Florida Gators Bowl Update and Potential Preview
By Space Coast Daily // December 9, 2019
The SEC is always tough, but this year it seemed particularly so. The Florida Gators came in second place in the SEC East and finished with the same in-conference and overall record (6-2 & 10-2) as Alabama, the second-place team in the SEC West.
So unfortunately for Gators fans, Florida missed out on the SEC Championship game. But there is a big bowl game in their future, most likely the Orange.
If it all works out how we think it will after the Friday games – Oregon defeating Utah– and the other Conference Championship Games on Saturday We are likely to see the Gators come into the Orange Bowl as favorites over the Virginia Cavaliers at the best betting sites
No. 9 Florida took a tough, close loss to the No. 4 Georgia Bulldogs, which put them out of the CFP conversation, but they smashed they way through the final three games of the season, beating Vanderbilt 56-0, Missouri 23-6, and their in-state rivals, the Florida State Seminole, 40-17 to take 3rd place in the SEC.
This is good enough for a New Year’s Six game, such as the Orange Bowl. Assuming that Virginia takes that loss to Clemson and also gets the Orange Bowl, let’s look at the statistical matchup.
Florida Gators vs. Virginia Cavaliers | The Stats
The Gators have averaged a little over 31 points per game on the season. This is good enough for the No. 39 scoring offense in Division I.
They put up 105 rushing yards per game against tough SEC defenses and an amazing 303+ passing yards per game, the No. 14 passing attack in the country.
But all of this doesn’t matter without a solid defense and that is exactly what the Gators have. When it comes to points allowed, Florida is No. 14!
They have allowed an average of just 17.3 points per game. That’s a top 10 defense, ladies and gentleman. They are also in the top 15 in points per play, and yards per play, at No. 13 and No. 12 respectively. They also stop opponents in the red zone often, boasting the No. 17 red zone D.
Virginia is quite similar in their offensive ranking to Florida. They sit at No. 35 in the country with 32 points per game. They were able to manage 258.8 passing yards per game along with a hair over 120 rushing yards against the ACC and their few nonconference foes.
So, the main thing that stands out here is the amount of yardage the Gators put up comparatively, a good 40 yards more per game.
Defensively, the Cavaliers are stout, allowing 42.1 per game. But they fall to No. 43 in points per play and allow teams to score over 80 percent of the time in the RZ, No. 45.
So another thing to note is this is against ACC teams. Other than Clemson, it’s a pretty weak conference this year, with every other school taking at least four losses during the regular season.
Let’s remember that Virginia lost to Miami, Louisville, and Notre Dame. So, when we look at a comparison of resumes, it isn’t even close. The Cavaliers are likely significantly outmatched against the Gators.
They’ll have to face a hardnosed defense in Florida, and I just don’t see a team Like the Cavaliers getting very far against it.
They did play Clemson, who going into the ACC Title game had the No. 1 scoring defense in college football, but they have had a weak schedule this year, so even though statistically, Clemson has the best D – and it is great– there are quite a few teams who have tougher defenses than Clemson, such as Georgia, and even Utah, who played stellar against high-scoring teams all season.
The Gators are ranked No. 9 as of Saturday afternoon and listed in the power rankings at No. 10. It would be nice to see them matched up against a team like Oregon, who is ranked No. 11 in the power rankings – and we have to wait to see where they land in the AP after defeating No. 6 Utah and taking the Pac 12 title.
Anyhow, Oregon is likely getting the Rose Bowl against Penn State, but the Gators vs. Ducks would make a heck of a game.
Hopefully, Virginia puts up a fight and gives the boys a challenge come Bowl Season – if it is indeed Virginia who the Gators draw.