Florida vs. Miami fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, August, 24
Game Time: 7:00 ET
Venue: Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL
Florida (0-0) vs. Miami (0-0) Game Preview
As opening acts go, this is a good one.
The new norm of the Week 0 games features the beginning of the Manny Diaz era at Miami, with a shot at making an immediate splash.
The Canes couldn’t close well over the last few seasons? Their resurgence has been overhyped and overblown? Beat Florida, and it’ll be Game On for the Canes and the rest of the ACC.
Beat Florida, and this becomes a red hot team under Diaz with a whole lot of winnable games – no Clemson, and with Virginia Tech and Virginia coming to Miami – the rest of the way.
No matter what, though, the pressure is off Diaz just a teeny, tiny little bit considering it’s his first year at the gig. However …
Florida has to win this.
After a breakthrough first season under Dan Mullen, now the Gators have the talent and expectations to not only compete in the SEC East race, but to potentially get by Georgia and win it. This is the game the program is supposed to show that 2018 wasn’t a fluke.
But the Gators have to fight recent history.
The Hurricanes beat Florida 21-16 in 2013, and the Gators came up with a 26-3 win in 2008. Before that, the two hadn’t played since the 2004 Peach Bowl, a Miami win that became a part of a 7-1 run since a 35-23 Florida victory to kick off the 1985 season.
Losing to Miami wouldn’t be the end of the world for Mullen, but again … one win in the series for the Gators since 1985.
And they lost the first matchup between the two, too, back in 1938.
Florida is either due in the series, or cursed.
Why Florida Will Win
Power, power, power. This turned into a tough Gator offense as last season rolled on, finishing the season hitting the 200-yard rushing mark nine times and averaging more than five yards per carry.
The season before, the Florida offense hit 200 yards just three times and averaged 4.3 yards per carry, and the year before was even worse, averaging 3.7 yards per pop.
The offensive line might need a little retooling going into the season, but the power game should still be there with a terrific-looking group of running backs with the potential to take over the game early on.
If Florida can control the clock, crank up the ground game, and try to wear down the Miami front seven in what’s sure to be the brutally oppressive heat of late-August Orlando, the Gator defensive side should be able to take care of the rest against a suspect-until-proven-otherwise Cane offense.
Why Miami Will Win
Yeah, about that rebuilding Florida offensive line …
It’ll be fine, and it’s certainly not going to fall off the map after a terrific 2018, but four starters are gone from a group that matured and improved into a strength last season.
Miami’s amazing defensive front seven might have to still show it can hold up as it’s getting hammered in the mouth, but it’s going to be among the best in the nation again at getting into the backfield on a regular basis.
Manny Diaz the new head coach isn’t going to be much different than Manny Diaz the defensive coordinator when it comes to generating the consistent pressure. Even if the UF O line is ready to roll from Day One, on third downs, this isn’t the defensive front you want to deal with.
What’s Going To Happen
Miami’s defense will keep this close in the first half with stop after stop to frustrate the UF O, but the Gator D will do its part, too.
The Canes will get behind the Florida offensive line on key third downs to keep things interesting, but it’s going to be a tough dogfight of a game without enough offense to make this too splashy.
Anointed No. 1 Miami quarterback Jarren Williams will be okay, but the Gator secondary will take over as the game goes on – there will be too many empty Hurricane drives.
The Florida special teams will be just a wee bit stronger, the defense will force enough mistakes to win the turnover battle, and the Gators will get out alive after Miami suffers frustrating drive after frustrating drive.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Florida 26, Miami 16
Line: Florida -7, o/u: 50.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2.5
– “Go to the bank!” Today’s top pick of the day just released
Must See Rating: 4
5: Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
1: Christina on the Coast