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Who are FSU football fans rooting for: Gators, Jimbo Fisher or asteroid?

Our weekly gameday guide also hits on FSU-Miami, a bright spot at USF and the big Georgia-Tennessee showdown.
Billy Napier's Florida Gators face Texas A&M and former FSU coach Jimbo Fisher.
Billy Napier's Florida Gators face Texas A&M and former FSU coach Jimbo Fisher. [ HYOSUB SHIN / AJC | The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ]
Published Nov. 3

Neither the Florida Gators nor Jimbo Fisher will win any popularity contests among Florida State fans. Before they meet Saturday at Texas A&M, we asked fans on the FSU Subreddit who they’re rooting for: an in-state rival or the national championship coach who had a scorched-earth exit from Tallahassee? Some of our favorite responses (lightly edited for clarity):

“A&M wins, but looks terrible doing so. Bad play calls, clock management, penalties, and a complete loss of control of the locker room. Florida loses to officiating and unforced errors. That would be ideal.” — GodFeedethTheRavens

Related: FSU football: How fourth and 14 went from iconic play to T-shirt in 73 hours

“I think Jimbo has been thoroughly humbled at this point, can’t blame his ‘lack of resources’ at FSU for his losses anymore. I don’t want UF to gain any momentum with a first-year head coach since the chance of a big marquee matchup between us on Black Friday is already off the table. So I’ll pull for Aggies to win ugly.” — SharkMovies

Jimbo Fisher did not have an amicable exit from Florida State.
Jimbo Fisher did not have an amicable exit from Florida State. [ Times (2017) ]

“I hope Florida goes 12-1 every year with that loss being to us. I’ll never root for that snake to win ever again ...” — IceyBoy

“I’ll never root for Florida. Also more direct recruiting with UF. I want Florida to go into the FSU game at 5-6 so we can shut them down for bowl season. Jimbo can continue getting his comeuppance immediately after.” — ChampaBay12

“Gators. Want them with the best record possible when we crush them in front of recruits.” — MilitaryJAG

“Botched snap on a UF punt leads to an A&M safety. Teams combine to throw 6 interceptions and lose 4 fumbles. Final score: Aggies 2, Gators 0. Seventy-eight years from now, historians vote it as the worst college football game of the 21st century.” — SJ_One

“I guess I’ll root for the asteroid, then.” — DepletedGeranium

Local of the week

Florida State running back Lawrance Toafili, a Pinellas Park High product, is a key part of the Seminoles' explosive offense.
Florida State running back Lawrance Toafili, a Pinellas Park High product, is a key part of the Seminoles' explosive offense. [ PHIL SEARS | AP ]

Florida State running back Lawrance Toafili (Pinellas Park High)

Last week, Toafili became the first Seminole since Cam Akers in 2019 to record a rushing touchdown and receiving touchdown in the same game. Miami has a top-25 rushing defense but is susceptible to big passing plays. Don’t be surprised if Toafili and FSU’s other backs have a big catch or two as they try to win at Miami for the first time since the Block at Hard Rock in 2016.

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Related: The offense built for playmakers Mike Norvell promised has arrived at FSU

Viewing guide

The Georgia-Tennessee game looks like one of the biggest SEC showdowns in years.
The Georgia-Tennessee game looks like one of the biggest SEC showdowns in years. [ JOHN RAOUX | AP ]

Lamest time window: Early. Go to brunch or take a long hike or something, but be sure you’re back for the afternoon and evening games.

Noon: We’ll see how Florida responds from the Georgia loss when the Gators travel to Texas A&M (ESPN). Also, keep an eye on whether always-tricky Texas Tech can upset No. 7 TCU (Fox).

2: If USF can’t beat Temple (ESPN+) and its first-year staff in Year 3 of the Jeff Scott era, the scrutiny surrounding his job performance will spike.

3:30: Hopefully No. 2 Tennessee at No. 1 Georgia (CBS) is as thrilling as last month’s Vols-Alabama game.

