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Florida Gators

Florida-LSU headlines our college primer

Jamil King



Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Week 7 of the college football season will feature two heavyweight battles for two Florida schools. Both Florida and Florida State will be heading to Death Valley, but in two separate locations.

The Noles travel to Clemson for an afternoon showdown with the defending National Champions. The Gators pack their bags for Baton Rouge for a date with the top five ranked LSU Tigers. Elsewhere in the state, USF will look for back to back wins for the first time all year.

Florida Atlantic will look to stay hot and make an early move up the standings in the conference.

Florida proved a lot of people wrong last week after they were able to defeat the Auburn Tigers. The Gators were able to quiet a lot of naysayers saying they were a fluke through the first six weeks of the season. The Gators will have their toughest task yet, though playing at LSU.

The Tigers offense is roaring right now with Joe Burrow leading the way. He already has 22 touchdown passes and over 1800 passing yards.

The Gators were able to get by against Freshman Bo Nix, but Burrow will present a much tougher test for the defense. On offense, the Gators will have to score to keep up in this game. Kyle Trask is banged up, but he will need to play his best game for Florida to be able to keep the undefeated season going.

Florida State played its best game of the season last time out against NC State. Now, the Noles will face arguably their toughest task of the season traveling to Clemson. The Tigers themselves are coming off their worst performance in a narrow one point win at North Carolina, making some wonder if FSU can make this a game? The Noles will have to play a full 60 minutes of football to have a chance.

Whoever is at QB for Florida State will have to put up points early and often. The Tigers offense led by Trevor Lawrence coming out of a bye week are going to be a lot to handle for the Noles defense.

USF has struggled for most of the season up to this point. A week after getting embarrassed by SMU, the Bulls were able to get a win in Connecticut. Now the Bulls will face a BYU team at home using their back up quarterback. USF still has a QB dilemma with Jordan McCloud and Blake Barnett.

Whoever gets the nod, will need to show some consistency, which has alluded the Bulls all season long. Charlie Strong may be coaching for his USF Future the rest of the season and needs a big homecoming win over the Cougars.

With tough games later in the year against Cincinnati. Memphis and UCF, the Bulls, may be running out of chances to become bowl eligible.

Florida Atlantic comes into the week on a three-game win streak. Since playing and losing badly to ranked teams Ohio State and UCF, the Owls have been clicking. They will host a 2-3 Middle Tennessee team that could be a trap game for FAU. The Owls have a big game against Marshall next week, a game that will be at home in primetime.

Its important Lane Kiffin keeps the team focused on the task at hand. QB Chris Robinson has been on fire with 11 touchdown passes during the three-game winning streak.

Jamil King is a young draft pick working his way up the depth chart on the F.F.I. roster, who enjoys watching and writing about all of Florida’s football teams.

Florida Gators

Gators announced home and home series with Cal Friday

Florida Football Insiders



Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Gators continued their philosophy of striking “home-and-home” deals with Power 5 opposition, when they announced on Friday that they will be doing so with the Cal-Berkley Bears out of the Pac-12 coming later in this decade.

The Gators made the announcement through their website and social media mid-day Friday that they will play Cal at home first and then travel to Berkeley the following year:

A.D. Scott Stricklin has broken up the long tradition that Florida would only play two home out of conference games in September and usually, against much lesser competition before entering SEC play. Stricklin has been very outspoken that in the age of the College Football Playoff, strength of schedule is emphasized and the selection committee holds schools responsible for not playing top-notch out of conference opponents, at least some of the time.

With that in mind, the Gators opened the 2019 season in Orlando against the Miami Hurricanes and won a sloppy game. And, they already have other Power 5 schools laid out to play home and away.

As we previously wrote, Florida will be playing the Texas Longhorns first in Gainesville in 2030 and then. return the game the following year in Austin.

Florida had previously announced last year that they will also play the Colorado Buffaloes out of the Pac-12, again with the first game in Gainesville in 2028 and then, returning it to Boulder the following season.

It’s interesting with Friday’s announcement that Stricklin and the football program are working backwards with the schedule. And, they will now play Cal before Colorado in September of 2026, and then will be opening on the Berkeley campus the following season.

Florida and Cal have only met two times, having played first in Gainesville in 1974 as the Gators wo 21 – 17 and then, they also met in Tampa to open the 1980 season with a Florida 41-13 blowout victory.

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Florida Gators

Second National Signing Day recap for top state schools

Jamil King



Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

National Signing Day 2020 has come and gone, and several in state schools were able to improve their classes heading into spring ball. The University of Florida watched rival Georgia secure the number one overall class, but the Gators were still able to land the best class in the state with the number eight class overall.

The Gators officially signed former five-star receiver Justin Shorter from Penn State, and Florida stayed in the family today as well, Xzavier Henderson officially joined the Gators. He’s the ounger brother of  former DB C.J. Henderson.

Dan Mullen also able to dip into the state of Texas inking four-star DE Princely Umanmielen. It wasn’t all great news for the Gators, as they missed out on a few key guys, including losing out on arguably top state safety Avantae Williams to in state rival Miami. Overall it was a good cycle for the Gators both recruiting and in the transfer portal.

The Miami Hurricanes continued an impressive offseason on National Signing Day. The Canes made arguably the biggest move in the state by landing Williams and keeping him Florida. Williams became the highest rated Hurricane in the class and propelled the U to the number 13 spot.

Miami has the second-best class in the ACC behind Clemson. With an impressive offseason in the books, once again excitement will be in the air in Coral Gables. The question is: will they live up to it in year two for Manny Diaz?

Florida State and new coach Mike Norvell have been working hard to get this class rolling last minute. After a good early National Signing Day Norvell looked to keep the momentum going. The Noles took a big hit Wednesday though, with the loss of Venice four star WR, Malachi Wideman, who flipped to Tennessee.

The Noles came back from that by landing a handful of other recruits. They got the number six Juco running back La’Damian Webb, ass well as, Robert Scott, an offensive lineman and Corey Wren, an athlete/running back.

Replacing Cam Akers will be tough for Norvell and building the offensive line is a top priority. The former Memphis coach came in late like he did, yet he finishes with a decent class sitting at 22 on 24/7.

Now the work begins turning around the former powerhouse.

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