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Threat of hurricane looms over FSU-Miami, again

By Matt Baker, Times Staff Writer
Associated Press (2016)
FSU coach Jimbo Fisher, far left, and Miami’s Mark Richt already have had this season’s rivalry game postponed once due to Hurricane Irma. Now another tropical depression that is moving toward the Gulf of Mexico could impact the rescheduled game on Saturday in Tallahassee.

A Florida State-Miami game that was already rescheduled once because of a hurricane could be threatened by another storm.

Tropical Depression 16 is moving toward the Gulf of Mexico and could hit the Panhandle this weekend as Tropical Storm (or Hurricane) Nate. FSU is scheduled to host No. 13 Miami at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

The game was supposed to take place Sept. 16, but it was moved to a mutual off-week as the state dealt with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

"I really don't know anything other than there is something brewing," Miami coach Mark Richt said Wednesday.

Both schools say they're monitoring the situation. They don't have another common bye week.

UF offensive improving

It took two-plus years, but Florida's offense is finally showing signs of life under coach Jim McElwain.

After averaging 6 yards per play in only six games through McElwain's first two seasons, the No. 21 Gators have done so in each their past three games. That's their longest streak since the final four games of the Tim Tebow era in 2009.

Much work clearly remains. UF doesn't crack the top 60 nationally in passer rating (64th), rushing average (77th) or scoring offense (81st), but its offense is beginning to hold its own.

"Now that we're able to score points, it's definitely a big confidence boost for everyone, from the coaches to all the players around to the staff," WR Josh Hammond said. "Just happy to see that we're able to finally do what we're capable of doing."

Continuing the lukewarm streak won't be easy.

The past three opponents (Tennessee, Kentucky and Vanderbilt) all rank outside the top 39 nationally in yards per play allowed. Four of UF's remaining opponents are better in that statistic, including this week's foe, LSU.

Akers cookin'

FSU fans have been making the inevitable comparisons between five-star freshman RB Cam Akers and former Seminoles great Dalvin Cook since before Akers arrived on campus.

Now Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher is, too.

Sort of.

Akers rushed for 71 touchdowns in high school, so now the Seminoles are having to teach him that not every run ends in six points.

"I had the same thing with Dalvin," Fisher said. "Dalvin would come off frustrated and mad, and he'd have a 6-yard run or a 4-yard run or a 3-yard run sometimes: 'Listen, that's what was there. That's a good play.'

"(Akers') big plays will come."

Akers is already ahead of Cook at the same stage of his freshman season. Cook had only 14 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown through the first three games in 2014. Akers has 36 rushes for 143 yards but no touchdowns (yet).

Audible

"Us, overlook somebody? Wow. No." Jim McElwain on whether his Gators might underestimate LSU after its shocking loss to Troy

Numbers of the day

3 Touchdowns scored by Florida State WR Auden Tate (Wharton High).

1 Touchdown scored by the rest of the Seminoles.