Florida Gators vs. Miami Hurricanes Game Preview

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Joe Broback

Contributor at Champion Insiders
Joe is a writer covering the NFL, NBA, NHL and college football. He also currently writes for SB Nation’s Underdog Dynasty, covering the American Athletic Conference since 2016. Joe enjoys collecting shoes, playing sports, and anything fitness related.
Joe Broback
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Balance has been restored to our worlds. College football is back tomorrow, and we’ve been waiting for what seems like forever for this moment. And we start with zero. Week 0 grew in popularity over the last couple years, and this year presents to biggest Week 0 games ever. We start with the Florida Gators and Miami Hurricanes.

If you’re the Florida Gators, you’re feeling good about the direction of your program. Dan Mullen’s given his fans hope heading into 2019, and many experts believe they’ll challenge the Georgia Bulldogs for the SEC East crown. On the other side, Miami looks to rebound this season. They entered last year with a ton of hype, but stumbled out of the gate against LSU. There’s not as much pressure on them this year, but they get another tough test to begin the season.


How to watch: ESPN
Start Time: 6:00 PM CT
Line: Florida -7.5
Location: Camping World Stadium (Orlando, FL)

Florida Gators to watch

QB Feleipe Franks
WR Van Jefferson
LB David ReeseII
CB Marco Wilson
CB CJ Henderson

Miami Hurricanes to watch

QB Jarren Williams
WR Deejay Dallas
DE Jonathan Garvin
LB Shaq Quarterman
LB Michael Pinckney

Why Florida wins

In the nine years before Dan Mullen took over Mississippi State, the Bulldogs won just 37 games. Under his watch, they won 69. The Florida Gators are hoping he continues that trend in Gainesville. After winning 10 games in his first season with the Gators, the bar is set high, and there’s talent on the roster to make a run.

If you need proof of Mullen’s influence on the offense, just look at their point production. Florida finished 109th in points scored per game in 2017, and Mullen increased the total from 22.1 to 35.0 last year. It all starts with his skill players, which are the most talented group the Florida Gators have in years. Feleipe Franks is a potential NFL Draft pick, Lamical Perine impacts the game running and catching, and the receivers are extremely deep. It might just be the first game, but this is a team looking to challenge Georgia in the SEC East.

Why Miami wins

Miami came down to earth quickly to start the 2018 season. LSU pounded the Canes early and often for a 33-17 win. Now, they enter 2019 with many questions. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz took the head coaching job at Temple, but came back to take the Canes job after Mark Richt retired. That appeared to keep some stability within the program, but there’s still a ton to figure out.

His first job as head coach became to solve the quarterback dilemma. Diaz picked Jarren Williams to run the offense, causing quite a stir around Ohio State transfer Tate Martell. We could see Williams, Martell and N’Kosi Perry against the Florida Gators tomorrow even with that announcement. Miami’s possessed the skill players to do damage, but the quarterback position’s held them back. If Williams is the answer, the Canes will challenge Clemson in the ACC. If not, it could be another long season offensively.

Prediction

Both teams have Top 25 potential, but one team is clearly ahead of the other. Mullen drives the hype surrounding his team, but get a tough first matchup on top of a tough overall schedule. Miami’s uncertainty surrounding the quarterback position is well-documented, but they have a defense to compete in this game. These predictions will count towards our weekly College Football Pick’em series, so stay tuned for more predictions! FLORIDA 28-20

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