FLORIDA (Sporting Alert) — As No. 2 Florida State and star quarterback Jameis Winston take on state rivals Florida on Saturday, here are the five storylines, outlined by the Gators to watch out for.
The Seminoles (11-0, 8-0 ACC) are sitting well behind No. 1 Alabama in the and will be taking every step to not slip-up against a Florida (4-7, 3-5 SEC) team which has dropped its last six games, including a 26-20 defeat at home against the Georgia Southern Eagles.
FSU hammered the then-No. 7 Miami (FL) 41-14 the last time they face a Florida rival this season and given the current form, and what is up for grab, the Seminoles certainly will not want to lose today.
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FIVE STORYLINES TO WATCH
- FSU quarterback Jameis Winston is a leading candidate to win the Heisman Trophy and the most exciting player in the Gators-Seminoles rivalry since Tim Tebow. If the Gators expect to come away with a victory, they must find a way to slow down Winston and force him into mistakes.
- The Gators are not going to a bowl game for the first time in 23 years. This is their bowl game. Florida is playing for pride and a victory over the Seminoles would be a loud closing statement on a forgettable season. Meanwhile, FSU is playing to keep their national title hopes alive.
- The Gators will be without their two leading tacklers in linebackers Michael Taylor and Antonio Morrison. Reserve Alex Anzalone is also out due to injury. True freshman Jarrad Davis and walk-on Daniel Campbell have moved up the depth chart and must help fill the void.
- With redshirt freshman quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg set to make his third consecutive start if Tyler Murphy (shoulder) can’t play, the Gators have to be creative offensively against an FSU defense that allows less than 300 yards per game.
- If the Gators are able to keep it close, they will have to cash in every scoring opportunity they get. Florida is 116th in the country on red-zone offense and can’t have many empty drives.