After a long wait for college football to return, some fan bases in Florida wish the season started next week; others can’t wait for week two.
There will be shakeups in the AP Polls heading into week two due to losses by Florida State and Miami. UCF looks to rise, and USF trying to crack the top 25.
The biggest takeaway from Labor Day weekend is preparedness. It was astounding to watch as #8 Miami and #19 Florida State seemed unprepared for their matchups. Florida Atlantic had no shot as #7 Oklahoma steamrolled the Owls from the coin toss. Florida International did the best they could vs. a revamped Indiana squad.
#21 UCF seems to have a great transition from Scott Frost to Josh Heupel. USF put away Elon with ease, and Florida did what they were supposed to do against Charleston Southern.
- Everything that could go wrong did go wrong for the Canes vs. LSU at AT&T Stadium. Anything from penalties, blocking, special teams, and quarterback play derailed Miami’s chances of going undefeated.
“Obviously a disappointing loss. First of all got to give credit to Coach O. and LSU and just the job they did. Their coaches, their players did a great job, you know, came and competed well,” said Richt. “We certainly had some things go well and some things not so well. A lot of self-inflicted wounds, not to take away from anything LSU did because they beat us soundly.”
- The Hurricanes must answer some questions before their Oct. 6th showdown with Florida State. Who plays quarterback going forward? Can the offensive line be fixed? Is play-calling going to be problematic for Miami again?
- Willie Taggart’s coaching debut went horribly wrong in FSU’s home opener vs. #20 Virginia Tech. The Noles’ defense was gashed on the first drive while their offense only scored three points after reaching the red zone on four occasions.
“Tough loss,” said Taggart, a former head coach at Oregon, South Florida and Western Kentucky. “Not what any of us expected. We didn’t play a good game at all. It was very sloppy. It’s hard to win a football game with five turnovers.”
- Taggart pegged Deondre Francois as the starter due to his mobility. However, FSU’s offensive line was suspect at best, as it was when Francois was injured in 2017. Due to five turnovers, seven penalties, and a blocked punt the Noles were uncharacteristically unprepared for Virginia Tech.
- After throwing nine touchdown passes in 2017, Feleipe Franks threw five in the first half of week one. However, it was only Charleston Southern across the line of scrimmage.
“I thought our guys, in the first half, did a good job of working the game and getting used to what we were doing offensively, defensively, all around.” Said Mullen. “I thought we played well. We got to play a lot of players in the second half, and we still have a long way to go. But some young guys got some experience tonight. They got snaps in the ‘Swamp’ they can build off of.”
- The Gators will return seven players from suspension from week one including star defensive end CeCe Jefferson and offensive playmaker Kadarius Toney for their week two matchup vs. Kentucky.
- After bouncing around for the past two seasons, Bulls’ quarterback Blake Barnett looked like he belonged in USF’s win over Elon. However, asking Barnett to full Quinton Flowers’ shoes is a tall task.
“It’s good for his confidence and good for the whole team” USF coach Charlie Strong said. “Tonight is just a start.”
- Saturday will be an excellent gauge on how the transition is faring as Georgia Tech comes to Raymond James Stadium.
- The Knights picked up right where they left off as UCF’s transition from Frost to Heupel appears seamless.
“I don’t know if we’re going to miss a beat,” Milton said. “The schematics are a little different, but we’re going to score a lot of points no matter what.”
- UCF will have little resistance when South Carolina State comes to town for their home opener.
Florida Atlantic Owls
- FAU head coach Lane Kiffin had a prime opportunity to prove his detractors wrong. He failed in spectacular fashion as Oklahoma coved the 21-point spread in the first quarter.
“Did you guys enjoy that preseason game?” Kiffin joked. “It didn’t really count, right?”
- Kiffin and the Owls have a chance get back on track in their home opener vs. Air Force.
Florida International Panthers
- FIU wasn’t supposed to beat Indiana; they didn’t. However, their offense performed well against a formidable opponent.
“You got to start someplace,” Panthers’ coach Butch Davis said. “To be honest to score 28 points and run the ball as well as we did that part is encouraging.”
- Davis will need to settle on a quarterback between transfer James Morgan and red-shirt juniors Christian Alexander at quarterback.