Related: Conference realignment: How much USF missed out on when Big 12 chose UCF

7: No. 6 Alabama looks more vulnerable than most years, which could be trouble at No. 15 LSU (ESPN). Texas at No. 13 Kansas State (FS1) has the potential to be wildly entertaining, too.

7:30: Florida State at Miami (ABC) always seems to deliver drama, no matter the records.

8: No. 20 Wake Forest’s entertaining offense faces No. 21 North Carolina State’s sound defense (ACC Network).

9:30: Arizona State has won two of its last three under interim coach Shaun Aguano and will try to knock off No. 10 UCLA (FS1).

Audible

Florida State coach Mike Norvell has been thinking about Miami for a long time.
Florida State coach Mike Norvell has been thinking about Miami for a long time. [ PHIL SEARS | AP ]

“This is a year-long preparation for this game. There’s only two teams that I talk about in our very first team meeting, and this is one of them.” — FSU coach Mike Norvell on Miami

Mario in rivalries

Miami's Mario Cristobal is facing rival Florida State for the first time as the Hurricanes' head coach.
Miami's Mario Cristobal is facing rival Florida State for the first time as the Hurricanes' head coach. [ DAVID SANTIAGO | Miami Herald ]

Though Mario Cristobal has never been a head coach in the FSU-Miami series, he has plenty of rivalry game experience:

Miami player vs. FSU: 3-1

Miami GA/assistant vs. FSU: 2-4

Florida International coach vs. Florida Atlantic: Lost first four, won last two

Oregon coach vs. Washington: 3-0

Oregon coach vs. Oregon State: 3-1

Stat of the week

From ESPN’s David Hale: North Carolina redshirt freshman quarterback Drake Maye has 29 touchdown passes, three interceptions and 2,671 yards. The only Power Five quarterback in the College Football Playoff era to put up those numbers through eight games was the Gators’ Kyle Trask in 2020.

X marks the spot

USF receiver Xavier Weaver is having a strong season for the Bulls.
USF receiver Xavier Weaver is having a strong season for the Bulls. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]

Xavier Weaver has been a bright spot in USF’s rough season. He’s already in the top 10 in program history in career yards (1,556) and catches (106) and is on pace to match USF’s single-season record of 67 receptions. He shouldn’t have much of an issue padding his total against a Temple defense that’s No. 96 nationally in opponents’ passing efficiency (139.18).

Related: Firing Jeff Scott is an easy call, but keeping him at USF is the wiser move

GameDay breakdown

Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker takes an elite Volunteers offense against an elite Georgia defense.
Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker takes an elite Volunteers offense against an elite Georgia defense. [ WADE PAYNE | AP ]

The best matchup in the Tennessee-Georgia game centers on the Volunteers’ elite offense (No. 1 in scoring, No. 2 in SP+ advanced metrics, No. 3 in yards per play,) against Georgia’s elite defense (No. 2 in scoring, No. 2 in SP+ advanced metrics, No. 9 in yards per play). The deciding matchup, however, could be on the other side. The Bulldogs average 41.8 points per game and have scored on 46 of their 47 red-zone possessions. Can Stetson Bennett capitalize against a Vols defense that’s pedestrian against the pass?

By the numbers: Week 10

USF's lone Division I-A win under Jeff Scott came against Temple a year ago.
USF's lone Division I-A win under Jeff Scott came against Temple a year ago. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times (2021) ]

1 — Division I-A teams Jeff Scott has beaten at USF (Temple last year)

1 — Other team with only one I-A victory since 2020: UMass

3 — SEC regular-season games between teams ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the AP poll: LSU-Alabama (2011 and ‘19) and Georgia-Tennessee (Saturday)

35-5 — UCF’s record as a nationally ranked team since 2013, heading into the No. 25 Knights’ trip to Memphis

73-28 — Combined score of Brian Kelly’s two games against Alabama while at Notre Dame

26 — Consecutive regular-season wins for Notre Dame against ACC teams heading into a home game against No. 4 Clemson. The last loss: at Miami in 2017

338 — Passing yards last week by Texas A&M’s Conner Weigman, the most ever by an Aggies true freshman

• • •

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