No. 6 Florida (10-2) and ACC contender Virginia (9-4) meet at the Orange Bowl on December 30th. Play time is set for 8pm. ET at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Florida is coming into this game with only two losses to its name, which came from a combined 24 points against top 10 rivals LSU and Georgia. The Gators finished the regular season in a 3-0 victory, beating their opponents 119-23 to secure the Orange Bowl as the highest ranking among the SEC, Big Ten and Notre Dame (which was not already linked with roses or sugar bowl).
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Virginia won its bid for the orange bowl as the seventh different ACC Coast Guard champion in seven years. conference champion Clemson, who defeated the Cavaliers 62-10 in the ACC title game, goes to the Playoff, allowing the Cavaliers to move to the orange bowl.
With this, Sporting News offers a timely preview of the orange bowl between the Gators and Cavaliers:
Florida vs Virginia odds for the Orange Bowl 2019
- Hearsay: Florida -14.5
- Total points: 54.5
- Monoyline: Florida -650, Virginia +475
Florida is a 14.5-point favorite according to Sports Insider, a point higher than the Gators’ 13.5-point lead.
Florida vs. All-Time Virginia
Florida and Virginia only met once, a 55-10 run by the Gators in Gainesville in 1959. Florida is 3-0 all-time in the Orange Bowl. Virginia has never played in the orange bowl.
Three trends we need to know
– The Gators are 6-3 this season against the spread when they favor, gaining an average of 25.9 points. The Cavaliers are 1-3 as an underdog.
– Florida is 1-0 up against the expansion in bowl games under Dan Mullen, but 1-3 in neutral games. Virginia has been 1-1 and 2-1 against the spread under these conditions, respectively, since Bronco Mendenhall took over in 2016.
– Virginia only has a 10-win season in school history, going 10-3 in 1989 after losing the Citrus Bowl.
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Three things to look out for
The Florida Flight
Florida has 46 sacks this year, ranking first in the SEC and fifth in the FBS. The attack is led by Jonathan Greenard, who has 15 top teams for losses and 9.5 sacks. The Cavaliers have given up 38 this season (2.9 per game), bad enough for 11th in college football. They will need to hit that pass if they want to have a chance of winning.
Bryce Perkins’ ability to rush
One way the Cavs can compensate for Florida’s rush is at Perkins’ speed. He has 745 yards and 11 touchdowns this season, which Virginia can use to take advantage of an offensive blitz plan. Florida may want to keep a man spying on Perkins to keep him from breaking the long ways.
The Virginia Bar Missions
The trio of Virginia linebackers Charles Snowden, Zane Zandler and Jordan Mack have combined for 231 fights, 29 tackles for loss and 16.5 sacks. If they make life difficult for Florida trio running back Lamic Perine, Dameon Pierce and Emory Jones (1,034 combined yards and 12 touchdowns), it could be quarterback Kyle Trask to lead the Gators offense.
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Stat that matters
Trask has completed 213 of 315 passes for 2,636 yards and 24 touchdowns in six interceptions. It will face a secondary Virginia that has allowed an average of 228 passing yards per game while giving up 22 touchdown passes. The Cavs will have to force a few rounds to limit the Gators’ scoring opportunities, especially in the passing game.
Florida’s forecast against Virginia
Virginia will score in the Cavs’ first offensive, which includes at least one long pass from Perkins. Florida will be installed after that, allowing the Cavs to pass from the middle to each of the next two scoreless innings. Trask will get Florida on the board late in the first quarter, and the Gators will get a lead touchdown at halftime. From then on it will be the Gators, as the defense keys to Perkins and Trask lead multiple scoring units.
Florida 31, Virginia 17