The state’s “Big 3” teams of Florida, Florida State and Miami have huge challenges ahead this week.
With road games against top five teams, Florida (at LSU) and Florida State (at Clemson) are two and four touchdown underdogs respectively on Saturday.
Coming off an embarrassing loss to Virginia Tech, Miami is hosting ACC Coastal Division favorite Virginia on Friday and is a 1-point favorite right now.
All three of these teams lost on the same weekend last season when Duke beat Miami, Missouri beat Florida and NC State beat Florida State during the first weekend of November.
FAU and FIU are the only two state FBS teams favored in a game this weekend.
#1. Florida Gators (6-0, No.7 in AP Poll)
Week 6 Result: Florida 24, Auburn 13.
Next Game: Saturday 10/12, at LSU, 8pm
Bovada Line: UF +13
Week 6 Positives: The Gators won their biggest home game of the season behind a stout defensive effort. They held Auburn to just 269 yards of total offense and forced four turnovers. Florida also held the Tigers to just a 2-for-14 third down conversion ratio.
Week 6 Negatives: Florida is still struggling to run the ball consistently. LaMichal Perine popped an 88-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter that sealed the game for Florida but the Gators finished the game with only 132 yards rushing as a team. Florida also turned the ball over four times.
Where Things Stand: The Gators passed their first true test this year as an underdog and now have their toughest game of the season this weekend. Winning at LSU at night is nearly impossible but Florida’s recipe for doing so will include taking care of the football better and establishing the running game early.
#2. Central Florida Knights (4-2)
Week 6 Result: Cincinnati 27, UCF 24.
Next Game: Saturday 10/19, vs. ECU, 7pm
Bovada Line: N/A
Week 6 Positives: UCF had 82 more total yards than Cincinnati did and 49 less penalty yards. Gabriel Davis continued his monster season with 13 catches for 170 yards. Kicker Dylan Barnas made three field goals for the Knights.
Week 6 Negatives: UCF turned the ball over four times, including three interceptions from Dillon Gabriel. The offense completely stalled in the second half until finally breaking through when Cincinnati was up by 11 points with just over three minutes to go.
Where Things Stand: The Knights have now lost two of their last three and have fallen out of the AP Top 25. UCF hasn’t experienced adversity like this in coach Josh Heupel’s tenure. The Knights must take this bye week to bounce back and prepare to run the table and win out if they want any chance for playing for the conference title championship year.
#3. Florida State Seminoles (3-2)
Week 6 Result: Off
Next Game: Saturday 10/12, at Clemson, 3:30pm
Bovada Line: FSU +27
Where Things Stand: The Seminoles will have had two weeks to prepare for mighty Clemson by the time the game kicks off on Saturday afternoon. Will it matter? Likely not, but Willie Taggart will take all the time he can get to try and avenge Clemson’s 59-10 victory in Tallahassee in 2018. Taggart has named James Blackman the starting quarterback for this game despite backup quarterback Alex Hornibrook looking good in back-to-back wins for the Seminoles.
#4. Miami Hurricanes (2-3)
Week 6 Result: Virginia Tech 42, Miami 35
Next Game: Friday 10/11, vs. Virginia, 8pm
Bovada Line: UM -1
Week 6 Positives: Miami passed for 469 yards as a team and finished the game with 563 yards of total offense compared to Virginia Tech’s 337. The Hurricanes scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to tie the game before giving up the go-ahead touchdown. Miami was 7-for-15 on third down conversions.
Week 6 Negatives: Too many to list in this space. The Hurricanes turned the ball over five times and trailed 28-0 early in the second quarter. Miami allowed seven sacks while only getting two itself. The Hurricanes committed 11 penalties for 90 yards, Bubba Baxa missed a go-ahead PAT in the game’s final minutes and the Hurricanes lost a game they were a two touchdown favorite in at home.
Where Things Stand: Miami is just a disaster right now. The Hurricanes are 0-3 against power five competition in 2019 and are 4-12 in their last 16 games against power five opponents. Miami has enough talent to win games in the ACC and it has not yet happened this season. That needs to be fixed immediately.
#5. Florida Atlantic Owls (3-2)
Week 6 Result: Off.
Next Game: Saturday 10/12, vs. MTSU, 4pm
Bovada Line: FAU -10.5
Where Things Stand: The Owls have won three games in a row and are coming off a bye week to face Conference USA opponent Middle Tennessee State this week at home. An FAU win would leave just the Owls and Western Kentucky as undefeated teams in C-USA play that reside in the east division.
#6. Florida International Panthers (2-3)
Week 6 Result: Florida International 44, Massachusetts 0.
Next Game: Saturday 10/12, vs. Charlotte, 7pm
Bovada Line: FIU -5.5
Week 6 Positives: FIU played its best game of the season last week against arguably its weakest opponent on the schedule. The Panthers had 541 yards of total offense compared to just 115 for Massachusetts. FIU held the Minutemen to just five first downs and quarterback James Morgan passed for 263 yards and two touchdowns for the Panthers.
Week 6 Negatives: Not many in this game for FIU. FIU did turn the ball over once and allow one sack.
Where Things Stand: The Panthers will need to continue this offensive prowess with Charlotte coming to town this weekend as the 49ers are averaging over 42 points per game against teams not named Clemson this season. FIU needs to ride the momentum from last week’s shutout victory to its first Conference USA victory of the season this week.
#7. South Florida Bulls (2-3)
Week 6 Result: South Florida 48, Connecticut 22.
Next Game: Saturday 10/12, vs. BYU, 3:30pm
Bovada Line: USF +6
Week 6 Positives: USF finally got a win against an FBS program and did it in dominant fashion. Jordan Cronkrite rushed for 148 yards on 20 carries for the Bulls and Trevon Sands and Jordan McCloud each added 60+ rushing yards of their own. USF only found itself in a third down situation 10 times and converted six of them.
Week 6 Negatives: McCloud threw two interceptions and was sacked four times. Kicker Coby Weiss missed one of his seven extra point attempts in the game. Considering how many negatives USF was experiencing against FBS competition prior to this game, this is a huge improvement.
Where Things Stand: USF is concluding a very difficult non-conference portion of its schedule this week against BYU at home. A win would go a long way in the race to get bowl-eligible as the Bulls will likely not be favored in at least five of their seven remaining games.