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Florida FBS Power Rankings—Week 3

Sub-par start for state FBS teams continues in Week 2

Miami v North Carolina
Miami Hurricanes quarterback Jarren Williams (15) tries to elude North Carolina’s Tomon Fox in last Saturday’s ACC opener for both teams. The Hurricanes are still looking for their first win of the season.
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The season to forget for state of Florida FBS teams continued to be a disappointment last week.

State of Florida FBS teams compiled a 3-4 record with no power five wins in week two and now sit with a combined 5-9 record on the season, with two of those wins coming in games against other state opponents.

Florida’s 24-20 victory over Miami in “Week 0” still remains the only victory for a state team over a power five program.

Last week’s results have given us a shake up in the rankings as we have a new No.2, a new last place team and a new order of schools in between those spots.

#1. Florida Gators (2-0, #9 in AP Poll)

Week 2 Result: Florida 45, Tennessee-Martin 0.

Next Game: Saturday 9/14, at Kentucky, 7pm

Bovada Line: UF -7.5

Week 2 Positives: Florida finished with 543 yards of total offense and did not turn the ball over after turning it over four times against Miami in its season opener. Feleipe Franks was efficient for the Gators as he finished 25-for-27 for 270 yards and two touchdowns.

Week 2 Negatives: The Gators started slow, leading just 3-0 after the first quarter and not scoring their first touchdown until there was 8:35 left in the second quarter. The injury bug also bit Florida as defensive back CJ Henderson and wide receiver Kadarius Toney each left the game with injuries that will likely cause them to miss the Kentucky game.

Where Things Stand: Florida will open SEC East play looking for revenge against Kentucky after the Wildcats snapped their 31-game losing streak against the Gators in Gainesville last season. Kentucky will be without starting quarterback Terry Wilson as he will miss the rest of the 2019 season with an injury. Road games against a division opponent at night are never easy but the Gators will be at a huge advantage with Wilson sidelined.

#2. Central Florida Knights (2-0, #17 in AP Poll)

Week 1 Result: Central Florida 48, FAU 14.

Next Game: Saturday 9/7, vs. Stanford, 3:30pm

Bovada Line: UCF -7.5

Week 2 Positives: The Knights appear to have found a quarterback. True freshman Dillon Gabriel got the starting nod over Notre Dame transfer Brandon Wimbush and passed for 245 yards and two touchdowns. UCF also rushed for 312 yards as a team. The Knights did turn the ball over and never trailed in the game.

Week 2 Negatives: Gabriel only completed 7-of-19 passes under center for UCF. Kicker Dylan Barnas missed a 39-yard field goal and an extra point for the Knights. Not much else went wrong for UCF on this night.

Where Things Stand: UCF jumps Miami in this poll for obvious reasons. The Knights are flying high heading into their big home game with Stanford this week and a win would go a long way in ensuring UCF is the highest ranked group of five team at the end of the season. It will need a more consistent performance out of Gabriel or whoever starts at quarterback to beat the Cardinal.

#3. Miami Hurricanes (0-2)

Week 1 Result: North Carolina 28, Miami 25.

Next Game: Saturday 9/7, vs. Bethune-Cookman, 4pm.

Bovada Line: N/A

Week 2 Positives: Miami amassed 488 yards of total offense and redshirt freshman quarterback Jarren Williams passed for 309 yards and two touchdowns. DeeJay Dallas rushed for 107 yards and Cam’ron Harris rushed for 60 yards and a touchdown for the Hurricanes. Nine different players caught a pass for Miami in the loss.

Week 2 Negatives: Miami started extremely slow, falling behind 17-3 in the first 11 minutes of the game. After taking a 25-20 lead, the Hurricanes allowed Sam Howell and North Carolina to convert a 4th-and-17 to keep the drive alive that eventually resulted in UNC’s go-ahead touchdown. Kicker Bubba Baxa missed two field goals and had an extra point attempt blocked.

Where Things Stand: Miami has not been 0-2 to start a season since 1978. The Hurricanes have issues with the offensive line and the secondary that need to be corrected before they return to power five play in the first week of October against Virginia Tech. Staying healthy for the rest of September in games against Bethune-Cookman and Central Michigan is imperative as Miami does not seem to be a very deep team on defense right now.

