Nov 7, 2015; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators offensive lineman Trip Thurman (63), defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard (90) and defensive lineman Alex McCalister (14) huddle up prior to the game against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

McElwain Expresses Gratitude for Seniors

The 12th-ranked Florida football team (10-1, 7-1 SEC) will play host to in-state rival Florida State (9-2, 6-2 ACC) on Saturday night in the Swamp. Not only will this game be the last home game for the Gators this season, it will also be the final home game ever for 16 seniors who will be recognized prior to kickoff.

Florida head coach Jim McElwain believes without the senior leadership this year, this team wouldn’t be in the same position. 

Depending on how the rest of this season plays out, this senior class will leave the University of Florida with over 30 wins, a Sugar Bowl appearance, and a SEC Championship game appearance. But, they’ve also had to endure a lot of hardships during their time in the Orange and Blue including a 4-8 season in 2013 and the firing of the coach who recruited them to be Gators. Despite all that, the good and the bad, McElwain couldn’t have been more proud of how this group reacted to the new coaching staff. 

After the seniors have their moment during pregame, all the focus will shift to the task at hand, finding a way to beat the 13th-ranked Seminoles. Points may be hard to come by in this match up as both teams rank in the top-15 in scoring defense in all of college football. Both Florida and Florida State will rely on two players that were, at one point, committed to the other school.

Sophomore running back Dalvin Cook leads the way for the Seminoles having already rushed for 1475 yards and 16 touchdowns this season. He’s also dangerous out of the backfield having caught 19 passes for 200 yards and another touchdown. McElwain knows the Gators have to find a way to stop number four in white. 

As for Florida, it’s sophomore quarterback Treon Harris that will try to improve his career record as a starter to 10-3 with a win over FSU. One of those losses came in Tallahassee last year after losing 24-19 to an eventual playoff team. McElwain explains what Harris has done well and what he needs to do on Saturday night. 

Not only is this game important for Florida if they want any chance in making the college football playoff, but it’s also important for what McElwain calls “taking back the state.” The Gators might have to try to do that shorthanded as McElwain updated the injury report on Wednesday evening:

Florida has not beaten Florida State at home since 2009 and the Gators have an undefeated home record this season on the line as well. Kickoff between the Gators and Noles will be on Saturday night at 7:30 in the Swamp.

About Dewayne Cook

22 years old from Pensacola, FL. Telecommunications major at the University of Florida with a focus on Sports News, also pursuing a minor in Communication Studies.

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