We’ve reached the month of November and the final four Saturdays of the college football regular season are about to play out. We at FFI have our Tortilla Chips and Guacomole with the extra tablets, phones and T.V. screens ready to go. Let’s preview the Saturday slate for the most prominent teams:
Pitt at Miami 12:30 p.m.
Will our Ari Russell ever see his Canes win again? Four games ago they were 4-0 and now suddenly you are wondering if Miami will finish over .500? Clearly QB Brad Kaaya is struggling with decision making and pocket presence. He’s got to get his act together starting with this match-up. Pitt features RB James Conner, who has battled back from cancer to lead the Panthers offense, and is their best weapon. Will the Hurricanes get their swagger back? Will Pitt send them to an unthinkable 5th straight ACC loss?
Florida at Arkansas 3:30 p.m.
It’s the SEC “co-main event” prior to the prime time Bama at LSU. And, as we laid out earlier this week, the 1-loss Gators are the only state school remaining who has legitimately has a shot at the College Football Playoff, but it is a long shot starting with today in Fayetteville, AR. The Gators handled rival Georgia in Jacksonville last week. Meanwhile, the Hogs, who already have wins over TCU and Ole Miss, are still stinging from being destroyed 56-3 by Auburn two weeks ago. Time to find out what Luke Del Rio and Co. are truly made of in a true road game. The last time the Gators played in one of these (Knoxville in September) they got rocked by the Vols a second half avalanche. Their SEC East hopes are relying on handling it differently.
Tulane at UCF 5 p.m.
This AAC match-up in Orlando is a make-up game from Hurricane Matthew a few weeks ago. The Golden Knights come off a physically and emotionally wild roller coaster game at Houston seven days ago. Scott Frost’s bunch picked Cougar star QB, Greg Ward Jr., three times in the first half and cashed in for a 21-3 lead at the break. That was the good news. The bad news is the played the second half. And Ward played brilliantly leading Houston all the way back to a 31-24 win. UCF QB Mckenzie Milton (shown above) didn’t do much either throwing or running last week, but he’s the top weapon the Knights have. Tulane’s defense is poor and Milton should exploit it. The Green Wave’s lost three straight and best hope is to get some kind of rushing attack behind Dontrell Hilliard going.
and Finally, FSU at NC State 7 p.m.
An ACC showdown for the Noles in Raleigh after their they had their hearts pulled out and stomped on by DeShaun Watson and Clemson in the fourth quarter last Saturday night. The good news for Florida State is NC State is equally reeling and ironically, it started when they missed an easy field goal that would have won them the game at Clemson and lost in OT. Since then, also like the Seminoles, the Pack got “dump trucked” at Louisville and now, last Saturday lost to lowly Boston College who hadn’t won an ACC game likely since Reagan was still in office. (Ok, we wanted to make sure that you were still reading).
With all that written, N.C. State will likely put pressure on Noles QB Deondre Francois and hit him some, etc. (everyone else has) and make this an interesting game. What will likely happen is RB Dalvin Cook will have another explosive game. He’s averaging 168 yards per game over the last five and is FSU’s best weapon.
Four games involving he prominent state schools teams and we’ll be recapping them, as they get done.