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Sunshine Seven Week 3: Florida Beats Kentucky.. Again

Each week the seven teams in the state of Florida do battle to see who reigns supreme. Who can claim the top dog on a weekly basis? Check it out here!

McElwain tries to calm his players. A stark contrast to last week's demeanor.
McElwain tries to calm his players. A stark contrast to last week's demeanor.
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Opening Thoughts

Miami Doesn't Show up for the Fourth Quarter but gets the Victory

Heading into this game the Vegas odds were in favor of Miami by 3.5 points. Halfway through the fourth quarter Miami was cruising with a lead of 23 points so the Vegas gods had their vengeance. After a few curious calls on offense to not bleed the clock in the fourth, coupled with chunk plays given up by the Hurricanes much maligned defense the game went to overtime. Luckily on the first play of the first series in overtime cornerback Corn Elder picked off Nebraska's Tommy Armstrong's pass and almost scored. Compound that interception with an egregious late hit by a Nebraska offensive linemen, Miami settled for a chip shot field goal to win the contest. Three point victory. If you took the under you made your money back and Vegas gets it right yet again.

Florida State's Offense is A Mess but Talent Win's Out Versus Boston College

The offense for the Seminoles generated just 217 total yards and one touchdown against the BC Eagles and that was enough to pull out the victory. Needless to say the defense was sterling and held BC to equally putrid numbers so at least that's encouraging for FSU. As I've said the last three weeks of this series, FSU needs to identify what their offensive philosophy is and do it quickly. After their bye this upcoming weekend they have Louisville and Miami at home then head north to Atlanta to play a fundamentally sound Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket team.

Will Kentucky Ever Beat Florida? (That's a serious question by the way)

Let's set the stage.. Kentucky has brought in top 25 classes the last few seasons under new head coach Mark Stoops and had just won an uplifting game against the ‘Ole Ball Coach last week in Columbia. Heading into the home tilt against Florida the Wildcats had to feel good about their chances. After all, Florida was sputtering to Lexington with no set quarterback starter and a new head coach who is still trying to put his stamp on the program. Almost seemed like a slam dunk.

"Seemed" being the key word.

Behind a relentless Florida defensive line Kentucky gave up six sacks and two interceptions. 14 points out of the Florida offense was all that was needed and the Gators escaped with an in conference win at 14-9. Next up the Gators play another preseason SEC hype machine in the Tennessee Volunteers. If the Gators could pull the home victory off against Tennessee, Coach McElwain would have to view this season as a success even only a third of the way through.

South Florida Can't Capitalize on Interceptions and Fumbles by Maryland

Despite three interceptions thrown by newly minted quarterback Caleb Rowe for the Maryland Terrapins and three fumbles to boot, the Bulls simply couldn't muster enough offense to keep up. Since making Quinton Flowers their starting quarterback the Bulls have gone conservative and kept the offense humming by use of their ground attack, primarily. Against Maryland they ran the ball 50 times to just 22 throwing attempts and the results simply weren't there. Willie Taggert's squad will look to regroup over the bye week and set their sights on conference opponent Memphis who they play at home next Friday.

Florida International Pulls Away from 1AA Opponent for Easy Win

When 1A programs play against 1AA programs, they need to pull out the victory, simple as that. FIU played North Carolina Central at home and got the desired result. The Panthers got solid quarterback play from Alec McGough (242 yards and three touchdowns) and their running game ran away with a total 248 yards and two touchdowns. Of the 22 completions that were tossed by McGough, nine were completed to different targets so lots of pass catchers got involved throughout the game. The 2-1 Panthers hit the road to take on conference opponent Louisiana Tech Saturday so we'll see how they do during their first bout of conference play.

Florida Atlantic Gives Up Three Touchdowns off Turnovers and Loses to Buffalo

If you read the title and thought "oh, FAU turned the ball over and then Buffalo drove the rest of the field to score" you are sadly mistaken. FAU had two fumbles returned for a touchdown and one interception returned for a touchdown, yeesh. As these types of games usually go, FAU had the ball the majority of the game and beat (handily) Buffalo in every other statistical category except the turnover margin. The Owls set their sights on the newly formed Charlotte 49ers as their first conference opponent next weekend.

The 2016 Season in a Nutshell for UCF: Asleep at the Wheel

Unlike FAU who has one obviously reason for their loss this wee: turnovers. UCF has a litany of issues. The main constraint is now that quarterback Justin Holman has been lost for an extended amount of time due to his hand injury last week the Knights have no viable backup plan and thus the offense as a whole has stalled. Against Furman they had three players step in to make passes and none were overly successful. After this stunner the season can officially be labeled a disaster for the Knights, simple as that.

The Rankings

1- Miami: 3-0, 0-0

Next Week's Opponent: BYE WEEK

Last Week's Opponent: Nebraska, Won 36-33

2- Florida State: 3-0, 1-0

Next Week's Opponent: BYE WEEK

Last Week's Opponent: @BC, Won 14-0

3- Florida: 3-0, 1-0

Next Week's Opponent: Tennessee

Last Week's Opponent: @Kentucky, Won 14-9

4- Florida International University: 2-1, 0-0

Next Week's Opponent: @LT

Last Week's Opponent: NCCU, Won 39-14

5- South Florida: 1-2, 0-0

Next Week's Opponent: BYE WEEK

Last Week's Opponent: @MD, Lost 35-17

6- Florida Atlantic University: 0-3, 0-0

Next Week's Opponent: @Charlotte

Last Week's Opponent: Buffalo, Lost 33-15

7- Central Florida 0-3, 0-0

Next Week's Opponent: @South Carolina

Last Week's Opponent: Furman, Lost 16-15

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