On the final Saturday of the regular season, we take a look at the three games involving the prominent state schools that round out either conference play and/or a rivalry showdown.
At Noon, UCF at USF
As we have covered this week, the Bulls and the Golden Knights finish the regular season against each other in what is now officially being dubbed “The War on I-4.” Bulls QB Quinton Flowers has already set the single season USF total offense record and along with RB Marlon Mack, they pose a formidable 1-2 punch. Meanwhile, we have written throughout the season about talented UCF freshman QB McKenzie Milton and he will have to make some big plays with his arm and/or legs for the Knights to have a chance. UCF has also been opportunistic on defense creating turnovers and likely, will need them in this battle. USF won a laugher 44-3 a year ago to finish off UCF’s 0-12 debacle season. New coaching staff or not, don’t think for second that the Knights have to be reminded of that. Again, USF has never won 10 games in a season and they have a chance to get it at the expense their neighbors 70 miles to the east.
At 3:30, Duke at Miami
The Canes finish their regular season and ACC slate hosting Duke, in a close out game that has no implications for the ACC Title game next Saturday. As Ari Russell wrote about his guys this week, Mark Richt has done a good job getting the season turned around in November. Richt has chance to become the first Hurricane coach to win at least eight games in the regular season and go on to win a bowl game next month since Larry Coker in 2004. Duke was destroyed by Pitt last Saturday 56-14 and does not have much in the way of opposition for this one.
Finally at 8:00 p.m., Florida at Florida State
As we laid out at F.F.I. earlier this week, the Noles have owned the recent series and Gator fans are about tired of hearing about it. RB Dalvin Cook will play his final home game (he’s turning pro) and will likely add some more big numbers to the FSU all-time rushing record he surpassed last week. Then again, Florida’s D “bowed up” and shut down LSU on the ground last week, including the goal line stand in the final seconds that won the game. The Gators have very little on offense themselves, and the Seminoles are looking to make it four straight wins in the series after a 27-2 blowout a year ago. But, it’s a rivalry game and anything can happen at the Doak tonight.