This is my third article in this series that I am trying to build. I take games that are interesting or that could possibly happen and compare the game on paper through the numbers. That is for the folks reading trying to catch up.
Now, last year was an embarrassment for the Florida State Seminoles and Bobby Bowden. The score was 45-12 in Gainesville.
Two years ago, the Seminoles almost tripped up the eventual national champions in a 21-14 loss in Tallahassee.
This year is different. Both teams have an agenda. Florida is seeking to climb the rankings and go back to the BCS National Championship and claim the national title for the SEC's 3rd straight BCS title.
Florida State is trying to reclaim their spot in national and conference prominence.
This year marks the 50-year anniversary of the two teams first meeting in 1958. The teams have met 50 times previously and this will be meeting 51 because of a rematch in the National Championship in the '96-'97 season.
Now, here is the numbers and comparison of this game on paper.
Florida's rushing offense is sick! They can hand the ball to four or five different guys and not worry about production going down at all. They are 11th in rush offense in the nation. Just a note: Florida has over 300 total rushing yards in the two previous games per game.
FSU is 28th in rush offense and hold a solid rushing game, but do not have near the weapons that Florida has.
Florida's passing offense is pretty good. They just do not get many attempts to pass the ball because of a short field and a killer rushing game. They are 56th in the nation.
Florida State is towards the bottom in passing ranks with a rank of 85th in passing offense, but don't be fooled because they are coming on strong at the end of the season.
Florida is lights out on the scoreboard, putting up no less than 38 points since losing to Ole Miss and are ranked third nationally in scoring.
Florida State is not too shabby in scoring, having a solid 22nd rank and putting a beat down on Maryland, in Maryland, by 34 points.
The Gators have a total offense ranking of 18th in the NCAA FBS.
The Seminoles are 45th in total offense.
Edge: The edge clearly goes to Florida because they are ahead in every category by leaps and bounds. Florida's offense is nuts. If FSU stands a chance, it lies with their defense.
Florida is 13th in rush defense. They have a tough front four, but they will be missing two players on the defensive line this week that are out with injury. This could be key for the FSU rush offense.
Florida State's rush defense is 21st which is not bad at all. They face a tough group of running backs this week in Demps, Rainey, Moody, Moore, Harvin, and Tebow as a rushing QB.
Florida's pass defense is pretty solid at 20th. That is not bad for an SEC team.
Florida State however has the fourth best pass defense in the nation. This might prove troublesome for the Gators especially after going nuts in the air against the Citadel.
Florida has the scoring defense that is ranked third in the nation. They take advantage of all their opportunities and let no one get away with mistakes as well. Florida doesn't let many people score and this stat shows that.
Florida State is ranked 19th in scoring defense and may need some defensive scores to keep this game even close to being a win. Not a bad rank but it could go down against the Gators.
Florida is ninth in total defense while FSU is seventh. They are very close in total defense, which could prove to be interesting.
Edge: I think the edge has to go to Florida on paper. They have similar stats, but outweigh FSU just barely in some key areas like scoring defense.
Just for a few extra points that may be key to this game I want to provide the statistics for turnovers and how many times each has been intercepted.
Florida leads the NCAA with Oklahoma in turnover margin. They take advantage of mistakes and get turnovers. Florida State however is 60th in this category.
How many times have they been intercepted?
Florida has been intercepted three times, leading the NCAA with the least interceptions.
FSU is tied for 82nd in the nation with 13 interceptions.
Looks like the Gators can run wild with this stat.
What does this mean?
These statistics show that Florida is a beast on the field and on paper. Florida State's defense may be able to match up a bit, but Florida has so many personnel that they will stay fresh against the Seminole defense.
What do I think aside from the game on paper?
Florida is poised to go to the National Championship if they keep winning. They cannot let a rivalry game get to their heads and trip them up.
I think Florida can take this one and make it look ugly but it will be the closest game they have played since LSU. They are just mean and tough right now and no one will get in their way.
I'm ready for the 50th year of the Battle for the Governor's Cup.
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