Week 2 of the college football season has quickly arrived upon us. Every state school is in action with one in-state battle.
The USF Bulls travel to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech Saturday afternoon. The Bulls are coming off an embarrassing performance against Wisconsin. After putting up 0 points last week, a lot of pressure will be on the offense. Coach Charlie Strong needs a win today to put out some of the flames that are on the hot seat of his. Tech ran all over the Bulls last season, and even with the new coaching staff in place, will they do it again.
Florida State takes on ULM in a definite must win in Tallahassee. Coach Willie Taggart is coming off another rough loss this time bowing a lead to Boise State. The offense looked much improved, but a lack of energy and good football in the second half was the Noles demise. Last week the Noles got gashed on the ground and ULM running back Josh Johnson is coming off a 173-yard game in week one. In the end, the Noles should take care of business as a -22.5 point favorite.
The Miami Hurricanes travel to Chapel Hill for the first true road game of the season Saturday night. Freshman QB Jarren Williams will get another tough test, but two weeks removed from the Florida loss expect to see a QB that learned from those sacks. The Heels are entering Mack Browns first season back in the program and are coming off a come from behind victory last week VS. South Carolina. With both teams starting freshman QBs defense will play a critical role in this game which happens to be a specialty of Many Diaz.
The Florida Gators will host UT-Martin one of two lower-division games on the schedule. The Gators are 2 weeks removed from the win over the Canes and will look to see a different offense. Coach Dan Mullen and the rest of the staff will want to see an improved Felipe Franks with fewer mistakes. As 45-point favorites at home in the Swamp, expect to see back up QB Emory Jones get action, as well as, the rest of the backups.
FIU will host Western Kentucky in the home opener and first C-USA game for the Panthers. After falling opening night to Tulane, expect James Morgan and company to take care of business tonight. WKU is coming off a week one loss to Central Arkansas.
The UCF Knights will travel south to take on in-state opponent FAU. Last week the Knights rolled over FAMU with no hiccup. The Owls are coming off a loss to Ohio State in Columbus. The Knights used both QBs last week and are expected to do it again tonight. FAU’s defense played a much better second half last week after giving up 28 in the first quarter, as the Owls held the Buckeyes to just 17 the rest of the way.
The game is expected to be the second-ever sell-out at FAU Stadium and will be a wild in state atmosphere against the #18 Knights.
Excitement is certainly in the air the question is: can the Owls pull off one of, if not the, biggest upset in school history?
American Conference announces UCF-USF will be in prime time
The American Athletic Conference and ESPN have announced game times for the Friday after Thanksgiving, including UCF’s traditional battle with USF set for Orlando.
Cincinnati at Memphis – 3:30 ET, ABC
USF at UCF, 8 pm ET, ESPN
Tulsa at ECU, noon ET, ESPNU
UConn at Temple, 3 pm ET, CBSSN
Navy/Houston and Tulane/SMU announced after games of 11/23.
— American Football (@American_FB) November 18, 2019
In each of the last two years UCF and USF battled in the 3:30 Eastern time slot on the Friday after Thanksgiving on ABC. The game two years ago was as dramatic as the young conference could have hoped. This as it was for a spot in the AAC Championship Game and to keep UCF’s 10-0 unbeaten season alive. The Bulls came into the game 9-1, themselves.
It ended up being one of the highest-rated non-prime time ESPN college football games of the entire season with a massive 3.3 rating and 4.6 million audience for Black Friday. The Knights dramatic kickoff return for a touchdown by Mike Hughes (above) in the final minutes vaulted them into the title game. And, they eventually completed a perfect season, including their Peach Bowl win over Auburn.
A year ago, UCF continued their unbeaten win streak and rolled into Tampa on the Friday after Thanksgiving for an afternoon National TV game at Raymond James Stadium. UCF was in complete command, when suddenly the best player in the American Conference, quarterback McKenzie Milton, had his leg fractured horribly in a second quarter scramble.
The Knights went on to win that game with the Bulls and repeat, as AAC Champions with another victory over Memphis the following week. However, they lost the Fiesta Bowl on January 1st to LSU.
The Bulls have stumbled to a 4 – 6 record and UCF has also suffered three losses to this point, including a stunning collapse 10 days ago at Tulsa. That’s where they were beaten on a last-second field goal despite being 17-point favorites over the Golden Hurricane.
The conference also announced that the two division leading teams Memphis and Cincinnati, who has already beaten UCF and USF, will square off in Memphis at 3:30 in that slot on ABC that the Bulls and Knights occupied the last two years.
Interestingly, both the Bearcats and Tigers may enter that game with only one loss each and may end up rematching each other the following week in the Conference Championship game.
UCF holds strong in our latest power rankings
A tough loss for the Gators, a big comeback home win for the UCF Knights and a rivalry road win by the Hurricanes are all part of our latest power rankings. Here goes:
Florida Gators- The Gators did lose, but to another top 10 opponent keeping them in the top spot. The Gators dropped this one to the Georgia Bulldogs. The Gators inability to get off the field on third down along with the non-existent running game led to the defeat. Florida rallied twice in the fourth quarter to make it a once score game, but in the end, just couldn’t get off the field.
Now, the Gators need a lot of help to claim the SEC East crown. Even if they don’t, they could still end up in a New Years’ Six bowl game. The Gators will next take on Vanderbilt.
UCF Knights- The Knights continued their winning ways last week by knocking off the Houston Cougars 44-29. QB Dillon Gabriel stayed hot by tossing three touchdowns with 298 yards in the air. Running back, Bentavious Thompson led the team in rushing with 65 yards and two touchdowns. It was Tre Nixon who had the best day of the wideouts, not Gabe Davis.
Nixon (photo above) had six catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns. Next up for UCF is a trip to Tulsa. The Knight’s chances of going to the AAC title game are getting slimmer and slimmer as Cincinnati keeps winning. UCF will look to keep doing their job and control the controllable.
FAU Owls- The Owls secured a big win over Western Kentucky. QB Chris Robinson led the offense with 208 yards passing and two touchdowns. The defense came up big when the Owls needed it the most. With six minutes left in the 4th quarter, James Pierre came away with his second pick of the game.
The Owls are now tied with Marshall for the top spot in the C-USA Eastern division. The Herd won the head to head meeting so they would need to lose again for the Owls to take the crown. Next for FAU is a game against rival Florida International.
Miami Hurricanes- The Canes beatdown on Florida State 27-10 in Tallahassee. In the prosses, they put the icing on the cake for former coach Willie Taggart. Jarren Williams took back the QB1 role and didn’t disappoint. He threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns.
Jeff Thomas came back with a bang with 84 yards and a touchdown. Dee Wiggins and Brevin Jordan were the other two leading receivers. The Canes will look to make it three in a row when Louisville comes to town.
Jacksonville Jaguars- The Jags came back down to earth in London. The Texans took tamed the Jags with a 26-3 drumming across the pond. Deshawn Watson was on fire, only throwing six incompletions and two touchdowns. “Minshew Mania” may be over in Jacksonville, as he was 27-47 with two picks and two fumbles and now they will go back Nick Foles following the bye week.
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