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Gators-UGA and FSU-Canes rivalries lead our primer

Jamil King

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Week 10 of the college football season will have some exciting games in the state of Florida. We get two rivalries with the Gators and Georgia and the Noles and Canes. Meanwhile, UCF will continue to fight for their AAC lives against Houston and FAU will also be playing for their chances to win the C-USA.

The Gators are set to play their biggest game of the season. The LSU game was big but didn’t decide their SEC East fate like this game can. Georgia has been inconsistent for a few weeks before they just had their bye week. Coming into this game, everyone knows both teams have strong defenses.

The question is: which offense can score to win? Coming into the game, it looks like it’s Florida with a better offense. The Gators have dropped two in a row to the Dawgs and in both games, struggled to score. If Florida and QB Kyle Trask can get points on the board, the Gators should be the team going home happy.

Florida State and Miami will link up today and “oh, how the mighty have fallen.” A game that used to decide how national championships were won is now representing who might not make a bowl game.

The Noles and Hurricanes have both been bad for stretches of 2019. Inconsistency has killed both teams and will be a theme for this game. The winner will be whoever gets the most consistent offense.

Can Cam Akers, off a four TD performance last week, lead the Noles to some scoring drives? Can Alex Hornibrook provide some consistency at quarterback back to back weeks? For Miami with Jarren Willians back, can he supply a couple of scoring drives for the Canes to get downfield? Can they get Brevin Jordan and Jeff Thomas back involved in the offense?

There may be some bad blood on the field in this one, too.

As for UCF, their offense hit stride last week at Temple. All phases of the game were at work as they put up 63 points destroying the Owls. They will now face a Houston team that has given up at least 24 points every game.

Last week Houston got killed on the ground by SMU. UCF just happens to have a stable of backs that can all break off a huge run. After that, they also have the Dillon Gabriel to Gabe Davis connection that has been one of the best in all of college football. Expect for a lot of points to be scored here with an over-under of a whopping 71.

Finally, Florida Atlantic will be playing one of their biggest games in a few seasons. The Owls sit behind Western Kentucky in the east division of the C-USA. They just so happen to be traveling to them this week.

The Hilltoppers have a strong defense ranking in the top 20. Before losing to Marshall last week, they held four opponents in a row under 20 points. The Owls offense will need to be up to the task led by QB Chris Robinson. Lane Kiffin will look to unlock some good offense and lead his team to the upset to set up another big game next week against rival FIU.

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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