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 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.
UCF coach Heupel sidestepped FSU interest questions Monday
The UCF Knights have certainly gotten back on track with a three-game win streak, including burying houston 44-29 Saturday. And, as the season is rapidly coming to a close, conversations about job flirtations for second-year Coach Josh Heupel has heated up.
This includes former Oklahoma QB turned instant offense coaching guru being linked to the brand new Florida State opening after the Seminoles fired coach Willie Taggart Sunday.
Huepel met with the media prior to UCF’s practice Monday and was asked about the flattery of being mentioned for high-profile jobs:
LIVE with Coach Heup at his Monday presser before we battle Tulsa on Friday https://t.co/REkVNmKxJM
— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) November 4, 2019
“Man, I love where I’m at (UCF). I love the guys that I am with. My wife and kids absolutely love living here and being a part of this University and this program. I think this may be the most unique job in college football just because of how young a program it is. And, being able to continue to build something.”
It is a typical tactic for coaches under consideration for other high-profile jobs. to use the standard “I’m happy where I am,” and “why would I want to be anywhere else?” approach that Heupel did with that answer to the Orlando media.
But, the fact is the ACC would be a huge step up from the American Conference in terms of profile, budget and pay. And, obviously Florida State is one of the iconic programs of the last 30-plus years of college football.
So, the intrigue continues.
Heupel came to UCF two years ago replacing Scott Frost, who was wooed to his alma mater, Nebraska. This was after having lead the Missouri offense, as coordinator and quarterback Drew Locke to a record-breaking 2017 season.
And, in year one Heupel followed up what Frost/UCF had done the previous year by the Knights having a perfect regular season in 2018 and winning the American Conference Championship Game for the second straight year at home over the same opponent, Memphis.
Unfortunately, the Knights did not complete the perfect season as LSU beat them in the Fiesta Bowl.
Heupel also agreed to a new five year contract at the end of last season, and the terms of that deal are not fully known. However, his previous contract had a massive $10 million buyout in the first two years. It’s not clear on what the number is now, on the new deal.
This year the Knights have taken two losses at Pitt and to Cincinnati. And currently, UCF is on the outside looking in to three-peat as Conference Championship game winners.
However, led by freshman left-handed quarterback, Dillon Gabriel their warp speed offense has continued to riddle American Conference opponents. And, he would be very attractive for FSU or anyone else that’s been watching Heupel successes.
So, now we wait to see how interested FSU or others will be in trying to lure him
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