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Florida-Tennessee tops our week four college primer

Jamil King

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Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

Week four of the college football season will feature an SEC East rivalry, a Noles team in need of a big win, and UCF looking to knock off another power five school. Plus, a pair of schools in South Florida will also be looking for their second win of the season.

The Florida Gators will renew their rivalry early Saturday against Tennessee at the Swamp. The Vols were beaten badly by the Gators (above) a year ago, and have been struggling so far this season coming in at 1-2.

The Gators will be playing their first game since losing QB Felipe Franks for the rest of the season. Kyle Trask and Emory Jones will now apparently split time/run the offense, and both bring a different element. Trask the more traditional pocket passer and Jones, who can extend plays with his legs. Expect the Gators to give the ball to Lamical Perine a lot to establish the run and ease the QBs into the game.

Florida State is coming off yet another second-half meltdown- this time at Virginia. The Noles are in desperate need of a win with the clock on Willie Taggart running out of time. The offense has played well in the first half of every game so far. QB James Blackman, RB Cam Akers, and WR Tamorrion Terry have had fast starts to the season so far

The Noles need to put a whole game together for the first time, and they can come out with a home win against a rebuilding Louisville program. FSU also added Jim Leavitt to the defensive staff, as an analyst and hope to see some early returns on that investment.

UCF is looking to keep the good times rolling. The Knights will travel to Pittsburgh for their second game in a row against a power-five opponent. The Knights offense looks to be unstoppable, right now and is one of the best in the nation. Freshman QB Dillion Gabriel is coming off national honors and will need another big game. As the Knights continue to battle for respect, they can use all the style points they can get at this point. Pitt is definitely ripe to be beaten, even at home.

The Miami Hurricanes got their first win last week and should start up a winning streak this weekend, as the Canes will host Central Michigan. QB Jarren Williams has quietly been very good for the new Canes offense. Williams has 777 yards passing for seven touchdowns and zero interceptions.

Since the first game against the Gators, he is becoming the guy who showed all the flashes of being a great quarterback. DeeJay Dallas is also averaging 8.4 yards a carry and should have a good day against the MAC opponent.

Finally, FAU will take on an 0-3 Wagner team. The Owls got their first win of the season a week ago, just like the Canes. Expect Lane Kiffin to set QB Chris Robinson free in this game. Last week he had 366 yards and four touchdowns in a win at Ball State.

This week we can probably expect some of the same,  as they get their last game before jumping into conference play.

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

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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

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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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