Florida Gators vs. Richmond Spiders Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 9th 2023


Going into the annual Orange Bowl Classic on Saturday in Sunrise, Fla., Richmond and Florida actually have some history in the event. The teams bumped heads in the 2009 Orange Bowl Classic, with Richmond earning a 56-53 win.

Nearly 14 years later, the teams meet again, both searching for consistency.

Florida (5-3) is coming off a 77-57 win at home on Tuesday over Merrimack.

The Gators have used a balanced scoring effort so far this year, with Walter Clayton Jr. (16.9 points per game), Riley Kugel (13.9) and Tyrese Samuel (13.8) all averaging in double figures.

Florida head coach Todd Golden said Richmond is a good offensive team that will be familiar at the same time.

“They are obviously very systematic and run a lot of stuff that we ran last year,” Golden said. “So far, I think they are top-five in America in terms of their turnover rate. Very good, effective field goal team. They don’t crash the glass very aggressively and they haven’t been getting fouled a lot, so they’ve got to make some shots. But they do a good job of getting good shots every time down.

“Defensively, they’re not the most athletic team we’ll face. But I feel like they do a good job of playing positional defense.”

Richmond (5-4) is coming off a 78-73 loss at Northern Iowa on Wednesday. The Spiders have relied heavily on guard Jordan King, who scored 20 points Wednesday and is averaging 20.9 per game.

Even though the Orange Bowl Classic is technically at a neutral site, King said his team will have to have the mindset that it’s a road game.

“If we’re going to win on the road, we have to play with heart,” King said. “We’ve got to understand we’re not the favorites right now. We’ve got to come in and throw the first punch.”

–Field Level Media

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