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Brian Kelly’s history vs. Florida State and other Week 1 notes

The Gators haven’t opened as a home underdog since 1969. That one worked out well for Florida.
Brian Kelly, left, greeting then-Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher, has a history with the Seminoles from his time at Notre Dame. It continues this weekend in his LSU debut.
Brian Kelly, left, greeting then-Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher, has a history with the Seminoles from his time at Notre Dame. It continues this weekend in his LSU debut. [ MARK WALLHEISER | AP (2014) ]
Published Aug. 31

Brian Kelly is new to LSU, but not Florida State. A quick look at the former Notre Dame coach’s history with the Seminoles:

2011: EJ Manuel rallied FSU from a 14-0 halftime deficit for an 18-14 win in Orlando’s Champs Sports Bowl.

2014: The No. 2 Seminoles escaped with a 31-27 triumph against No. 5 Notre Dame after a pass interference penalty negated what would have been the go-ahead score with 13 seconds left. The Irish quarterback who threw the pass? Everett Golson, who later transferred to FSU.

2018: On a freezing day in South Bend, undefeated Notre Dame and its backup quarterback thumped Willie Taggart’s Seminoles 42-13.

2020: Notre Dame continued its path to the playoff with a 42-26 victory, fueled by Kyren Williams’ 185 rushing yards.

2021: McKenzie Milton’s return from a catastrophic leg injury ended in a 41-38 overtime loss on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend.

History lesson

The last time UF was a home underdog for a season opener was against No. 7 Houston in 1969. In the debut of the Gators’ Super Sophs, UF earned a 59-34 victory. We’ll see whether sophomore quarterback Anthony Richardson can conduct a similar upset against the Utes.

Related: Why Florida Gators’ Anthony Richardson is the state’s biggest unknown

Bulls’ big game

USF couldn't quite hang on against BYU last year. Will things be different this time?
USF couldn't quite hang on against BYU last year. Will things be different this time? [ GEORGE FREY | AP (2021) ]

USF memorably chose not to stream its spring game to keep BYU guessing about some of its new players and how they’ll line up under two new coordinators. “I would rather (BYU) figure out the first half of the game in the fall …” coach Jeff Scott said then. That first half comes Saturday. We’ll see whether the move pays off.

Related: USF seeks ‘breakthrough moment’ in Saturday’s opener vs. BYU

Miami shutout?

Miami coach Mario Cristobal and his Hurricanes shouldn't have an issue with Bethune-Cookman this weekend.
Miami coach Mario Cristobal and his Hurricanes shouldn't have an issue with Bethune-Cookman this weekend. [ MATIAS J. OCNER | Miami Herald ]

The only drama of Mario Cristobal’s debut at Miami is whether the Hurricanes will allow a point to Bethune-Cookman. Miami has shut out its last three Football Championship Subdivision opponents, trouncing them by a combined 209-0.

Transfer tracker

John Rhys Plumlee is the starting quarterback at UCF after transferring from Mississippi.
John Rhys Plumlee is the starting quarterback at UCF after transferring from Mississippi. [ WILLIE J. ALLEN JR. | Orlando Sentinel ]

A primer on familiar names in new places:

QB John Rhys Plumlee: After seeing time as a starting receiver and quarterback at Mississippi, he’ll start at quarterback for UCF against South Carolina State on Thursday.

QB Gerry Bohanon: He quarterbacked Baylor to a 14-point home win over BYU last year and will try to do the same for USF on Saturday.

Related: Why USF football named Gerry Bohanon the Bulls’ starting quarterback

QB Michael Penix: The Tampa Bay Tech product went 12-5 in his time at Indiana before reuniting with former offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer at Washington.

QB Emory Jones: Last year’s starter at Florida is the new QB1 at Arizona State, replacing …

QB Jayden Daniels: A three-year starter for the Sun Devils, Daniels has been battling to be the top passer for LSU.

RB Jahmyr Gibbs: He was easy to overlook at Georgia Tech but will have a chance to star at No. 1 Alabama.

QB Kedon Slovis: The former Pac-12 freshman of the year at USC replaces Kenny Pickett at Pitt.

QB JT Daniels: He didn’t live up to his five-star hype at USC, though he won a national title as a backup at Georgia. His first start for West Virginia will come against Slovis, his former Trojans teammate.

Everyone at USC: We’re kidding (kind of), but the Trojans’ big pickups include former Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams, Biletnikoff Award winner Jordan Addison (from Pitt) and ex-Sooners receiver Mario Williams, a former top-50 recruit from Plant City High.

Audible

Mohamoud Diabate will be playing in The Swamp again after transferring from Florida to Utah.
Mohamoud Diabate will be playing in The Swamp again after transferring from Florida to Utah. [ JOHN RAOUX | AP (2021) ]

“It’s like going to my ex-wife’s house.” — Utah linebacker Mohamoud Diabate on playing at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium again. Diabate appeared in 37 games for the Gators from 2019-21 before transferring to the Utes.

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