Jacobs confident against offensive juggernaut

The offensive statistics show the dominance of the Florida State offense this season. Despite the Seminoles being second in the country with 55.2 points per game, Florida defensive tackle Damien Jacobs, a former Florida State commitment in high school, thinks the Gators have a better chance than most. Florida has plenty of motivation heading into the rivalry weekend.

"There's a lot of motivation simply because they're Florida State," Damien Jacobs said. "I think I seen we have like a five percent chance to win but it's going to be a real emotional game. I know we're going to play hard."

This game means a little more to Jacobs. While a high school senior in Louisiana, he committed to Florida State and fell in love with the school. After he didn't qualify out of high school, the Florida State coaching staff sent him to East Mississippi Community College.

Two years later, Jacobs committed to Florida instead of eventually making it to Tallahassee.

This season would make it easy for Jacobs to regret the decision he made. The Gators are floundering into their final game of the season with a 4-7 record while the Seminoles stand at 11-0 with a berth in the national title game expected with wins over Florida and in the ACC Championship game.

"I wouldn't change it," Jacobs said. "I'd rather be in this situation with these boys. I'd rather with associated with real people. It's just a better situation here for me than what it was down there, so I felt like here was better."

Led by Heisman Trophy candidate Jameis Winston, Florida State comes to Gainesville with an explosive offense that hasn't been slowed by many opponents. The success on the ground and through the air makes it look like a difficult matchup on paper, but Jacobs said it's a product of the competition Florida State faces in the ACC and that "they don't face the physicality every weekend."

It still creates a difficult challenge on Saturday in The Swamp.

"Fifty five points is a lot," Jacobs said of the Seminoles average. "I honestly think they haven't seen our type of defense all year in their league. We'll be able to cut that down."

Winston has been the difference in a Florida State offense that is greatly improved over how it looked last season. On film, Florida players are seeing why.

"He's impressive, a real good quarterback," Jacobs said. "Probably one of the best in a while completion-wise. Ain't too many times you see the ball hit the ground on film. We're going to have to try to make that happen.

"He's real cool, so we have to try to get his feet hot so he can make some bad throws. We've got to bring him down first of all because he can throw the ball when you're holding onto him."

After Florida pulled off a win in Tallahassee last year, the programs have taken two different turns. Florida State went on to win the Orange Bowl while Florida was embarrassed by Louisville in the Sugar Bowl. The 2013 regular season has shown more separation between the two programs.

While Florida heads into its first season without a bowl game on a non-sanctioned season since 1979 and the Seminoles looked destined for a berth in the national title game, Jacobs doesn't think there is much difference between the two programs right now.

"I definitely believe in coach Muschamp," he said. "I support him because I've seen and just believe in his word and what he can do, and that's been since day one in recruiting. I think this program is a lot closer than a lot of people think. They're going to be slept on all year, talked about bad, but they're going to be fine."


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