Big rival, but just another game

The Florida Gators are used to playing tough competition. They have played and beaten more teams in the BCS top twelve than any other in the country. So, when they are on the road this Saturday against Florida State, don't expect them to treat this game any different than all the rest. Senior Omar Hunter says there is no pressure, they just want to compete again.

Omar Hunter has been through a lot in his time at Florida. His first year on campus was met with a national championship ring, the following year a 13-1 season and then a couple of forgetful seasons. Now, in the midst of one of the better seasons record-wise the Gators have ever had, this Florida team is about to take on yet another big game.

The Gators have already played four teams in the top dozen of the BCS poll and won three of those games. Both are bests among any team in the country. Now their sites are set on one more team resting at number ten. The fourth ranked Gators and Hunter know it will be a tough game and is looking forward to it.

"It's a big game and a rivalry," he said Monday about the matchup with the Seminoles. "Any time you play a rival it will be fun and a hard fought game. The team that makes the fewest mistakes will win the game."

Florida's head coach Will Muschamp and Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher are big friends inside the college football world. Having said that, Hunter doesn't believe that Muschamp will allow this game to add any more pressure to himself and his team will be ready to play.

"I don't think there is any pressure," he said regarding his head coach. "We treat every game the same. I wouldn't know about the pressure he has on him... I wouldn't think so. I just think we are going to go out and compete for Coach Muschamp and play our hardest for him and get the win."

The defense played well a year ago giving the Florida State offense just 14 points and half decade low 95 yards total. Hunter says it was all about making a dent in the backfield.

"That was one game we forced a few turnovers," he said. "We got to the quarterback and affected him a little bit. Hopefully we get that pressure again this year."

FSU quarterback E.J. Manuel has almost 2800 yards passing to go along with 21 touchdowns and just six interceptions on the year. He is ranked seventh in the nation in pass efficiency and looks to be a little more difficult to rattle this time around.

"He's good and a mature quarterback," Hunter said. "Every year I think he's been getting better and better.

"They have a lot of guys that can run the ball, he can throw the ball pretty well. He being a mobile quarterback he can run a little bit. That is a challenge, but we will be ready."

Like last year, Hunter believes the game will be tight. He believes it will come down to the team that plays the best defense on the day.

"I think it's going to be a defensive game and the team that creates the most turnovers will probably win the game," Hunter said.

At stake for the Gators is something that some may even now seem to believe inconceivable. Florida is fourth in the BCS poll, the poll that determines which two teams play for a national title. The second (Alabama) and third (Georgia) ranked team in the poll have games still and also play each other, so one of them will have a loss before the final polls comes out.

The top ranked team is Notre Dame and if they happen to stumble Saturday against USC and the Gators win, this Florida unit could conceivably play for it all against the SEC Championship winner.

Hunter says it is far from anything he is thinking at this time.

"I don't even worry about those things," he said.

"I didn't even know we were number four. I thought we were number 21 or something. Somebody just told me we were number four. It would be great playing for a national championship again, but we will just play Florida State this week. "I haven't heard teammates talking about BCS, everything has been Florida State this week."


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