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Sunshine Seven Week 7: FAU Sinks

Each week State of The U looks back at the week that was in the Sunshine State. Who won? Who lost? Check it out below.

Jimbo and Golson look forwward to taking over the number 1 spot.
Jimbo and Golson look forwward to taking over the number 1 spot.
Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

Opening Thoughts

FSU’s Cook Doesn’t Hit Top Gear, Still Dominates Louisville in Victory

After watching this game a few things are apparent: star running back Dalvin Cook’s hamstring injury isn’t going away anytime soon but the Noles as an offense are getting better. If you’ve watch FSU over the course of the last two seasons since Cook has contributed on the field you can clearly tell he’s running right now at roughly 85-90% speed. If he tries going his top speed it often ends with him making a trip to the trainer’s table to get his leg "worked out."

What has to be encouraging for the Noles is that even at his limited speed, Cook is still arguably a top 5 back in the country. Also, Everett Golson seems to be gaining confidence and hitting his stride as well in the Jimbo Fisher offensive scheme. Golson passed for 372 yards and three scores, more importantly he may have found his go-to threat through the air in Kermit Whitfield who hauled in 9 catches for 172 yards.

Big Plays and Trick Plays Doom Florida in Death Valley Against LSU

With Will Grier out as the starting quarterback, the Gators turned to Treon Harris in the tough matchup against the Tigers. He held up his end of the bargain completing over 50% of his passes while also chipping in two touchdowns. However, the rushing attack racked up only 55 yards on a stout LSU defense. On the other side, the Florida defense was doomed by the punishing runs of the phenom Leonard Fournette and what exacerbated the issue was that the Gators defense also gave up long passes to Malachi Dupree who carved them up for 115 yards on just four catches; two of those grabs were scores. The difference in the game however was the successful fake field goal by LSU which is the second year in a row Les Miles and his staff have used it on the Gators that resulted in a touchdown.

Miami Beats Listless Hokies But Lose Third Linebacker for the Season

Heading into the contest both teams needed the win to stay relevant in the ACC Coastal Division race. In the end Miami pulled away late in the fourth quarter to salt away the 10 point victory. There were several conclusions the Canes faithful can take away from this game.

First, the offensive line, for whatever reason, has digressed as the season has gone on. It could be due to the strength of the opponents played but without a doubt it should be a huge worry moving forward. Second, Artie Burns is playing at an All ACC level. Golden and his staff knew it would be a matter of time. If he and Corn Elder can shut down the boundary wide receivers on a normal basis this defense, through the air, could have a "no fly zone." Lastly, the overall depth at the linebacking unit should really scare Canes fans. With the loss of starting linebackers Raphael Kirby, Darrion Owens and backup Marques Gayot, all for the season, the Canes are doing lots of mixing and matching with "square pegs in round holes" by mixing and matching rush ends and outside linebackers all over the 34 front Golden and Coach D’Onofrio employ. This definitely should be watched as the season progresses as we’ve only passed the halfway mark.

South Florida Wins Second in a Row, Stomps UCONN

Is the positive momentum starting to turn in favor of the Bulls? Coach Willie Taggert hopes so. USF tried to employ a ball control offense against the potent UCONN offense and was relatively successful. I use the term "relatively" because the Bulls gave up 365 yards through the air as well as 163 on the ground but held in the redzone by only surrendering 20 total points. When USF had the ball they stuck to their offensive philosophy they’ve adopted for the season which is ground and pound the defense into submission. Simply put, they executed their game plan to a "wing T." The Bulls ran the ball on 44 of their 56 plays and stampeded over the Huskies for 275 yards on the ground. A bend-but-don’t-break defense when it mattered and a crushing running game, if USF can continue this mantra moving forward like they have been the last two weeks they could be going bowling come December.

FIU Can’t Keep Pace, Gets Run Over By MTSU

As the title reads, FAU maybe more competitive with their opponents this season under Coach Ron Turner but they simply don’t have the pieces in place to pull off consistent success week in and week out. Last week they threw and ran all over UTEP but this week, although they put up nice offensive numbers through the air and on the ground, their defense simply could not keep up. The deciding factor in this game was the MTSU rushing offense which toted the rock 43 times for 200 yards and six (!!) touchdowns.

FAU Gets Left Behind By Marshall

At no point in this game was FAU leading. The closest they were to the Thundering Herd was 9-3 at the end of the first quarter and after that they simply got left in the dust. As the season slowly starts to spin out of control for Coach Partridge some are starting to murmur for a quarterback change. Jaquez Johnson was the unquestioned starter at the beginning of the season but was lost due to injury so Jason Driskel stepped in (the younger brother of the one you’re thinking of). However, his success has been mediocre throughout this season and now the thought of burning the redshirt eligibility of local star Daniel Plarr has been bandied about. We’ll have to see where this goes but at 1-5 is it really worth losing a year of eligibility for a skill position player?

UCF Sleep Walks Passed Temple, Gets Thumped

There really isn’t much to discuss about the Knights unless you’re interested in knowing how they lose each week. In the latest installment Temple had a moderately effective offense against UCF but their defensive side of the ball was stellar limiting UCF to just 134 total yards on the game. It is noteworthy to point out that UCF was actually winning this one into the fourth quarter before giving up 16 straight points. Progress?

Power Ranks