Rivalry Week UF vs. FSU Roundtable Part I

One of the biggest games of the college football season will be on display this weekend when the Florida State Seminoles hosts the Florida Gators. In this installment we discuss what Florida State must to do get a victory this weekend and question which would you rather have an ACC Championship or beat the Gators. Read for more of Part 1

What does FSU need to do to upset UF?

Mack- Florida State must play another complete game like they did against Maryland last weekend. The Seminoles need to play their BEST game of the season against the Gators on Special Teams. Florida does a great job of winning the field position battle against opponents. On offense, FSU can't hold anything back. UF will be a little soft up the middle so you definitely want to attack there early and often. You also want to create mismatches and find a safety or linebacker covering a slot receiver. FSU also has a size advantage on the outside with Greg Carr & Corey Surrency. You want to establish a running game. On defense, the Noles' must ATTACK, ATTACK, and ATTACK. The defenses that have been the most successful against Florida (Auburn, Michigan, Miami) have had this same mindset. Many have stated that they aren't impressed by UF's offensive line. A lot of Florida's routes are timing and FSU must bump the Gator receivers to get them out of their comfort zone. FSU must tackle well also. And when a Seminole defender hits a Gator make sure that he feels it the next play.

Fish- Pray…A lot between now and the game. All kidding aside FSU needs to control the ball with their offense. FSU offense will be its best defense. If FSU can control the ball with their running game then that means less touches for Tebow and Harvin to make it happen when they have the football. RUN, RUN, RUN….AND RUN SOME MORE. If FSU has success running the football then they have a shot to pull the upset.

Nate- Play smart, aggressive and error-free football. Last year FSU came out with a decent game plan. They matched Florida drive for drive early, but they were only able to get field goals, whereas Florida got 3 touchdowns. The FSU team this year has shown that they can punch the ball in the end zone. That MUST continue. On defense they have to control the gaps, tackle well and keep the Gators speedy players in front of them.

Richie- Heading into the weekend, Florida State finds themselves as 14 point underdogs to the Gators. If the 'Noels want to find a way to pull the upset, they will have to find a way to score points, and a lot of them. Florida's offense has been nearly unstoppable ever since they lost to Ole Miss in September and there's no reason to think FSU can completely shut them down. Last year, Florida State played Florida even for a little over a half, but found themselves trading field goals for touchdowns which put them into too much of a hole to climb out of. If Florida State can keep pace with UF's offense for most of the game, I like their chances down the stretch to come up with a long drive to seal the game at the end.

Another key factor to winning this weekend will be to win the turnover battle. If FSU starts turning the ball over, the score will look very similar to last year's contest. Any turnover against Florida is just like a two possession swing as they will most likely score off of it. Moving the ball effectively on offense and finding the endzone, along with winning the turnover battle will likely result in a win for the home team. That of course, is much easier said than done against the no. 4 team in the nation.

Steve51- FSU needs to take the game to Florida from the start. We can not afford to come out Flat. After how bad we played last year and got our Butts handed to us, if we come out flat, it will get very ugly, very quick. I'm not sure Urban would call the dogs off either. How demoralizing would that be?

Like I said we have to just take it to them. Show Tebow, Harvin and company that they are in for a FIGHT. Show them that we aren't afraid, that we are not going to just roll over and die like their last 4-5 opponents. Normally I'm against "personal" battles during football games. I think we need to get into skirmishes, see how well UF responds. Kind of like Rocky in Rocky IV against the Russian. Rocky was easily and obviously a huge underdog. Lets face it UF is better than us right now. We have to show them we are willing to fight for every inch, we will take their best blow and get up and hit them right back. Since Ole Miss that hasn't happened to UF.

Jason- I am feeling surprisingly positive about this game. As far as I see it, UF is going to have a hard time stopping the FSU offense, so it really comes down to how well the defense is able to slow down Tebow and the Florida offense. I've been harping on gap control all year, and the 'Noles still aren't particularly good at it. But if the defense is able to maintain disciplined gap control instead of running around blocks, the fact that this defense does a very good job tackling in space might just be enough. I'm starting to feel a little better about the cornerback situation as well; we match up a lot better outside than we did last year. Otherwise, it comes down to turnovers and who will have the short field -- it is critical to avoid giving the UF offense a short field (either through turnovers or special teams). So if FSU is able to break even in the turnover battle, win the field position battle via special teams, and maintain disciplined gap control, this game will be very close down the stretch.

If you had to choose one what would you rather have an ACC Championship or a victory against UF?

Mack- An ACC Championship would look great and a nice accomplishment but a victory against UF would do so much more for the program. The entire nation is expecting FSU to lose this game so a victory would get everyone's attention. Also, it would end this current losing streak the Noles' have against the Gators. A Florida State victory over Florida would also have the Noles' playing in a better bowl game. A victory would do a lot for the perception of the program and that it is moving in the right direction. Not to mention the huge impact that it could have on recruiting. The winner of this game on Saturday can claim that they are the BEST TEAM in FLORIDA. Lastly, it would end the Gators chances of playing for a National title and most likely end Tim Tebow's chances of another Heisman Trophy.

Fish- Anyone that says winning the ACC title this year is more important then beating the gators is lying. I would be willing to bet every Seminole fan would take a win this year and ruining the Gators shot at a NC over an ACC Title. Why, because a win would show the program is definitely going in the right direction and it would be a major boost to recruiting.

Nate- This is a tough one for me because I grew up in Florida, so beating the hated Gators is a necessity every season. But with a conference title comes a BCS berth, and the attention that comes with it making into an elite bowl game. If I had to choose, I'd pick the ACC Championship because in the long run that means more. It shows recruits that you have a winning program and it brings excellent media coverage to the program.

Richie- In the long run, I honestly believe a win over UF this season would do much more than for the program than winning the ACC would. If Florida State wins the ACC, they will likely play Cincinnati in the Orange Bowl in a game that draws little to no national attention.

A win over UF would give Florida State their ninth win of the season, vault them up the rankings boosting their confidence which would likely lead to a bowl win giving Florida State 10 wins on the season. A 10 win season with a state championship would be far better than anyone could have ever predicted the 'Noles to do this season. Not to mention, this would be the first and only time the seniors of FSU beat the University of Florida. Keeping your archrival out of the national championship game would be a great way for them to play their last game at Doak Campbell Stadium.

Steve51- Normally I would say an ACC championship. This year with how UF beat us last year, and the fact that the have won 4 in a row, I have to say a victory against UF. An ACC championship will not be as SWEET as a victory over UF this year. Knocking them out of the National Championship race, beating the #3 team in the country on National TV. What better statement could there be on this season? FSU is BACK. That would be the statement. An ACC championship, a Bowl win, none of those would be able to say that!

Jason- Beat UF. Next question.

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