It’s a Saturday of intrigue for the State schools from Syracuse to Baton Rouge and from Orlando to Raleigh and then to Dallas. Noles RB Dalvin Cook has a chance at history, the Gators can clinch the SEC East, and USF can a win get closer to history of their own.
Here’s the Primer:
12:30 p.m. Miami at NC State
As Ari Russell wrote Friday, the Canes will look to continue their modest two game win streak, and attempt to solidify their bowl position against a Wolfpack that has been reeling since narrowly missing a last second field goal that could have upset Clemson. This should be an fairly easy day for the more talented Miami.
1:00 p.m. Florida at LSU
We have well documented that this is the make-up game from Hurricane Matthew threatening the East coast of Florida on October 8th that was supposed to be in Gainesville. We also pointed out that LSU top running back Leonard Fournette would not have played six weeks ago due to an ankle injury, but is now apparently mostly healed and back to his battering ram self. The Gators already had their work cut out for them trying to secure the East Division and a berth in Atlanta before QB Luke Del Rio suffered a shoulder injury in the Arkansas game. It kept him out last week and likely, this week, too. They will be hyped on the Bayou to get another win for interim head coach Ed Orgeron, who is vying for the job full time. They will be rooting hard in Knoxville for LSU, as a Florida loss would put the Vols back in the driver’s seat to win the East themselves.
3:30 p.m. FSU at Syracuse
There will not be outcome drama in this one. Florida State has superior athletes/speed and should blow out the ‘Cuse early. The real drawing card is the history that Seminoles RB Dalvn Cook is sitting on coming in. He will likely break Warrick Dunn’s record and go over the 4,000 career yards in the first half. Look for him to run as wild as head coach Jimbo Fisher wants to let him over the course of this one. Cook and the Noles need the tune-up for Florida next week and they’re may be a lot of resting of players (depending on how wide the margin) in the second half.
7:00 p.m. USF at SMU
The Bulls come off a wild 49-42 shootout victory at Memphis last week. QB Quinton Flowers became the first American conference player ever with 200 yards rushing and 200 yards passing in the same game. The Bulls prolific offense is not in question. The defense that has been scored on repeatedly down the stretch by Temple, Navy and the Tigers last week, is a huge question. SMU can score some points and did upset Houston at home a few weeks back. The Bulls are two wins away from their first ever 10 win regular season in program history. Look for lots of points in Big D.
And Finally, 8:00 p.m. Tulsa at UCF
Having won three of four, the Golden Knights, who are already bowl eligible, look to win again over a potent Tulsa offense. In addition to exciting freshman QB McKenzie Milton, UCF has been using opportunistic defense to win. Three defensive TD’s against Tulane two weeks ago and a blocked punt for a TD against Cincinnati last week in the two wins. Coach Scott Frost is getting all three phases to click. Tulsa has scored 40 or more points in each of their last 4 games. Veteran gunslinger QB Dane Evans leads Tulsa them with 26 TD passes and RB James Flanders has already rushed for over 1,000 yards and 14 TD’s. This could be a wild one, also.
Look for our Rapid Recaps coming all Saturday.