PREVIEW: Florida Gators Look To End Florida State’s Record Bowl Game Streak

By  //  November 24, 2018

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Kickoff set for 12 p.m. ET on ABC

The Seminoles (5-6, 3-5 ACC) have won a school-record five straight over the No. 11 Gators (8-3, 5-3 SEC), but Saturday figures to be UF’s best chance at winning in several years. (Seminoles Image)

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA (Florida Gators) – In a rivalry that has experienced several momentum shifts since the schools first met 60 years ago, it’s been in favor of Florida State since the Seminoles defeated the Gators in 2013 on the way to the program’s third national title.

As you can imagine, the angst over that fact for Florida fans has grown with each passing year. FSU fans know the feeling. The Gators dominated the rivalry under Urban Meyer in the final years of legendary Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden.

The Seminoles (5-6, 3-5 ACC) have won a school-record five straight over the No. 11 Gators (8-3, 5-3 SEC), but Saturday figures to be UF’s best chance at winning in several years. FSU, in its first season under coach Willie Taggart, has struggled, losing five games by 19 or more points. With a loss Saturday, they would lose their nation-best 36-year bowl streak and 41-year streak of not having a losing record. Florida State also hasn’t lost a non-conference home game since Nov. 24, 2012, when Florida last beat them.

Both teams enter the game with varying degrees of momentum. The Gators piled up 600 yards of total offense in a 63-10 blowout of overmatched Idaho last weekend, while FSU quarterback Deondre Francois threw a 74-yard touchdown pass with 1:49 to go to beat Boston College 22-21.

There is no shortage of motivation for either team. Florida State wants to keep its streaks alive, while UF wants nothing more than to end them and the ‘Noles’ run of dominance in the series along with it. No player on Florida’s roster has defeated the Seminoles. A win would also likely secure a spot in one of the coveted New Year’s Six bowls.

While FSU has struggled in Taggart’s debut, Gators coaches and players have talked all week about how the Seminoles have improved each week and are better than their record indicates. Former Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher routinely landed top-5 recruiting classes, so the Seminoles have the talent to compete with anybody in the country, at least on paper.

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Kickoff is set for noon on ABC, with Dave Pasch on play-by-play, Greg McElroy providing analysis and Tom Luginbill working the sideline. Replays will air Sunday night from 6-9, Thursday afternoon from 12-2:30, and Friday morning from 1-3:30 on the SEC Network. The game can also be replayed on the ESPN app and WatchESPN.com.

Click here for for a station list of the Gator IMG Sports Network broadcast, with pre-game coverage starting at noon.

Finally, follow senior staff writer Scott Carter and student intern Ethan Hughes on Twitter (@GatorsScott and @ehughes97) for commentary and analysis throughout the game. FloridaGators.com will have complete coverage content from the game Saturday night and fresh content Sunday, as well.

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