10 quick thoughts on Florida’s 24-20 win over Miami.
Florida 24, Miami 20
10. And that’s why you don’t play Florida or Miami on August 24th. The game was a blast. It was dramatic, wild, crazy … and a flaming hot mess.
There were 23 combined penalties – 14 on Miami’s side. There were five turnovers – four from Florida. Both teams looked like they could’ve used a Savannah State or Florida A&M on the slate to get everything in place before a game like this … whatever, because …
9. It’s not like a tune-up game would’ve helped the Miami offensive line against the Florida defensive front. The pressure was coming from everywhere with ten sacks, 16 tackles for loss, and massive games from Jabari Zuniga up front and new linebacker Jonathan Greenard in his hybrid role. But …
8. The Florida secondary had a rocky day. It struggled to tackle in the open field, a few pass interference penalties kept the game alive – really, Florida, on 4th and 34? – had way to many lapses. The Gator defensive backs are way too good to be that inconsistent, but again, welcome to Week 0.
7. Jarren Williams was terrific – for the most part. The redshirt freshman Miami quarterback held the ball a bit too long, couldn’t get the internal clock in his head to work, and made a slew of young player mistakes, but he kept his cool completing 19-of-30 passes for 214 yards and a touchdown with no picks. He looked the part against an elite D that sent the house to get to him.
6. Miami might have lost, but it looked the part of the ACC’s second-best team. The defense held down the Gators outside of two massive plays, the offense got a few nice running plays, and in the end, the team had a shot at the win in the final seconds.
5. At North Carolina, Bethune-Cookman, Central Michigan, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Georgia Tech, at Pitt, at Florida State, Louisville, FIU, at Duke. Maybe the dates with the Noles or Hokies, but with the way Miami played against a top ten-caliber team, running the table until the ACC Championship isn’t an unrealistic dream … even if that’s getting way ahead of things after Week 0.
4. Feleipe Franks was getting ripped to shreds on social media, but he finished with 17-of-27 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns and a rushing score. He threw two bad picks, lost a fumble, and was ineffective for most of the first half, but he got the win. It was brutally ugly at times, but he got the win.
3. Give the Florida offensive line credit. It couldn’t generate a lick of a rushing attack – UF finished with just 50 yards on the ground averaging under two yards per carry – but it kept Franks relatively clean against one of the nation’s best pass rushing defenses.
2. The Gators need to find that running game against UT Martin. Kentucky comes up right after that, and then Tennessee, and then Towson. Franks has to be more accurate – Gator fans have only waited a few years for that – and the mistakes on both sides have to stop. But there were just enough explosive plays to get by, and …
1. Take the win, get on the bus, and get out as fast as you can, Florida. Miami was allowed new life after new life and almost pulled it off. It’s a Week 0 game against a jacked up team looking to do something special – Dan Mullen’s team won. No need to get more into it than that.
In a way, the game went like it was supposed to. It was supposed to be ugly. It was supposed to be ragged. Florida took a few knockout punches and kept getting up. Miami showed it was able to play with a highly-ranked team and stay in it. Everyone needs more work, everyone needs more time, but Miami has its quarterback, Florida showed its toughness to come through, and the more talented team won. Barely.