Florida coach Steve Spurrier and Florida State coach Bobby Bowden might not be best friends, but the two have much in common, at least in terms of football. They are two of five coaches in major college history to lead a school to 100 wins during a decade. Both reached that level during the 1990s, joining Alabama's Bear Bryant (1970s), Nebraska's Tom Osborne (1980s) and BYU's Lavell Edwards (1980s).
They are the only two major college coaches to lead their schools to at least 10 wins for six consecutive seasons. Bowden did it 14 straight from 1987 to 2000, and Spurrier did it six straight from 1993 to 1998. They rank fourth and fifth on the list of current major college coaches with the best winning percentages, Spurrier at .779 (140-39-2) and Bowden at .778 (321-90-4). And both have won national titles since 1990.
But aside from their records, the two aren't much alike.
"We don't have a whole lot in common," Spurrier said. "He used to be an offensive coordinator. He used to call the plays. We used to have a lot in common as far as our offensive philosophies. Now he pretty much coaches the coaches and let's them run the show instead of trying to run the plays.
"We do love golf. We go on those Nike trips, but we don't play in the same group, though. He is a good guy. You can't help but like Bobby Bowden. He says all the right things and has been very successful. Certainly, I admire and respect him. Lou Holtz and Bobby Bowden are very similar right now."
_ Compiled by Antonya English
Since 1990, Florida has lost eight of its 12 games against Florida State. Here is how the Gators have fared in those wins and losses.
IN FOUR WINS
Total offense: 458.8
Passing efficiency: 144.19
Third down conversions: 25.9 percent
Red zone (score percentage/TD percentage): 70 percent/65.0 percent
IN EIGHT LOSSES
Total offense: 383.3
Passing efficiency: 115.77
Third down conversions: 37.3 percent
Red zone (scored percentage/TD percentage): 69.0/51.7 percent
Freshman punter Matt Leach might have the easiest job in college football. Particularly during the past two weeks.
Leach might just as well be a Florida fan sitting in the stands the way things are going. The Gators' offense has been so dominant the past two games, Leach hasn't had to punt.
When a friend came up to him a couple of weeks ago and sarcastically said, "Nice game," Leach laughed it off.
"Of course you want to play," Leach said. "But as long as we're winning, that's all that matters."
Leach has kicked just 21 times this season, 15 fewer than any other SEC team.
"It's a little different than what I was used to in high school," Leach said.
Coach Steve Spurrier expects Leach to get plenty of work this weekend.
"We're going to need Matt Leach this week," Spurrier said. "This isn't going to continue. He needs to be ready."
Leach is averaging 41.8 yards per punt.
The premise is as simple as this: Can Florida State's defense, which has been subpar all season, find a way to stop Florida's high-powered offense? The Gators have the No. 1 passing offense in the nation, while the Seminoles are giving up more than 200 yards per game in the air.
But despite FSU's "down" season, this isn't Vanderbilt, and the Gators know that. FSU is averaging almost 300 passing yards per game and almost 200 on the ground.
"I think they've got a great offense, and we've faced some good offenses before," defensive tackle Ian Scott said. "A quarterback like that who is pretty fast and can run, they've got some receivers that can make some plays, and they've got a good offensive line. They do a lot of things well, and they are trying to be a lot more balanced. It's going to be a challenge, and hopefully we can be ready for that."
"I think it pumps them up a little bit more. They haven't done too well this year, and I know they feel like that if a thing or two had gone their way, they could very well be undefeated coming into this game. To salvage their season, they can come in here and beat us and that would do wonders for them this year."
_ JABAR GAFFNEY
Sophomore receiver on how FSU's 6-3 record will affect their play Saturday night.