It was another rough Saturday for several of the teams in the Sunshine State. Yes, Florida got a quality win at South Carolina in the SEC and UCF came off a bye week and cruised with East Carolina at home. However, for the Miami Hurricanes, USF Bulls and Florida State Seminoles Saturday was just the latest setback in what has turned into depressing seasons for all.
First in South Florida, the Hurricanes managed to blow a game at home against a team that had not won an ACC game in Georgia Tech.
The Canes gave up a fake punt for a touchdown in the first, missed three easy field goals of their own, including one that would have won the game at the end of regulation. And then, allow the Jackets to score the only touchdown of overtime to defeat them.
Couple this loss with the poor performance for most of the Virginia Tech game two weeks ago, where Miami trailed at one point 28 – 0 before roaring back, yet still lost the game. And also, an opening season loss at North Carolina will they allow the Tarheels true freshman quarterback to throw the game-winning touchdown pass in the final minute and Manny Diaz’s honeymoon is over with the fans and alumni.
As bad as things are in Coral Gables, they’re equally so in Tampa for USF. Charlie Strong’s team looked like they had “righted the ship” with wins at UConn and at home against a quality BYU team last Saturday. However, yesterday they traveled to Annapolis and had the Naval Academy roll them 35 – 3.
It is the third decisive blowout loss for USF this season and dropped them to 3 – 4 on the year.
Navy quarterback Malcolm Perry didn’t complete a pass in the game but still ran for 188 yards and two touchdowns and the ‘Middies had over 400 yards on the ground in the easy win.
We have written about Strong job security already this season and Saturday will only reignite the conversation that the Green and gold need to look elsewhere for leadership after this season.
Speaking of leadership changes, the outrage continues with the struggles of Florida State who lost for the latest time Saturday night at Wake Forest. The Noles actually took a 14 – 12 lead of the fourth quarter but allowed the Demon Deacons to take the lead on a field goal with just over four minutes remaining.
Florida State then bumbled and stumbled at the end of the game, including coach Willie Taggart taking a timeout to ice his own kicker, Ricky Aguayo, before he missed a 51-yard field goal.
FSU could have also used that timeout to save them more time at the very end of the game where they got the ball back once more with just :35 remaining.
Quarterback James Blackman took a sack, fumbling the ball and FSU barely got lined up to run one last futile play that ended the game. Another Nole loss has them at 3-4 and staring squarely at having back-to-back losing seasons that likely isn’t survivable ($17 million buyout or not) for Taggart.
Again, Gators and Knights fans have a lot to smile about and look forward to, but right now, the other three prominent programs in the state or wondering how much more losing is going to go on before the finish line in December?
Former Bucs- Hurricanes TE Winslow pleads guilty Monday
With his retrial on felony rape charges about to begin Monday in San Diego, former Hurricanes All American and NFL TE (including with the Buccaners) Kellen Winslow II accepted a guilty plea deal from San Diego prosecutors on two more of the charges against him.
Winslow was in court Monday afternoon, as prosecutors and his defense team told the judge that he agreed to plea, if the six other remaining serous charges against him would be dropped and he could avoid a longer sentence.
Kellen Winslow Jr. Pleads Guilty to Raping Unconscious Woman https://t.co/U8vnwUGm28
— TMZ Sports (@TMZ_Sports) November 4, 2019
Winslow had been previously convicted in June on four counts of rape and other sexual misconduct charges involving multiple women. The jury deadlocked on the eight remaining charges that were brought against him and a mistrial on those was declared. However, prosecutors exercised their right to retry the 38 year old Winslow on those remaining counts.
The guilty pleas Monday involve sexual battery on a 54 year old unidentified woman, who claims Winslow raped her in his Jeep in 2018.
The other count involved a 2003 accusation that Winslow had raped a then 17 year old San Diego High School student at a home during the summer, while he was a prominent 19 year old player at the University of Miami.
Winslow is a former All American tight end from the Miami Hurricanes from 2001-03 and played 9 seasons in the NFL, including three with the Buccaneers from 2009-11. He was the sixth overall pick by the Browns in the 2004 draft and is the son of former Chargers great and Hall of Fame inductee, Kellen Winslow.
After his rookie season Winslow suffered a horrific knee and leg injuries in a motorcycle accident in a Cleveland suburb mall parking lot. He was unable to play in the 2005 season, because of the injuries.
Winslow played three more seasons for the Browns before being traded in the 2009 offseason to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In exchange for a second and fifth round picks, the Bucs acquired Winslow and gave him, at that time, the largest contract for a tight end in NFL history with $36 million over six seasons.
In his first season in Tampa Bay he set the Bucs single season tight end receiving record with 77 catches and 884 yards. He led the team in receptions again in 2010, as the Bucs finished 10-6 and missed the playoffs on a tiebreaker. In his final Buccaneers season of 2011 Winslow finished with 75 receptions in a dismal 4-12 year.
Winslow had been facing life in prison, if convicted on all 12 counts. However, it is believed with the plea deal and the total now being six convictions/guilty pleas, that his sentence will be somewhere between 12 and 18 years on the charges.
Winslow will be sentenced in February.
Canes take rivalry game with shutdown of FSU
This long-standing rivalry provided an opportunity for two teams evenly matched teams to bring home a win to salvage a below-average season. It would provide a good momentum shift for the Canes or the Noles to head into the final few weeks of the 2019 season with.
FSU/Miami is always a hard fought matchup regardless of the state of each program but today, Miami wanted it far more in a 27-10 win.
As we wrote earlier today, the Noles and Hurricanes have both been bad for stretches of 2019. Inconsistency has killed both teams and would play a huge part of this game. The winner will be whoever has the most consistent offense.
And that’s exactly what it came down to.
In the first half, Florida State was not only playing against the Canes but also against themselves. They had 8 penalties for a total of 60 yards, which halted any attempted of offensive momentum for the Seminoles.
The defense, who in recent weeks have been much improved, wasn’t bad overall. However, they gave up a couple of big passing plays that resulted in touchdowns for Miami. If you have to place the blame on one side, it was the offense, or lack thereof.
The real issue for Florida State remains the offensive line. They allowed 9 sacks on Alex Hornibrook and James Blackman and didn’t create any holes for Cam Akers to produce on offense. OC Kendal Briles attempted to call creative plays with Akers running the wildcat to set up their single TD drive.
It was Briles’ effort to compensate for the lack of protection on the line, however, it wasn’t enough to produce more than one solid drive down the field.
The most glaring difference between the two programs today was that Canes QB Jarren Williams had time to throw down the field, while Hornibrook didn’t.
Florida State went into the game as a very mediocre football program with a opportunity to garner an important victory at home, but remains a poorly coached, mediocre program with a long way to go to get back to relevancy.
Credit to Miami, who’s now won three straight in the FSU series. They came into the game with the same record and similar issues to the Noles, who left with a hard earned win.
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