
“Man, I haven’t beat them yet. If that doesn’t say anything… that’s been circled on my calendar for a long time, since probably November. What was it, the 27th last year when we played them? That’s probably it. That game’s been circled on there since I decided to come back. We’re gonna give it our best shot this week. We’re gonna go out there, we’re gonna practice harder than we’ve ever practiced, and we’re gonna go out there and play hard and see if we can come out with a W.”
Florida’s last victory over the ‘Noles came way back in 2012 at Doak Campbell Stadium on their way to a BCS Sugar Bowl Berth. With a Florida victory Saturday, the Gators will make their first trip to a New Year's Six Bowl. With such large bowl implications on the line, Florida is making sure they do everything right during the week to leave Doak with a win.