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MONDAY HUDDLE: New Year’s Six bowl is now best Florida Gators can do

5 takeaways from this weekend’s football scene around the state

Members of the Florida Gators celebrate a 23-6 win over the Missouri Tigers. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Here are five takeaways from this weekend's football action around the state.

Florida hoping to stay motivated

With Georgia officially clinching the SEC East with its win at Auburn, Florida knows the best it can do the rest of the year is qualifying for a second consecutive New Year’s Six bowl game.

The Gators obviously hoped they would fare better than last season when they beat Michigan in the Peach Bowl, but at this point, all they can do is to make sure 2019 isn’t any worse than 2018.

Florida has one more game left following a bye week, and that is at home against rival Florida State.

As of now, the Gators are a serious threat to make a New Year’s Six bowl, with the Cotton Bowl in Texas being the likely destination.

If Florida doesn’t make a New Year’s Six bowl, the Citrus Bowl in Orlando might be the likeliest destination.

Blackman reclaims starting QB job for Seminoles ahead of Florida game

A roller coaster season for Florida State sophomore quarterback James Blackman appears to be back on the upswing going into FSU's regular-season finale at Florida on Nov. 30.

Blackman reclaimed the starting quarterback job during a 38-31 win at Boston College two weeks ago and followed that up with a good performance against Alabama State, throwing three touchdowns to lead the Seminoles to their sixth win of the season Saturday.

The best version of Blackman, not the version who was benched a couple of times this season in favor of backup Alex Hornibrook, might give the Seminoles a shot in Gainesville.

Bad day for pro teams

Three games against teams with winning records produced the expected outcome for the three Florida NFL teams: three losses.

All three of the defeats were lopsided, as the Jaguars (33-13 to Colts), Dolphins (37-20 to Bills) and Buccaneers (34-17 to Saints) all fell to last place in their respective divisions.

Miami-FIU ready to play at Marlins Park

There will be a lot of nostalgia in the air Saturday when Miami and Florida International will meet up in a nonconference game at Marlins Park, which is being transformed into a football field.

Marlins Park was built on the site of the old Orange Bowl, where the Hurricanes played in their glory days of the '80s, '90s and early '2000s.

In addition, former Hurricanes head coach Butch Davis is now the head man at Florida International and will no doubt have some memories stirred up, as well.

Clash of powerhouses lives up to hype

The regional semifinal round of the state playoffs produced a terrific matchup in Miami, with the 4A contest between Booker T. Washington and Gulliver Prep living up to the hype.

Ranked No. 1 in the final regular season poll, Booker T. Washington pulled out a 34-31 win over No. 3 Gulliver Prep, which was unbeaten going into the game.

The Tornadoes scored the game-winning touchdown with 1:18 left on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Torey Morrison to Jacorey Brooks to pull out a thriller.


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