Huddle up! Here’s a look back at this weekend on the gridiron, with three key takeaways from the state’s football scene -- and a glimpse at what’s to come next week.
Gators, Seminoles meet in annual rivalry showdown
Florida and Florida State sure couldn’t be heading in more opposite directions going into Friday night’s annual rivalry game that will be held in Tallahassee for the first time since 2018.
The Seminoles enter on a four-game winning streak following a lopsided win over Louisiana, and moved up to No. 16 in the AP rankings after improving to 8-3.
Meanwhile, the Gators thought they had some momentum after two straight wins, but that was halted significantly in a 31-24 loss to a bad Vanderbilt team that dropped Florida to 6-5.
Florida has won three straight games in the rivalry, but the Seminoles seem to have way more to play for.
Not only does Florida State want to get bragging rights back, but the Seminoles also are still in the running for a New Year’s Six bowl game if they can win and get some help.
Knights stumble badly at home
So much for us saying last week that it looked good that Central Florida would host the American Athletic Conference championship game.
There’s now a remote chance the Knights won’t even get there now following a stunning 17-14 home loss to a Navy team that entered 3-7.
Odds are still good Central Florida will advance to the championship game, given the two teams ahead of the Knights by a game in the league standings, Cincinnati and Tulane, play each other this weekend.
The Knights own the tiebreaker over both by virtue of head-to-head wins, so essentially all Central Florida has to do is win at 1-10 South Florida in the Battle of I-4 to get into the championship against the Cincinnati-Tulane winner.
But you never know in a rivalry game, and after an awful loss at home, it’s for certain that the Knights will have to win a conference title on the road now instead of at FBC Mortgage Stadium.
Lake Mary earns payback against Seminole
Arguably the biggest upset of the state football playoffs took place on Saturday, when Lake Mary earned a 12-8 win over Sanford Seminole.
In the teams last meeting on Oct. 28, Seminole earned a 43-6 win and came in having not lost to Lake Mary since 2015.
But none of that mattered to Lake Mary, which pulled off a 12-8 upset to end seven years of frustration to Seminole.
Lake Mary advanced to meet Apopka this week in a regional final.