This week in our state, we witnessed the end of UCFs long regular season win streak. The Gators handled the Vols without Felipe Franks. The Noles actually held onto a lead, and the Hurricanes struggled to win against Central Michigan. In the NFL the Jags kicked the week off with a win, while the Bucs lost a heartbreaker, and the Dolphins lost badly, again.
So, here is the breakdown of how the teams shape up heading into this weekend:
Florida Gators- The Gators were able to take care business against rival Tennessee. In the first game without Franks, QB Kyle Trask threw two touchdowns and two interceptions. The Gators will get another relatively easy test this week against Towson. After that though, they will face a tough one against a top 10 ranked Auburn, a team that just went into Kyle Field and came away with a win.
UCF Knights- The Knights finally saw their two year plus regular-season win streak come to an end and off a trick play as the Pitt Panthers ran “Philly Special” pass to the QB to put the game away. The Knights still put up 30 points and have everything they want to accomplish right in front of them. And, they should rebound in a big way at home against UCONN before a tough game at Cincinnati.
Miami Hurricanes- The Canes were able to come away with another win to get the record at 2-2. The win though was not pretty, by any means. The offense struggled against Central Michigan out of the MAC. Offensive coordinator Dan Enos will have some work to do to get this offense up to the standards he envisioned before the season. Jarren Williams has been able to improve week by week and is quietly becoming one of if not the best QB in the state.
The Canes will face a Virginia Tech this week before a big game against a ranked Virginia team. Both of these contest will be huge regarding the Canes ACC Coastal aspirations.
FAU Owls- FAU was able to handle Wagner 42-7. Last week, we predicted that QB Chris Robinson would have a good game ,and he did just that with five touchdown passes for 379 yards. The Owls were heavy favorites in their last out of conference matchup. Now, they will focus on all Conference USA opponents as they look to challenge for a spot in the title game this season.
Jacksonville Jaguars- The Jags check into the 5th and final spot just ahead of the Florida State Seminoles. The Jags were dominant on Thursday night as Sacksonville announced their presence. Jacksonville put Marcus Mariota down a whopping nine times. On offense, Garner Minshew continues to take the league by storm with his mustache and off the field persona and solid play.
The Jags still have the Jalen Ramsey situation to work out, but for now, they are looking up heading into Denver.
Gators announced home and home series with Cal Friday
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:
Coast to coast❗
🐻 at 🐊 2026
🐊 at 🐻 2027#GoGators
— Gators Football (@GatorsFB) February 7, 2020
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.
Second National Signing Day recap for top state schools
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.