NCAA.COM – Florida and Virginia play each other for only the second time ever, as the Gators and Cavaliers meet for the 2019 Orange Bowl. Below, get a prediction, time, TV channel and preview information.
The Gators, ranked No. 9 in the final College Football Playoff rankings, are 10-2 this season, while Virginia is 9-4 and was No. 24 in the last CFP rankings.
Florida vs. Virginia: Orange Bowl prediction, preview
Florida has posted back-to-back double-digit win seasons for the first time since 2008 and 2009 in Urban Meyer’s tenure.
Last season, the Gators surprised Michigan with a 41-15 rout in the Peach Bowl to win game No. 10 and finish in a tie for No. 7 in the AP Poll. Though Florida still can’t get over the UGA hump in the SEC East hierarchy, it’s 10-2 coming into this game and can finish around the top 5 with a bowl win — Florida is sixth in the AP Poll.
This year’s Gators group overcame an early season injury to starting QB Feleipe Franks behind QB Kyle Trask and a strong defense that’s allowing 14.4 points per game. Trask has completed almost 68 percent of his passes while throwing for 2,636 yards.
Virginia is coming off a 45-point loss to Clemson in the ACC title game, but the Cavaliers made a statement by simply getting into that game. UVA halted the losing skid to rival Virginia Tech at 15 games, winning 39-30 to clinch the Coastal Division crown.
TV SCHEDULE: Complete times and TV channels for every bowl game
The Gators are 3-0 in the Orange Bowl all-time, but they haven’t played in the game since the 2001 season (2002 game). Florida’s first appearance came in 1967 as an AP unranked team — the last time a team not ranked in the AP Poll played in the Orange Bowl…until Virginia this season. This year’s game marks the first time the Cavaliers will play in the Orange Bowl.
The Cavaliers hope QB Bryce Perkins can continue to be a dual threat against the Gators, as Perkins has a team-leading 745 rushing yards to go along with his 3,215 passing yards.
Virginia has also increased its win total each year of the Bronco Mendenhall tenure (2, 6, 8, 9), as UVA is up to nine in 2019. But it might be a year too soon for the Cavaliers to upset a top-10 team.
|The Pick||Florida 31,|
Florida vs. Virginia: Orange Bowl time, TV channel
The Orange Bowl is at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, Dec. 30. The game is on ESPN. Action is at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.
SCOREBOARD: Live scores, stats for every bowl game
Florida vs. Virginia: Stats, how they compare
|10-2 (6-2 SEC)||Record (Conference)||9-4 (6-2 ACC)|
|No. 9||CFP ranking||No. 24|
|33.0||Points per game||32.4|
|420.7||Yards per game||390.0|
|299.0||Yards allowed per game||358.2|
|192.0||Passing yards allowed||228.2|
|107.0||Rushing yards allowed||130.0|
2,636 yards (24 TDs, 6 INT)
|Passing yards leader||Bryce Perkins|
3,215 yards (18 TDs, 11 INT)
538 yards, 4 TDs
|Rushing yards leader||Bryce Perkins|
745 yards, 11 TDs
610 yards, 5 TDs
|Receiving yards leader||Hasise Dubois|
979 yards, 4 TDs
51 total tackles, 14.5 tfl, 8.5 sacks
|Defensive leader||Jordan Mack|
69 total tackles, 8.5 tfl, 7.5 sacks
Wayne Staats is a senior interactive producer for NCAA.com. His work has also appeared in the Augusta Chronicle, augusta.com and Land of 10. He is a graduate of Penn State University.