FSU Football 2016 Gameday Preview: vs. Florida

Here’s a preview of FSU football and their next battle during the 2016 football season.

Everything that has happened so far in the 2016 college football season for Florida State has come down to one final game: the annual showdown against one of the hated rivals, the Florida Gators. An entire season that was full of so much promise has come down to one final Saturday…where a win can guarantee another state title and yet another year of bragging rights over friends, co-workers and even family.

In years past, the Seminoles have won games over the Gators they had no business winning and vice versa. For the sake of FSU football, the 2016 edition of this rivalry can’t turn out that way – as the Seminoles look to win their sixth game against Florida in the last seven meetings.

Here’s our preview of this week’s game between the Seminoles and the Gators.

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Nov 19, 2016; Syracuse, NY, USA; Florida State Seminoles running back Dalvin Cook (4) makes a cut in order to avoid a tackle by Syracuse Orange defensive back Rodney Williams (6) and defensive lineman De

Last Time FSU Football Took The Field

It was a record breaking day for the Seminoles, who got their fourth straight win in convincing fashion with a 45-14 victory over the Syracuse Orange in their final road game of the 2016 regular season. While the defense played maybe their best game of the season in holding the ‘Cuse to under 240 yards with eight sacks and two interceptions, the highlight came from the biggest star on offense.

On his second carry of the game, Dalvin Cook became the school’s all time leading rusher. Of course, in true Cook fashion he didn’t just break the record…he shattered it by going for 225 yards with four touchdowns (which also tied a school record) to cement his place as the best back to suit up for the ‘Noles.

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Oct 15, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Deondre Francois (12) throws the ball during the game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Key Matchup

Deondre Francois vs. Florida Secondary

Lets all be honest: after he went for 185 yards and two scores against them last year (and seeing what he has done the last two seasons as a whole), the Gators are going to be focusing their entire defense on keeping Dalvin Cook from beating them and forcing the redshirt freshman to win the game against a unit that has immense talent but will also be missing one starter.

The Seminoles don’t need D12 to go out and throwing for 444 yards like Jameis Winston did against Clemson in 2013 – they just don’t need him to play like a redshirt freshman quarterback. If he can stay calm and just go out and play catch like he has been doing most of the season, the ‘Noles should be in good shape to get another win over the Gators.

Interesting Note

If the Seminoles can come out on top for a four straight season, it would be a rare treat for fans of FSU football. Only twice before in the 58 year in history of the series, the ‘Noles have just had two other streaks where they have gone unbeaten against the Gators for four straight meetings. In 1977, the ‘Noles blew out Florida 37-9 and won the following three meetings. In 1992, it was a 45-24 win that started another four game streak – one that include wins in 1993 and the 1995 Sugar Bowl wrapped around the famous 31-31 tie during the 1994 season.

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Nov 29, 2014; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles center Austin Barron (62) celebrates after the game against the Florida Gators at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Prediction

Last season, it was two fourth quarter touchdowns that made a 27-2 win look like more than a blowout than it actually was for the Seminoles. In 2016, the Gators are perfectly capable of coming to Tallahassee and getting their first win for many members of their team over their in state foes. At the same time, the ‘Noles have played their best football over the last few days against teams that statistically have been better on offense (Syracuse) and defense (Boston College) than the Gators. This year’s game won’t likely be one of those wins by an average of 20 points that the ‘Noles have had over the last six seasons, but FSU football will get enough to extend their win streak. Florida State 27 Florida 17

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