#4. Florida State Seminoles (1-1)

Week 2 Result: Florida 45, Louisiana-Monroe 44, OT.

Next Game: Saturday 9/14, at Virginia, 7:30pm.

Bovada Line: FSU +7.5

Week 2 Positives: Running back Cam Akers rushed for 193 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback James Blackman was 30-for-40 for 282 yards and three touchdowns but did throw two interceptions as well. Florida State was 10-for-19 on third down conversions.

Week 2 Negatives: Florida State needed a missed extra point in overtime to defeat a group of five team it was favored by 23 points over. The Seminoles finished the game with 108 penalty yards, turned the ball over three times and allowed the Warhawks to pick up 26 first downs. Florida State also led by 17 at halftime and trailed by four points in the fourth quarter. In their season-opening loss to Boise State, Florida State led by 18 at halftime.

Where Things Stand: Florida State does not seem to have solved any of its issues on defense or with performing in the second half. With a trip to ACC Coastal favorite Virginia looming, the Seminoles will need to figure things out quickly. How does Florida State perform like this and move up in this poll you ask? The rest of the state’s teams have been that bad.

#5. Florida Atlantic Owls (0-2)

Week 2 Result: #17 Central Florida 48, FAU 14.

Next Game: Saturday 9/7, at Ball State, 2pm

Bovada Line: FAU -2.5

Week 2 Positives: The Owl defense obviously struggled on the evening but did hold UCF’s quarterbacks to a 40 percent completion percentage on the night. Kicker Vladimir Rivas booted two field goals for the Owls and running back Larry McCammon III finished the game with 67 yards from scrimmage.

Week 2 Negatives: FAU gave up seven touchdowns before scoring one of its own. The Owls were just 5-for-19 on third down conversions and had 97 penalty yards. Not the way you want to start the home portion of your schedule.

Where Things Stand: FAU has a chance to get things going as the schedule gets significantly easier over the next three weeks. The Owls are favored at Ball State next week, will host Wagner the following week and then will start Conference USA play at Charlotte the following week. A 3-game winning streak going into the bye week would be just what the doctor ordered for Lane Kiffin and FAU.

#6. South Florida Bulls (0-2)

Week 2 Result: Georgia Tech 14, South Florida 10.

Next Game: Saturday 9/7, vs. South Carolina State, 6pm

Bovada Line: N/A

Week 2 Positives: The Bulls looked better in this game than they did in their season-opening 49-0 loss to Wisconsin but that isn’t saying much. Their lone touchdown came when backup quarterback Jordan McCloud connected with Johnny Ford in the fourth quarter on a 20-yard pitch and catch. USF did out-gain Georgia Tech 262-257 and covered the game’s 4.5-point spread.

Week 2 Negatives: Blake Barnett was replaced by Barnett in the second half because of his sub-par performance and his status as the starting quarterback is unclear, according to the Tampa Bay Times. USF has one touchdown and one field goal in eight quarters this season.

Where Things Stand: USF has now lost eight consecutive games dating back to last season and Charlie Strong can't feel good about the state of his program right now. He and offensive coordinator Kerwin Bell will have a decision to make between starting McCloud or Barnett moving forward and there is no better time to evaluate both options than playing South Carolina State at home this week. If USF’s losing streak isn’t snapped against South Carolina State, Strong’s job will be in jeopardy.

#7. Florida International Panthers (0-2)

Week 2 Result: Western Kentucky 20, Florida International 14.

Next Game: Saturday 9/14, vs. New Hampshire, 7pm

Bovada Line: N/A

Week 2 Positives: The Panthers did not turn the ball over and played much better defensively compared to their 42-14 season-opening loss to Tulane.

Week 2 Negatives: FIU was just 2-for-15 on third conversions and managed just 66 passing yards. This is in large part due to quarterback James Morgan missing time in the game because of injury but nonetheless 66 passing yards in a home game as a favorite is not acceptable. The Panthers finished with just 217 yards of total offense.

Where Things Stand: FIU was an 8-point favorite at home in this game and loses its C-USA opener after only scoring one offensive touchdown. Not good enough for Butch Davis and company. The Panthers are wasting an offense returning a lot of talent that was expected to be one of the best in the conference. Hosting New Hampshire is a must win for the Panthers this week to get some positive momentum back in the program.