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Florida-Florida State: Four final thoughts, including one X-factor

Keep an eye on Wesley Chapel native Tre' McKitty for the Seminoles.
 
Florida State has been celebrating wins over the Gators for five consecutive years. Will that continue today? [ TIMES FILE ]
Florida State has been celebrating wins over the Gators for five consecutive years. Will that continue today? [ TIMES FILE ]
Published Nov. 24, 2018

Four final thoughts as Florida State prepares to host No. 13 Florida today:

  • I’m curious to see how the Gators handle FSU DE Brian Burns. He’s an All-America candidate with 10 sacks and, as Dan Mullen said, probably the best pass rusher UF has seen all year. But FSU isn’t the best line the Gators have faced. I don’t expect the Gators to use a lot of quick passes, as they did against Mississippi State’s unblockable front. I do think UF will use more designed rollouts with QB Feleipe Franks to get away from Burns, who has the potential to change the game by himself.
  • One of the most interesting matchups will be UF’s rushing offense against FSU’s run defense. The Seminoles are averaging only 135.5 rushing yards per game (fourth in the ACC), while the Gators’ ground game has improved with Jordan Scarlett and Lamical Perine. Mullen wants a balanced offense. I’m not sure how balanced FSU will allow it to be.
  • If the ’Noles are going to win, RB Cam Akers will probably be a big reason why. Akers’ 55-yard rush last week against Boston College helped spark the comeback upset. But for him to do well today, he’ll need some holes from his beleaguered offensive line, which I still don’t trust.
  • If you’re looking for an X-factor, consider FSU Tre’ McKitty. UF had problems defending the pass-catching tight ends from Georgia, Missouri and South Carolina. McKitty, a Wesley Chapel native, has 25 receptions (the most by a Seminoles tight end since Nick O’Leary had 48 in 2014).