MATCHUPS TO WATCH
NG Brodrick Bunkley
C Mike Degory
Bunkley is having an All-American season, leading the nation in tackles for loss by an interior lineman with 17. While engaging Bunkley will be the key to Degory's success, he's also responsible for helping call out blitzes -- a potential distraction. If Degory can hold his own without help, Gators quarterback Chris Leak should have plenty of time to pick apart the Seminoles.
CB Tony Carter
WR Chad Jackson
Not only is Jackson the Gators' only healthy wideout, he's also their most productive with 72 receptions for 727 yards and eight touchdowns (he also has rushed for two scores). Carter, a 5-foot-9, 160-pound freshman from Mandarin High School, has been the Seminoles' steadiest pass defender, but a bad shoulder could prevent him from being physical with Jackson, who's 6-1, 205.
QB Drew Weatherford
CBs Dee Webb and Reggie Lewis
Weatherford has thrown 11 interceptions in his last five games, and many of his troubles have resulted from poor decision-making under pass-rush pressure. The Gators have preferred to play more man-to-man with their corners this season, and Webb and Lewis have been vulnerable at times., Weatherford must take advantage of 1-on-1 opportunities when they present themselves.
Rankings: Florida -- 5th in SEC in total offense, 4th in rushing, 4th in passing. Florida State -- 1st in ACC in total offense, 11th in rushing, 1st in passing.
Breaking it down: Junior QB Chris Leak still doesn't look comfortable running Florida's option. RB DeShawn Wynn is banged up (shoulder), but the Gators have received good production from Kestahn Moore and Markus Manson. WR Dallas Baker (ribs) should be close to 100 percent, and that will help. Seminoles RB Leon Washington should play today, and FSU's young, talented wide receivers could give Florida's troubled secondary some problems.
Rankings: Florida -- 3rd in SEC in total defense, 4th vs. run, 4th vs. pass. Florida State -- 3rd in ACC in total defense, 6th vs. run, 3rd vs. pass.
Breaking it down: Florida's front seven has held its own most of the season, despite DE Ray McDonald being hampered by a knee injury. The secondary is the problem. CB Vernell Brown is out with a broken leg, and he will be replaced by converted WR Reggie Lewis. CB Dee Webb hasn't had a good year, and neither has S Kyle Jackson. FSU's secondary has just one interception, but the front seven has been a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks, recording an ACC-high 33 sacks.
Rankings: Florida -- 5th in SEC in kickoff returns, 4th in punting. Florida State -- 9th in ACC in kickoff returns, 8th in punting.
Breaking it down: Florida K Chris Hetland has been outstanding, missing just one field-goal attempt. …