No. 8 Florida Gators football returns home for the first of two games that will close out its regular season when it hosts the Florida Atlantic Owls on Saturday.
Here’s a look ahead at Saturday’s game: what to know and how to watch Florida-FAU.
Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, Florida [Capacity: 88,548]
Weather: 76°F, cloudy (15% chance of rain), winds E at 5 mph
Time: 12:00 p.m. EST
TV: SEC Network (Tom Hart, Andre Ware)
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter
Tale of the tape
|No. 8 Florida Gators||FAU Owls|
|Head Coach: Jim McElwain||Head Coach: Charlie Partridge|
|Record: 9-1||Record: 2-5|
|Conference: Southeastern||Conference: Conference USA|
Spread: Florida -31 | O/U: 46.5
Comparing the Gators and Owls, there are actually some similarities. Both teams are tremendous in flipping the field with their punter, and each has a struggling offense … though one of those played in the SEC and the other in C-USA this season. Where Florida and FAU differ greatly, of course, is on defense.
So when looking at such a huge spread and large number, the question is really: Can the Gators meet either on their own? FAU has scored against some decent teams this year, but Florida’s defense is spectacular. The Gators have allowed a total of 24 points in their last three games and have only let a team score more than two touchdowns once since Sept. 26 – thrice all season. The Gators themselves have only scored 31 or more points thrice this season, not since Oct. 3.
How will this all shake out? Florida will start slow but eventually get it together and pour some points on. FAU will sneak in somewhere around 10 points. The game will just sneak in just under with the Gators falling just short of the line.
ATS picks: 8-1-1 | O/U picks: 6-4
Injuries and absences
» Questionable (1): Left tackle David Sharpe (foot)
» Doubtful (1): Defensive tackle Caleb Brantley (abdomen/groin)
» Out (5): Defensive end Alex McCalister (foot), DE Jordan Sherit (hamstring), DL Joey Ivie (knee), LB Alex Anzalone (shoulder), quarterback Will Grier (suspension)
This injury report only accounts for players that have seen significant action in 2015.
— Gators Football (@GatorsFB) November 21, 2015
The team captains, which change weekly, are solely responsible for choosing the uniforms ahead of each game.
» Florida is 2-0 all-time against FAU. The Gators have defeated the Owls by a combined score of 100-23 with 39-point and 38-point victories in 2007 and 2011, respectively.
» UF returns home for consecutive games after playing four of the last five away from home.
» Florida won the 700th game in program history last Saturday.
» The Gators swept the SEC East for the first time since 2009 and 11th time since 1992.
» Florida clinched the SEC East title and advanced to the SEC Championship Game for the first time since 2009 with a victory two weeks ago.
» This was the sixth season that UF started 6-0 dating back to 1995. The Gators finished the previous five seasons with at least 11 wins.
» McElwain is the first coach in Florida history to win seven SEC game in his first season with the program.
» McElwain is the first UF coach since Galen Hall (1984) to win the first six games of his career at the school. He’s also the third coach in SEC history to advance to the SEC title game in his first season.
» Florida returned to the top 10 of the AP Top 25 for the first time since the 2013 preseason and was placed in the College Football Playoff Rankings for the first time since its inception in 2014.
» The Gators’ defense has been a hallmark of the program; it is 202-11 since 1990 when an opponent scores 21 points or fewer in a contest.
» UF is currently ranked No. 4 nationally in scoring defense, No. 5 in total defense, and No. 10 in both rush and pass defense.
» Florida saw its second-ranked +13 turnover margin fall down to +9 after coughing up the ball four times to Vanderbilt. It’s now ranked first in the SEC and 13th nationally.
» The Gators own the nation’s longest streak of returning either a kickoff or punt for a touchdown, doing so in 11 straight seasons, including 2015.
» Florida is one of only four teams nationally to play three or more consecutive games away from home in 2015 (Arkansas, Arkansas State, Louisiana-Monroe).
» Florida has the second-most wins in the nation since 1990 (248, Ohio State – 256).