The last time Florida played a midweek game, coach Kevin O’Sullivan was not happy.

Even though the Gators beat UNF 5-4 in Gainesville, O’Sullivan ripped into his team after the game.

He wasn’t pleased with the at-bats the team had toward the end of the game.

His pep talk might’ve woken a sleeping giant because the Gators’ offense came to life against Harvard, scoring 28 runs in a three-game series sweep of the Crimson.

But now No. 1 Florida (17-1) faces a much more difficult task.

Rival Florida State comes into Gainesville tonight at 7 for the first of three matchups between the two teams this season.

"There’s a lotta emphasis on that game, for both schools," O’Sullivan said.

"They are obviously going to come in here ready to play and we will, too. I’m sure it’ll be a great game, I’m sure it’ll be a great crowd and it’s a good game."

The Gators lost two of three against the Seminoles during the 2015 regular season, but won the lone game in Gainesville 14-8.

Florida will be sending Dane Dunning to the mound, who is coming off his best start of the season against the Ospreys last Tuesday.

While he didn’t factor into the game’s decision, he struck out 10 batters over six innings while allowing two earned runs.

Dunning will have to deal with one of the top lineups in the country.

No. 13 FSU (13-3) is ninth in the nation with a .332 batting average.

John Sansone paces the Seminoles with a .469 clip, tied for eighth nationally.

"FSU will be fun," Florida pitcher Alex Faedo said. "They’ll be a lot of people here and we love playing them. They’re really good."

The Seminoles will have a tough task of their own in dealing with Florida’s offense.

The Gators were lost at the plate at times during the past two weeks, taking big swings and not producing, which irked O’Sullivan.

It was fixed against Harvard after O’Sullivan watched tape with hitters from the middle of the Gators’ lineup, including first baseman Peter Alonso and outfielders Jeremy Vasquez and Nelson Maldonado.

Florida is looking to keep up that momentum at the plate.

"We kind of want to get everything going … to get the offense going," Alonso said.

"We’ve been playing really good defense, so this is really good for us. We’re starting to come together and get everything kind of on the same page."

The game against the Seminoles will be the last game for the Gators to make a statement before opening Southeastern Conference play against Missouri this weekend.

"It makes us better when we play them and I hope they feel the same way," O’Sullivan said.

"You gotta be at your best and you gotta be on top of your game if you’re going to beat Florida State."

Contact Luis Torres at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @LFTorresIII

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