Week 2 of the college football season was not very kind to a handful off the state university’s last weekend. While week 1 of the NFL season was brutal for our in-state teams, as well. After a under whelming weekend for Florida football lets take a look at how things stack up in our rankings:
Florida Gators- The Gators were one of the only bright spots last week in the State. It took Florida until the 2nd quarter to find the endzone, which is something they surely didn’t envision. From there, they would head to an easy 45-0 victory over UT-Martin. The Gators did suffer two potential major losses on the night. RB/WR Kadarius Toney and DB C.J. Henderson were both injured and could miss the conference opener at Kentucky next week.
UCF Knights- UCF put up a lot of points (above) and a lot of yards, yet again. The Knights went over 500 yards and for the 28th game in a row put up 30 points. Freshman Dillon Gabriel silenced a crowd of over 30,000 that was the largest in program history for FAU. The Knights put up 14 points in both the first and second quarter on their way to a blowout victory. This week they face Stanford coming from California into the “Bounce House.”
This game was looking like a ranked match up before the Cardinal lost to USC late last Saturday night. Still, this is a big game for Knights against a Power-5 opponent and coach Josh Heupel knows they have to be impressive.
Florida State Seminoles- The Noles slide into the 3 spot or did they really back up into it? FSU was painfully close to loosing at home to ULM. Had the Warhawks gone for two, like many expected them to do, they might have walked out of Tallahassee with Willie Taggart contract in hand.
For the second week in a row the Noles had a 2nd half collapse. After leading 24-7 at the break they went into the 4th quarter still up 24-21, but then faltered badly, again, only to hang on 45-44 in OT. Heading into conference play this weekend the Noles will need to get a grip on things or they won’t end well starting at Virginia Saturday night.
Miami Hurricanes- The Canes were oh so close last week. In the first true road game of the year the U almost took one in Chapel Hill. Freshman Jarren Williams had a great bounce back performance throwing for 300 yards and two touchdowns. After being down all game the Canes took the lead for the first time in the fourth quarter with 4:45 left to play.
The Hurricanes though still want this one back, as UNC freshman QB Sam Howell hit a 20-yard pass on 4th and 17 to keep the game winning drive going. The Canes would drive down the field to attempt a 49-yard field goal that was missed. Miami though should get into the win column next week against Bethune- Cookman.
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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