Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Gators

Florida vs. Miami: Final thoughts and prediction on what could be an ugly game

Both offensive lines are weaknesses. Both defensive fronts are good. Don’t expect a lot of points.
FILE - In this Oct. 27, 2018, file photo, Florida head coach Dan Mullen watches players warm up before an NCAA college football game against in Jacksonville, Fla. Florida State has a chance to salvage their season against No. 13 Florida (8-3, No. 11 CFP) in Tallahassee, Fla., on Saturday, Nov. 24. [JOHN RAOUX | AP]
Published Aug. 24
Updated Aug. 24

College football’s long, awful offseason is finally over.

Game day has arrived.

A few final thoughts before No. 8 Florida takes the field against Miami tonight at Orlando’s Camping World Stadium:

• Perhaps the most important player on the field will be Hurricanes quarterback Jarren Williams. It’s the redshirt freshman’s first career start, and he’s making it behind a shaky offensive line and against a good defense with a great secondary. That doesn’t sound promising.

• But my vote for most interesting player for Miami is Ohio State transfer Tate Martell. The ’Canes are tinkering with him at receiver because of his athleticism. That, obviously, is not his natural position, and I’m not sure a week or two is enough time to get him acclimated there. But if the move comes to fruition, I want to see how Manny Diaz’s staff uses him. Trick play/double pass, anyone?

• On the other side, the play of UF’s secondary will be pivotal. How does Marco Wilson look in his return from a torn ACL? How (if at all) do the three true freshmen contribute? The defensive backfield has suffered a lot of attrition this offseason, including the loss of blue-chip recruit Chris Steele and backup John Huggins. The Gators should be OK … unless there’s an injury or targeting ejection. If that happens, UF’s lack of depth could be exposed.

• Given how iffy both offensive lines are —and how strong both defensive fronts should be — I think this one could be ugly. I expect lots of pressure and a few sacks on both sides in a low-scoring game.

After watching both teams’ spring games, I left Camping World Stadium thinking the Gators would win by two scores. I’m less confident in that now. The spread (seven points, last I looked) seems about right to me. Prediction: Florida 21, Miami 13

Some links from our coverage throughout the week

This is the second time Manny Diaz and Dan Mullen have faced each other. The first time was a decade ago, in a three-score game that still reverberates today.

In other historical news, our Ernest Hooper remembers his trip to a Florida-Miami game. Like all good football stories, it involves The Karate Kid.

We’ve got a lot more game day nuggets here, including why Calvary Christian product Amari Burney is pivotal for the Gators.

Another local product, ex-Freedom High standout Scott Patchan, is finally in position to start for Miami ... on his seventh different position coach.

Our Joey Knight wrote about some Miami-Florida memories with USF offensive coordinator (and former Gators quarterback) Kerwin Bell.

One estimate expects a 50-50 crowd split between UF and Miami.

Playing in Orlando allows Gators edge rusher Jonathan Greenard to come full circle. The wrist injury he suffered there last year is what ended up getting him to Gainesville.

Miami’s awesome-looking Aussie punter, Louis Hedley, will get some screen time tonight. I asked him about his tattoos.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt yells to his players in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Brigham Young Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne) WADE PAYNE  |  AP
    The Florida Gators’ next opponent is still stuck on Rocky Bottom thanks to bungled coaching searches.
  2. Tim Tebow answers a question during an interview on the set of ESPN's SEC Network in Charlotte, N.C. Associated Press
    Martin Fennelly: His sanctimonious rant against college athletes being paid is out of line
  3. Jim McElwain, now the Central Michigan coach, endured a rocky tenure as the Florida Gators coach from 2015-2017. He brings his Chippewas to the state to play Miami on Saturday. MORRY GASH  |  AP
    Jim McElwain’s Chippewas will play at Miami. If he had recruited that area better, maybe he’d still be leading the Florida Gators.
  4. Quarterback Kyle Trask (11) winds up to pass during the third quarter of the Orange and Blue Debut at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville. TAMPA BAY TIMES
    Could Trask-Jones be the next Chris Leak-Tim Tebow? “We’ll see,” Dan Mullen says.
  5. Florida coach Dan Mullen consoles quarterback Feleipe Franks (13) as he lies injured on the field during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. Florida won 29-21. TIMOTHY D. EASLEY  |  AP
    The timetable would have Franks returning sometime around spring practice.
  6. CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times
Quarterback Kyle Trask (11) practices throws at Jesuit High School in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, December 29, 2016. University of Florida held practice for the Outback Bowl at Jesuit High School.  Times
    The former Gators coach who recruited Trask to Florida isn’t surprised that Trask didn’t transfer.
  7. FILE - In this Aug. 6, 2014, file photo, Tim Tebow answers a question during a interview on the set of ESPN's new SEC Network in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File) NY161
    The former Florida Gators quarterback was passionate in his reasoning for why student-athletes shouldn’t make money. It didn’t sit well with many in the media, including other ESPN employees.
  8. Florida quarterback Kyle Trask (11) flips the ball in the air after running in for a touchdown during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game against Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. Florida won 29-21. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley) TIMOTHY D. EASLEY  |  AP
    “In today’s college football world, people jump the gun,” coach Dan Mullen said. Trask never did.
  9. Florida running back Lamical Perine (2) attempts to break through an opening in the Kentucky defensive line during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley) TIMOTHY D. EASLEY  |  AP
    The gap between UCF and UF is shrinking, at least on Matt Baker’s AP ballot.
  10. Kentucky tight end Keaton Upshaw (88) makes a catch over the defense of Florida defensive back Brad Stewart for a touchdown during the second half. TIMOTHY D. EASLEY  |  AP
    Kentucky’s fancy facilities are obvious, even from the outside on game day
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement