It’s another Saturday of college football in September and two of the state’s teams travel on the road in the biggest matchups of the weekend.
USF will take on Big Ten power 5 team Illinois at Soldier Field in Chicago at 3:30 Eastern.
The Bulls are fresh off a 49-38 defeat opponent Georgia Tech last weekend. In that game, quarterback Blake Barnett (above) played solidly. And, special-teams speedster Terrence Horne raced two kick off returns back for touchdowns in the first quarter alone, to help the Bulls get a win over a Power Five conference team.
Meanwhile, it has been a struggle for Illinois and former Buccaneers and Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith. Winless in the Big Ten a year ago and now in his third season, Illinois struggled to get by two easy opponents to start this season. His team is going with a Young quarterback in A.J. Bush and the oddsmakers have the Illini as 12 point underdogs at home.
The pressure is on Smith to get something going, particularly in conference play in a bad outing maybe a bad omen.
The next biggest game of the day comes up at Noon Eastern time when Florida State travels to Syracuse in an ACC game at the Carrier Dome.
As we wrote earlier in the week the Seminoles better have their track shoes on, as this one is likely to be and up and down the field high-scoring game.
Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey is excellent dual threat, and probably better at running the football. FSU’s defense has really struggled in the first two games with Virginia Tech and Samford and has to get themselves back on track.
Meanwhile, quarterback Deondre Francois, running back Cam Akers and the Noles offense know that they have to put the points on the board, as well. They did so in the second half of last week’s come back when over the Bulldogs at Doak Campbell Stadium.
New coach Willie Taggart needs a good showing to qwell the growing criticism early on of his hire.
The Miami Hurricanes, they are in Toledo, Ohio taking on the MAC’s Rockets, also in a Noon Eastern Time game. Canes had no trouble with Savannah State last week in a 77 – 0 blowout win.
Quarterback Malik Rosier played only part of the first have that’s coach Mark Richt was able to get some playing time for two of his backups as the game went on.
Toledo actually played Miami tough for a half last year at Hard Rock Stadium leading 16-10 at intermission before Miami pulled away in the second half.
Toledo’s home stadium, known as the Glass Bowl seats 25,000, and they have been waiting for this game for two years. Let’s see if the Hurricanes have some struggles.
And finally, the Gators play host to Colorado State at the swamp at 4 p.m. Florida is still smarting from their upset loss at home last week to Kentucky in the SEC opener. As you probably know, the Wildcats napping 31 game losing streak to the Gators completely out playing them especially in the second half.
Florida’s defensive line in particular struggled for much of the night to do anything to stop the Wildcats rushing offense.
A while this will not be an easy task has Colorado State comes in having knocked off SEC West team Arkansas at home last week behind quarterback KJ Carta-Samuels, who has already thrown for 1,100 yards and eight touchdowns in three games for the Rams.
Ironically, this is a game being played because former coach Jim McElwain and the University of Florida worked out a deal with Colorado State to help let him out of his contract, if they would host the Rams in a game.
Of course McElwain was dismissed in late October last season, and now the new coach, Dan Mullen, is trying to regain some swagger after last week’s stinging defeat.
Gators cannot get caught looking ahead to next week showdown at Tennessee.
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