It was a week to forget for a lot of teams in Florida. The Gators were the only real winners of the weekend by defeating a top 10 opponent in the Auburn Tigers. The Hurricanes almost had one of their worst loses since the Al Golden era before a 28 point comeback ended in a 7-point loss. The UCF Knights dropped their second game of the season-ending their run in the top 25.
In the NFL, it was a bad week as well, as the Bucs and the Jags both lost with the Jags losing the tighter game. The Noles and Owls both had BYE weeks with the Noles preparing for a date with the Clemson Tigers.
Here we go:
Florida Gators- The Gators survived the first step of their 4-week SEC gauntlet by defeating the Tigers. The game wasn’t the prettiest, but all that matters is they came away with a win. QB Kyle Trask started the game by throwing for a touchdown on his first pass. After that, the game had multiple turnovers for Florida, but the defense was able to hold the Auburn offense down all afternoon.
Next, the Gators will stay home to face SEC west cross over rival LSU Tigers who have an attack that has looked unstoppable so far this year.
Jacksonville Jaguars- The Jags came into the game against Carolina Hot riding the hot hand of Lenard Fournette and the arm of Gardner Minshew. They didn’t get the result they were looking for on Sunday, though. In the end, it was too much Christian McCaffery and turnovers that derailed the Jags.
Leonard Fournette had another strong game for the Jags. This time running for 108 yards and scoring his first touchdown of the season. Minshew threw for 374 yards and hit his favorite target D.J. Chark for two touchdowns. The strip-sack and scoop and score the Panthers had in the second quarter proved to be one of the biggest plays of the game, leading the Panthers to the win.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers- The Bucs are becoming a tough team to judge. A week after dropping 55 points on the LA Rams, they went into the Supper Dome and didn’t produce. The Offense struggled all day with the offensive line getting handled by Cameron Jordan and company. Mike Evans ended the day with no catches on three targets.
The defense couldn’t get any pressure on Teddy Bridgewater, who carved up the Bucs secondary for four touchdowns. The Bucs are now 1-1 on their month-long road trip and will head to London for a big division clash against the Carolina Panthers.
UCF Knights- The Knights were unable to win Friday Night in Cincinnati, further hampering their chances at a New Years Six game. The loss knocked the Knights out of the top 25 and put them behind the Bearcats in the race for the AAC eastern division title. The Knights will head into a much-needed BYE week before heading back into conference play on the 19th against East Carolina.
Florida State Seminoles- The Noles had a BYE week as they prepared to travel to Death Valley to face the number two ranked Clemson Tigers. Head Coach Willie Taggart will be looking for his first signature win with the Noles. They are coming off their best game of the season and have some momentum going into the game. Clemson escaped Chapel Hill in their last game, leaving some to doubt their dominance.
With both teams having two weeks to prepare for each other can the Noles play a complete 60 minutes on both sides of the ball.
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.