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?
UCF showed why they are top team in latest power rankings
Another week has come and gone in the 2019 football season. In the state of Florida, it was another rough week for two of the NFL teams with the Fins and Jags both loosing again. While the Bucs were able to land an impressive division road win, UCF continued to roll, the Hurricanes got a victory, and the Gators pulled a out a late one, but lost a key player.
At the same time, FSU had yet another late-game collapse and USF did what they were supposed to do with an easy opponent. With all of that said lets breakdown the top teams in the state this week:
UCF Knights- The Knights just keep on “charging on.” Every time a team enters the “Bounce House,” they proceed to get bounced right on out of Orlando.
Freshman QB Dillon Gabriel is off to a hot start taking home a couple of national accolades last week. The Knights have now scored 30 points for the 29th game in a row, the longest streak since 1936. UCF gets another power five opponent this week on the road against Pittsburgh. If the Knights are able to roll over them with a couple of ranked matchups producing losses this weekend, will they be able to crack the top 10?
Florida Gators- The Gators had to sweat it out, but in the end, we’re able to come away with a win in Lexington. It took a missed field goal and a 76-yard WR sweep to eventually put the game away.
The Big story though, is the injury to 3-year starter, Felipe Franks. Franks will be out for the remainder of the season with a broken ankle, and backups Kyle Trask and Emory Jones will be called upon to run the offense.
With a home game against a 1-2 Tennessee next, then a visit from Towson, the Gators have time to get the offense resituated before a four-game stretch against Auburn, LSU, South Carolina, and Georgia.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers- The Bucs came away with a big division win on Thursday night at Carolina. The Panthers had owned the Bucs with Cam Newton who had a 9-4 record vs. the team before this loss. The Bucs offense did just enough and let the defense do the rest.
The new-look Bucs defense under coordinator Todd Bowles has been one of the bigger surprises in the entire NFL so far. With a date with the Giants and rookie Daniel Jones, the Bucs could potentially feast on the young quarterback in his first career start.
Miami Hurricanes- The Canes finally got a win in 2019. After losing the first two games by a combined 7 points, they beat Bethune-Cookman 63-0.
QB Jarren Williams continues to improve game by game, and the rushing attack had another good performance. The Canes will play host to a former employer of Dan Enos next week, when Central Michigan comes to town. Following that, the Canes get right back into conference play with home games against Virginia Teach, Virginia, and Georgia Tech.
FAU Owls- The Owls final played a team not ranked, and it resulted in the first win of the season. FAU took down Ball State 41-31 on the road. QB Chris Robinson tossed four touchdowns and had 366 yards passing. Larry McCammon III had 99 yards rushing and had a touchdown of his own.
John Mitchell had a monster game of 8 catches for 124 and three touchdowns. The Owls will get Wagner next before getting into conference play.
UCF freshman QB Gabriel already bringing home honors
If there was any chance for a two-quarterback system to continue at UCF, that appears to be answered already.
With Brandon Wimbush and Darriel Mack, Jr., both trying to gain playing time, true freshman Dillon Gabriel put a stronghold on the spot.
For the first time, this season the Knights started the same QB as the week before, and it seems like it will be like this for the foreseeable future. Gabriel, who shredded the Stanford defense Saturday, has the accolades coming in and was named Co-Offensive Player of the Week for the AAC,
Two players share this week's @American_Conf Offensive Player of the Week honor:
Dillon Gabriel of @UCF_Football threw four TD passes in the win against Stanford.
— American Football (@American_FB) September 16, 2019
Gabriel was also was named Walter Camp Foundation Offensive Player of the Week after leading the Knights to a win over the Cardinal by completing 22/30 of his passes for 347 yards and 4 touchdowns.
He was able to hit for TD throws of 28 yards to Marlon Williams, 38 yards to Tre Nixon, 38 yards to Gabriel Davis and 1-yard to Jake Hescook.
UCF scored at least 30 points for their 29th consecutive game – the longest streak in the Football Bowl Subdivision since 1936. They also won their 27th consecutive regular season game on Saturday.
Gabriel continues to follow in fellow Hawaii phenom, Mckenzie Milton’s footsteps. From the same town and school as the UCF quarterback, he is on the path with the awards. Milton, who was the American Player of the Year in 2018, but suffered a horrible career threatening injury in November, is helping Gabriel adjust to college and leading the Knights.
By the way, Gabriel is the fourth UCF player to receive Walter Camp National Player of the Week honors, since 2004, and the first since quarterback Milton.
If Gabriel is going to be the starter going forward, and barring injury, it looks like he will, we can expect more performances like this leading Josh Heupel’s high-powered offense.
He will get another test next week on the road against another Power 5 opponent in Pittsburgh in a game that will also be televised to a lot of the country on ABC.
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