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Primer- USF UCF and FSU all in need of home conference wins

Jamil King

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Week 5 of college football in Florida brings a couple of intriguing games, while the others seem one-sided. The Noles will host NC State, the Gators welcome Towson, USF opens conference play with SMU and the Knights will host UConn. Last week the Noles were able to beat Louisville, the Gators blasted Tennessee, and the Knights lost dramatically to Pittsburgh.

Florida State was finally able to hold onto a lead in a big game. No, it wasn’t vs. a ranked team, nor was it a pretty win, but it was a win. Cam Akers continues to showcase why he is one of the best backs in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft, as he is leading the Noles offense.

QB James Blackman was forced to exit the game last week against Louisville with a knee injury and transfer Alex Hornibrook stepped up and led the Noles in the second half to the win.

Now, Hornibrook may be in line to make his first start as a Nole. The Noles defense might have their hands full against a Wolfpack team that has scored 27 points or more in every game this season. In what looks like will be a high scoring game, can the Noles play a complete four quarters and go over .500?

UCF is coming off a heartbreaking loss last week. Pittsburgh knocked off the Knights with the similar “Philly Special” play at the goal line, like the Eagles did to the Patriots. Now, the Knights get to regroup. The offense had some struggles, especially early, last week, but should bounce back in a huge way against the Huskies, who they will play as AAC members for the last time.

UConn heads back to the Big East next year and becomes a football independent.

Expect the Knights to roll against a defense that has allowed over 30 points in back to back games. UConn struggled on the defensive side of the ball against the Indiana Hoosiers, as they allowed 38 points and a total of 430 yards of offense.

The Gators have a huge game next weekend against Auburn, but it is essential they are not looking ahead to that. They still have a game this week against Towson. The Tigers are 3-1 and play in the Colonial Conference in the FCS. The Gators should win the game, but it might not be a cakewalk.

QB Kyle Trask will need to be at his best not just for this win, but to gain confidence going into next week.

The Gators have not been as dominant on the ground as they had hoped and should establish that early and often in this game. Playing two FCS schools in four weeks isn’t ideal to evaluate exactly what this team is, but it is what is on the schedule and will look to work out the kinks before hosting the Auburn Tigers.

USF will host SMU, who just beat rival TCU, in their conference home opener. The Mustangs have a pair of dangerous WRs that will challenge a talented defensive backfield the Bulls possess. Stopping James Proche, Reggie Roberson Jr, and QB Shane Buechele will be the way the Bulls win.

On offense, frehsman Jordan McCloud looks to be the new man under center. After playing against South Carolina State and getting a BYE week what does the attack have up their sleeve for SMU?

Finally, Florida Atlantic has won two games in a row against easier opponents, since losing the first two-game against ranked teams. QB Chris Robinson has been playing great during this two-game winning streak, and as long he stays hot, the Owls have a chance to be atop the C-USA.

This weekend they will travel to Charlotte a game that will be shown on the NFL Network. The Niners will be led by running back, Benny LeMay who is averaging 6.8 yards a carry.

Jamil King is a young draft pick working his way up the depth chart on the F.F.I. roster, who enjoys watching and writing about all of Florida’s football teams.

USF Bulls

Report- Alabama will hire Charlie Strong as consultant

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Former USF coach Charlie Strong has decided on a new role for the upcoming 2020 season, and it won’t be in Gainesville.

ESPN college football insider Chris Low reported Tuesday morning that Strong has agreed to join Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama as a defensive “consultant” for this season

As we wrote last week, Strong had visited Saban and the Tide about the possible position on his staff, while considering a similar opportunity to join either Dan Mullen’s Gators staff or a couple of others in a consulting role. None of this will affect the nearly $3 million that USF still owes him as the buyout on the final two years of his contract.

Strong was fired after the Bulls collapsed losing their final four games to finish 4 – 8 this season. They were beaten by 27 or more points five times this year, including the last two losses to Memphis and rival UCF. This combined with the Bulls having lost their final six games, including their bowl game last year, meant that Strong had lost 14 of his final 18 games.

USF hired Clemson Co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott earlier about a week later and gave him a 5-year, $12 million deal to become a first-time head coach in FBS football.

There had been some debate about Strong’s buyout being the amount of compensation that was remaining on his original five-year contract that he signed when he took the job in December of 2016 after being fired by the University of Texas. That contract called for Strong to be paid to $2. 5 million on average for 2020 and 2021.

However, USF informed Strong in his termination letter that the amount would be approximately $3 million under clauses in his deal.

Saban has a history of taking in former head coaches to come to Bama and observe and assist as a consultant with either his offense or defense. He’s done this for the last two years with former Tennessee coach Butch Jones and obviously, took in both Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian both of whom had been fired as coaches by USC at different stages.

Strong is known is an outstanding defensive coach from his previous days, as the Gators defensive coordinator under Urban Meyer. He later went on to success at the University of Louisville before taking The the Texas head coaching job in 2014.

Strong was fired after three seasons in Austin in 2016, but immediately hired by USF to replace Willie Taggart.

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USF Bulls

Former USF coach Strong to be consultant for Alabama?

Florida Football Insiders

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

And intriguing item popped up Friday morning involving former USF head coach Charlie Strong and him visiting Nick Saban the Alabama football program.

According to Alabama Insider and radio host, Aaron Suttles, Strong, who was dismissed last December after his third season with the Bulls, was in Tuscaloosa Thursday meeting with Saban and his staff:

Strong had also been reportedly talking with the University of Florida about a possible consultant role, which likely would not affect the nearly $3 million that USF still owes him as the buyout on the final two years of his contract.

Strong was fired after the Bulls collapsed losing their final four games to finish 4 – 8 this season. They were beaten by 27 or more points five times this year, including the last two losses to Memphis and rival UCF. This combined with the Bulls having lost their final six games, including their bowl game last year, meant that Strong had lost 14 of his final 18 games.

USF hired Clemson Co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott earlier about a week later and gave him a 5-year, $12 million deal to become a first-time head coach in FBS football.

There had been some debate about Strong’s buyout being the amount of compensation that was remaining on his original five-year contract that he signed when he took the job in December of 2016 after being fired by the University of Texas. That contract called for Strong to be paid to $2. 5 million on average for 2020 and 2021.

However, USF informed Strong in his termination letter that the amount would be approximately $3 million under clauses in his deal.

Saban has a history of taking in former head coaches to come to Bama and observe and assist as a consultant with either his offense or defense. He’s done this for the last two years with former Tennessee coach Butch Jones and obviously, took in both Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian both of whom had been fired as coaches by USC at different stages.

Strong is known is an outstanding defensive coach from his previous days, as the Gators defensive coordinator under Urban Meyer. He later went on to success at the University of Louisville before taking The the Texas head coaching job in 2014.

Strong was fired after three seasons in Austin in 2016, but immediately hired by USF to replace Willie Taggart

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