Florida at No. 22 Florida State, 3:30, Ch. 28, 620-AM, 1040-AM
The Seminoles (8-3) will try to end a six-game losing streak to the Gators (7-4). For the first time since 2004, Florida comes into the FSU game unranked. The UF offense has struggled all season. Meanwhile, FSU could earn its ninth win during the regular season for the first time since 2003 — the last time the Seminoles defeated the Gators.
What to watch for …
Florida's four losses this season have come against teams with dual-threat quarterbacks and a solid running game. Florida State QB Christian Ponder is averaging 197.6 yards of total offense, and the Seminoles average 183.4 rushing yards per game behind an offensive line that UF coach Urban Meyer calls the best they've had since he arrived in 2005. Meyer described FSU kick returner Greg Reid, left, as "great" and said the kickoff and return teams are a primary concern for the Gators. Reid is ranked fourth in the ACC in punt returns and fifth in kickoff returns. The Gators' offensive line has struggled to protect QB John Brantley and faces a defense that averages 3.72 sacks per game. The Gators hope to establish their own running game, but junior RB Jeff Demps remains hampered by a foot injury. The Gators have averaged just 161 rushing yards per game, and the Seminoles have held opponents to 131.5. Florida will again use its three-quarterback system of Brantley, Jordan Reed and Trey Burton, but Meyer said unlike the South Carolina game, the Gators won't panic if things don't start out well and will stick to the offensive game plan no matter what.
Antonya English, Times staff writer