Week 6 of the college football season in Florida has a big-time headliner with the Gators hosting Auburn. The Seminoles have a bye week before traveling to face defending champions Clemson. Miami entertain Virginia Tech, as they look to rebound from an unimpressive performance two weeks ago. USF travels to Connecticut, looking to bounce back from last week’s embarrassment.
Florida begins a 4-game gauntlet today, starting with the 7th ranked Auburn Tigers. The Tigers are led on offense by freshman QB Bo Nix and workhorse running back JaTarvious Whitlow. The Gators have had two weeks to get Kyle Trask ready for the big game, and he has played good football. Kyle Pitts has emerged as a favorite target of Trask, and he, along with the rest of the Wide receiver group, will need to step up.
On Defense, the Gators will need to stop the run and make Nix beat them in the air. Auburn has already won two big games this season in a neutral site against Oregon and on the road against Texas A&M. They are familiar with the bright lights and hostile crowds. Both teams have good defenses the question is which team can get more offense from their first-year starters in what is essentially a playoff elimination game.
The Miami Hurricanes two weeks ago had a highly alarming performance against Central Michigan. After winning 17-12, Manny Diaz said, “Tonight was our second win, but probably our fourth-best performance” The Canes had a lot to clean up for today’s game against the Hokies. They allowed four sacks and had 13 penalties. The Canes now face a Tech team that just got demolished by Duke by the score of 45-10.
They will change QBs for the game against Miami going with Hendon Hooker. The Canes should win this game, but after what happened against Central Michigan, they will need to prove it on the field.
USF is coming off a horrid and disappointing loss to SMU. The Bulls lost 48-21 their second blowout loss of the season and third loss overall. The offense has not been able to get going at all for the Bulls. They have bounced between Blake Barnett and Jordan McCloud at QB. Barnett is nursing an injury and did not make the trip. So, McCloud will run the offense against the Huskies.
The Bulls defense will look to bounce back after getting ran and thrown all over last week. If the Bulls are not able to right the ship in this one, Coach Charlie Strong could very well find himself out of a job.
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.