Irish QBs, past and present
How Notre Dame starter Brandon Wimbush compares to the player he would have been competing against this season — Florida starter Malik Zaire:
Notre Dame QB Brandon Wimbush
103-200 passing; 1,286 yards; 11 TDs, 2 INTs
101 rushes; 639 yards; 13 TDs
Florida QB Malik Zaire
25-42 passing; 300 yards; 0 TDs, 1 INT
16 rushes; 18 yards; 0 TDs
Boom and bust
After offensive failures led to his dismissal from Florida, Will Muschamp’s new team (South Carolina) is making strides as it prepares to host his old one today.
Muschamp’s Gators (2011-14): 25.3 points per game
2017 Gamecocks: 24.4 points per game
Muschamp’s Gators: 5.18 yards per play
2017 Gamecocks: 5.51 yards per play
Muschamp’s Gators: 124.77 passer rating
2017 Gamecocks: 132.62
No. 14 UCF reached another milestone last week when it had a 300-yard passer (McKenzie Milton), 100-yard rusher Adrian Killins) and 100-yard receiver (Tre’Quan Smith) for the first time since the Fiesta Bowl win over Baylor. The Knights might be able to do it again against one of the nation’s 10 worst defenses, UConn. It’s a shame that the Civil ConFLiCT might be so one-sided.
Here’s another jarring stat from Florida State’s 3-5 start: They average only 1.5 points per game in the third quarter, ahead of only Illinois nationally. Don’t expect improvement Saturday; Clemson’s defense is No. 3 nationally in that category.
Gators coaching watch
Dan Mullen and No. 18 Mississippi State are deservedly big underdogs against No. 1 Alabama. Keep an eye on whether the Bulldogs can move the ball on ’Bama. MSU has only allowed five sacks all season (fewest among Power Five schools), but only six teams have more sacks than the Tide (29).
Local of the week
Clemson WR Ray-Ray McCloud (Sickles High): McCloud expanded his versatility last week. In addition to returning a punt for a touchdown, he played defensive back on N.C. State’s final series, and injuries could force him to play the position again this week. He could have a big impact on Florida State, wherever he lines up.
"Can’t lose to ‘Champ, right?" — Gators DL Taven Bryan on playing against Will Muschamp, who recruited him to UF
"Only thing different with Florida State this year is just their record." — Clemson coach Dabo Swinney
By the numbers
8.75 Tackles for loss per game by Miami (No. 1 nationally)
21 ’Canes who have at least ½ tackle for loss
0 Times Florida Atlantic has started 6-0 in the conference. Lane Kiffin’s Owls can do that with a win over Louisiana Tech and former USF coach Skip Holtz