Things that have to go right for the Gators vs. the Seminoles

When Florida and Florida State are close in terms of talent and ranking, the games tend to be as competitive and close as ever. With that in mind, the slightest miscue can notch one up in the loss column. Here are several things that need to go right on Saturday for Florida to win.

 Take what the defense gives…

I believe playing a talent match team like Florida State causes the offensive staff to try and scheme more against what the defense shows them. What I mean is if they show seven or more in the box, the staff would like to pass the ball, six or less and they would like to run. They didn’t do that against FAU where they tried to exert their will on the Owls and it just didn’t work.

Florida just isn’t good enough on the offensive line to exert its will on someone, especially with someone that recruits on a regular basis as well as the Gators. This leads us to the second thing that has to go right.


Run the ball…

When they show the six man box, Florida needs to have success in running it. Florida hasn’t run it well most of the season, but they have shown flashes and against decent running teams. Florida State is ranked #39 in rush defense nationally and giving up 143.1 rushing yards / game.

This will require all three backs for Florida to have good games. Kelvin Taylor has been the workhorse, but both Jordan Cronkrite and Jordan Scarlett need to add some positive contributions to the game in the running game.


Catch the big passes…

We have come to understand that quarterback Treon Harris isn’t going to be a high percentage passer. He throws more deep balls and his style means he will have to throw the ball away more than others. But, he is a good deep ball passer and there have been several times in recent weeks when his receivers were delivered the ball beautifully and deep and they let him down by dropping it.

Junior Demarcus Robinson, sophomore Brandon Powell, and freshman Antonio Callaway need to have all of their focus on the ball when it is in the air and come down with it when it heads their way. Harris isn’t quite as efficient now as Will Grier was nor as efficient as Seminole quarterback Sean Maguire, but he isn’t far off and that is because he has the ability to make the big play.


Play gaps up front…

The key to stopping the Seminole offense is stopping running back Dalvin Cook.  He has 1,415 yards and 16 touchdowns so far this season. Unlike LSU’s Leonard Fournette who continually bangs on opponents, Cook gets his carries but is just waiting to bust off the big one.

The defensive line and linebackers have got to maintain gap integrity, everyone do their part, and not let him get one on one with someone at the second level of the defense. Not many have been able to do that on a consistent basis this year, but they also haven’t played many defenses this talented.


Force Turnovers…

Florida State has just five lost fumbles and five interceptions on the season, less than one turnover a game. Those are pretty good numbers. However, the Gators have 14 interceptions and 10 fumble recoveries, over two takeaways per game. Something has to give.

With Alex McCalister likely out with an injury, Florida will be without its best pass rusher and less ability to force a bad pass. But without a doubt this will be the most talented secondary the Noles have faced. The Gators need to hold on to the ball when it is thrown at them.


Make field goals…

We might be at the point where Jim McElwain may bypass field goal attempts. I think it will matter what the distance is on 4th down. Regardless, and whoever the field goal kicker is, they need to make their shots. This game is likely going to be very close and the Gators are going to need every point.


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