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Florida FBS Power Rankings—Week 5

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Florida returns to the state’s top spot after UCF’s loss

NCAA Football: Central Michigan at Miami
Miami Hurricanes quarterback Jarren Williams (15) throws a pass in the first quarter of Miami’s 17-12 victory over Central Michigan on September 21.
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Gators are back atop the Florida FBS Power Rankings after a 34-3 victory over Tennessee on September 21.

The Gators jump Central Florida, who lost its first regular season game since November 26, 2016 when it fell 35-34 to Pittsburgh last Saturday.

The Knights did not fall far though as the state’s only two teams ranked in the AP Poll are clearly the top two teams in the state right now.

The state’s seven FBS teams now sit with a combined record of 15-12 after four weeks of play. UCF and UF are a combined 7-1 while the other five schools sit at just 8-11 combined.

#1. Florida Gators (4-0, No.9 in AP Poll)

Week 4 Result: Florida 34, Tennessee 3.

Next Game: Saturday 9/28, vs. Towson, 4pm

Bovada Line: N/A

Week 4 Positives: This was the best the Gators have looked against power five competition in 2019. The defense forced four Tennessee turnovers and held the Volunteers to just 239 yards of total offense. Florida passed for 313 yards as a team between Kyle Trask and Emory Jones.

Week 4 Negatives: Florida turned the ball over three times, including two interceptions thrown by Trask. The Gators still struggled to run the ball on Tennessee as they averaged less than 3.5 yards per carry and finished with just 128 yards rushing, many of those yards coming in the fourth quarter against a tired Volunteer defense.

Where Things Stand: The Gators are just sort of cruising along. They haven’t been overly impressive this season but they haven’t needed to be. After what should be an easy win against Towson on Saturday, Florida plays Auburn (home), LSU (road), South Carolina (road) and Georgia (neutral) consecutively. We will learn what we need to learn about the Gators during the month of October.

#2. Central Florida Knights (3-1, No. 22 in AP Poll)

Week 4 Result: Pittsburgh 35, Central Florida 34.

Next Game: Saturday 9/28, vs. Connecticut, 4pm

Bovada Line: UCF -42.5

Week 4 Positives: The Knights scored 31 unanswered points to shake off a three touchdown deficit last Saturday. Wide receiver Gabriel Davis finished with 151 yards receiving and two touchdowns for UCF. Tre Nixon had 136 yards receiving for the Knights.

Week 4 Negatives: UCF could not run the ball on Pittsburgh as it averaged just 2.5 yards per carry and finished with 85 yards rushing as a team. UCF’s offensive line also failed to consistently protect quarterback Dillon Gabriel as he was sacked six times. The Knights led 31-21 with just over four minutes to play in the third quarter and could not hang onto the lead.

Where Things Stand: The loss is UCF’s first regular season loss since November 26, 2016. The Knights are now on the outside looking in for the race to grab the group of five’s spot in a New Year’s Six bowl game as they must win out during the regular season, win the AAC championship game and have Boise State lose at least once.

#3. Miami Hurricanes (2-2)

Week 4 Result: Miami 17, Central Michigan 12.

Next Game: Saturday 10/5, vs. Virginia Tech, 3:30pm

Bovada Line: N/A

Week 4 Positives: Quarterback Jarren Williams again did not throw an interception and passed for 250 yards and a touchdown. Miami got the tight ends involved in the passing game as Will Mallory and Brevin Jordan combined for 129 yards receiving in the game. Miami held Central Michigan to just 31 yards rushing on 27 carries.

Week 4 Negatives: Miami was 1-for-10 on third down conversions and finished the game with 13 penalties for 93 yards. The Hurricanes couldn’t run the ball for the first time all season as they finished with just 51 yards rushing as a team. Miami’s offense only got 16 first downs against a group of five program.

Where Things Stand: Not what Manny Diaz was looking for heading into another bye week. Miami has a lot to work on and most of it starts with the play of the offensive line. If the Hurricanes don’t perform better in ACC play, they will have big issues over the next two months.

#4. Florida State Seminoles (2-2)

Week 4 Result: Florida State 35, Louisville 24.

Next Game: Saturday 9/28, vs. N.C. State, 7:30pm

Bovada Line: FSU -6

Week 4 Positives: The Seminoles finally outscored an opponent in the fourth quarter and it was much needed in this game. FSU led 21-7 at halftime but Louisville stormed back to take a 24-21 lead early in the fourth quarter. Instead of failing to win the game in regulation as it had three times already this season, FSU scored two touchdowns in the final 7:25 of the game to get its first ACC win.

Week 4 Negatives: FSU blew another big lead. The Seminoles led 21-0 after the first quarter and looked dominant only to see Louisville come back and take the lead. The starts to games have been fantastic for the Noles but they have been consistently allowing teams back into games every week.

Where Things Stand: Willie Taggart will take the win however he can get it. He has another huge ACC Atlantic game this week against N.C. State. If the Noles can beat the Wolfpack, they will have two weeks to prepare for a road game against Clemson they will be a huge underdog in. Leaving Clemson on October 12 at 3-3 is a realistic goal for Florida State.

#5. Florida Atlantic Owls (2-2)

Week 4 Result: Florida Atlantic 42, Wagner 7.

Next Game: Saturday 9/28, at Charlotte, 3:30pm

Bovada Line: FAU -1

Week 4 Positives: FAU flexed its muscle against a lesser opponent by passing for 387 yards and holding Wagner to -6 rushing yards as a team. The Owls did not turn the ball over and wide receiver DeAngelo Antoine finished the game with 173 yards receiving and four touchdowns.

Week 4 Negatives: FAU was penalized 12 times for 95 yards in the win. Not much else went wrong for the Owls on this night.

Where Things Stand: This was a confidence-building win heading into a huge Conference USA East road game against Charlotte. The 49ers are 2-0 at home this season and are averaging over 47 points per game when Clemson isn’t their opponent. FAU will need a similar-type offensive performance to keep pace on Saturday.

#6. South Florida Bulls (1-2)

Week 4 Result: Off.

Next Game: Saturday 9/28, vs. SMU, 4pm

Bovada Line: USF +7.5

Where Things Stand: The Bulls will have had two weeks to prepare for SMU by the time Saturday rolls around. SMU is coming off an upset victory over TCU last week. A win on Saturday would be just what the doctor ordered for Charlie Strong and the Bulls.

#7. Florida International Panthers (1-3)

Week 4 Result: Louisiana Tech 43, Florida International 31.

Next Game: Saturday 10/5, vs. Massachusetts, 7pm

Bovada Line: N/A

Week 4 Positives: Quarterback James Morgan came back into the starting lineup for FIU and passed for 394 yards and two touchdowns. The Panthers rolled up 525 yards of total offense and probably played well enough to win this game offensively.

Week 4 Negatives: FIU’s defense failed it last Friday. The Panthers allowed 565 yards of total offense, including 275 yards rushing. Kicker Jose Borregales missed another field goal attempt and now sits at 2-for-6 on field goals this season in four games.

Where Things Stand: This is a much-needed bye week for Butch Davis. FIU is greatly underperforming this season and will need a lot of help now to win the Conference USA East. FIU plays three straight home games to start October and six of its next seven games in South Florida.