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SS7 Week 6: Bulls Charging

NCAA Football: South Florida at Connecticut David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Although it was a downer week for the Canes, the other teams throughout the state had more positive results. Let’s check out what happened to the Sunshine Seven!

1) FSU, 4-2, victory over Miami 20-19

The Noles’ previously porous defense made a strong comeback in the rivalry game against the Canes by limiting Brad Kaaya and his fellow teammates to just 278 yards. Deandre Francois had a solid performance after getting roughed up by the Miami defensive linemen on multiple occasions by posting 234 yards through the air, pacing the ground attack with a handful of runs that netted 21 yards and lastly he threw for two touchdowns. Dalvin Cook was largely limited against a swarming Canes defense but did break a few large chunk plays in the running game and had one long catch that resulted in a score. His end stats in the game were quite gaudy at 150 yards rushing and 59 yards receiving but again, the Canes kept him in check for most of the night as he only broke free on a few plays. As noted throughout the articles earlier in the week, the Noles gave up a last second touchdown to the Canes but blocked the extra point to close out the contest with the win.

Next on the docket for the Noles is a home matchup with Wake Forest. One has to wonder if this could be a letdown game as the Noles have the division leading Clemson Tigers the following week.

2) Miami, 4-1, lost to FSU 20-19

After their first loss to their bitter rival from the north, Miami must regroup and more importantly refocus on their next opponent, UNC. However, let’s examine what happened last weekend first.

Against the Noles, Miami had the defensive scheme to limit the potent FSU offense. It could be argued that throughout the third and fourth quarter the defense got gassed which led to the explosive plays by Dalvin Cook which I would agree with. When playing against a top end talented team like the Noles, each play can have the potential to be a big gainer. I think Miami’s defense schemed well to prevent it but at this point in the Mark Richt era I don’t believe Manny DIaz has enough personnel on the two or three deep of the defense to fully “shut down” an opponent.

The offense isn’t much further along than the defense in terms of talent. I don’t necessarily like the play calling Richt employed in the third quarter and much of the fourth quarter but you can’t excuse the fact that the offensive line made no holes for the running game and often times left Brad Kaaya exposed to hellacious hits as we even saw him at one point lose a tooth. The overall depth at the skill positions is manageable but an “apha” receiver needs to step up. Coley had a great game but the Canes offense needs more impact players through the passing game.

Looking to Miami’s next opponent is worrisome. What happened last week against Virginia Tech was an aberration and I’m sure North Carolina is ready to show they can score with any opponent. Miami better be ready to put up points in this contest because the Tarheels will be angry and ready to roll.

3) Florida, 4-1, postponed their contest against LSU

The Gators administration decided to postpone their weekend contest against the LSU Tigers due to the impending Hurricane.

Next weekend they also play at home against a middling Missouri team. Both teams had off weeks last weekend so both should be well rested for their 4 pm showing on Saturday.

4) USF, 5-1, victory over ECU 38-22

USF had an up and down the field contest against ECU that saw the Bulls rack up 550 yards of offense and ECU almost went pound for pound with 460 yards. However, the deciding factor was the fourth quarter where USF scored back to back late touchdowns with under six minutes left in the game to salt the contest away. Quinton Flowers adds on to his potentially All Conference resume by going for 365 total yards of offense as well as also scoring three touchdowns. Not to be outdone by his quarterback, Marlon Mack also had a banner day rushing the ball for 152 yards and two touchdowns.

USF looks to stay perfect in conference play as they take on UCONN next weekend at home. If USF can keep up their winning ways, they’ll look to be heading to a potential conference championship birth in the AAC.

5) UCF, 3-2, postponed their contest against Tulane

UCF had to postpone their Friday night contest against Tulane and has already rescheduled for November 5th. UCF’s next contest is again at home and this time the Knights take on the Temple Owls. If UCF can win this game they may be making a case for a big time showdown at the end of the season against USF. Stay tuned.

6) FIU, 2-4, victory over UTEP 35-21

Guys, FIU is on a two game winning streak.. I don’t know what to do.. In all seriousness though, FIU may have found a formula that works (against really bad teams, that is!) for their personnel which is to run more than pass and keep the play calling overall conservative and close to the vest. Against UTEP, FIU’s quarterback Alex McGough attempted 31 pass attempts which isn’t all that below average. However, the overall yardage gained was meager at 241 which is similar to what happened in their last victory against lowly FAU. On the ground the Golden Panthers ran with their newly created two headed monster of Alex Gardner and Anthony Jones to the tune of 41 carries for 269 and a score.

Next weekend FIU has a solid shot of keeping their winning streak alive as they take on the lowly Charlotte 49ers.

7) FAU, 1-5, lost to Charlotte 28-23

This is getting amazing, simply amazing. In a game that saw five lead changes throughout the four quarters, the play that decided the game was the last one: a Hail Mary by FAU with no time left. Jason Driskel chucked the ball up for grabs into the end zone and FAU wide receiver Kamrin Solomon came down with the ball as he fell backwards out of the side of the end zone. The Back judge signaled a touchdown and the FAU players started slipping and sliding all over the field in celebration. The replay officials up in the sky boxes buzzed down to the referee crew that they were reviewing the play and upon further review Solomon actually never got a foot down. Incomplete pass. Game over. FAU lost.

With the winning ways that FIU is experiencing the last two weeks you have to wonder if the FAU administration is starting to wonder if they should make a coaching change. Driskel and Parr shared plays under center for the Owls so it looks to be that FAU now has a full on quarterback controversy. There have been murmurs the last few weeks that they may make a change to the younger player in Daniel Parr so we’ll see how Coach Partridge and his staff manage this.

Next week FAU hosts Marshall who is a shell of their former selves at 1-4. Coach Partridge and his staff really need to get going if they want to pick up a few more wins on the season to start gaining possible momentum for 2017.

What are your thoughts?