The biggest storylines of week two for in-state football included an FSU horrific hangover, another Gator win as they gear up for Bama, a UCF blowout over Bethune-Cookman where QB Dillon Gabriel continued to dazzle, and Miami skating by on the skin of their teeth. Moving onto week three, the Gators will be the spotlight of the sunshine state as they face off against SEC foe, Alabama. Florida will seek to keep it respectable in Gainesville, but will definitely seek to avoid a 44-13 defeat, which is what the in-state rival, Miami Hurricanes, endured in week one.
Below, is the current state of the state of Florida football Week Two rankings:
1: Florida Gators (2-0) (Previous: 1st)
Ranking: 11th (AP Top 25), 9th (USA Today Coaches Poll)
Week Two Result: 42-20 Win over South Florida
Week Three Matchup: vs. Alabama (#1) (+15.5)
After winning two in-state out-of-conference games to start off the season with ease, the Gators face off against the nation’s number one in the Alabama Crimson Tide. The results of this matchup in Gainesville theoretically should provide somewhat of a juxtaposition in comparison to Miami’s matchup week one. It also should serve as an early season barometer as to where Florida lines up in the SEC.
Redshirt Freshman QB, Anthony Richardson, has been a sparkplug for Florida every time he’s stepped on the field but it appears that Redshirt Junior, Emory Jones, is continuing to get the bulk of the snaps at signal-caller.
2: UCF Knights (2-0) (Previous: 4th)
Ranking: 26th (AP Top 25 - 111 points), 28th (USA Today Coaches Poll - 65 points)
Week Two Result: 63-14 Win over Bethune-Cookman
Week Three Matchup: @ Louisville (-7.0)
Northwestern transfer RB, Isaiah Bowser, continues to be the bell cow UCF back, and one of the top NCAA RBs at that. Bowser only carried the ball 12 times against Bethune-Cookman but had four TDs. QB, Dillon Gabriel, also continues to impress not only with his arm (23-for-36 for 312 yards and 2 TDs), but also had an impressive sideline-to-sideline TD scamper for 44 yards.
HC, Gus Malzahn, needs to keep his team focused week-to-week but the matchup against number eight Cincinnati week six on October 16 may pit two ranked teams as the Knights continue to creep closer toward the top 25 rankings.
3: Miami Hurricanes (1-1) (Previous: 3rd)
Ranking: 24th (AP Top 25), 26th (USA Today Coaches Poll - 137 Points)
Week Two Result: 25-23 Win over Appalachian State
Week Three Matchup: vs. Michigan State (-6.5)
In order to maintain pace with the Gators, and even UCF to a degree, Miami needs to take care of business over the next few weeks. The last two games have not gone according to plan after getting blown out by Bama and skating by against unranked Appalachian State. It starts this week against Michigan State, where Miami is favored by 6.5 points. And frankly, it doesn’t get much easier as Miami will be missing LB, Keontra Smith, as they seek to stop a running game that features transfer RB, Kenneth Walker III, who is averaging an NCAA-best 10.7 yards per carry (321 yards on 30 carries, as well as 5 TDs). Obviously, stopping the run game is something that haunted Miami in 2020, and this early season test is incredibly important.
UPDATE: LB Keontra Smith is expected to miss a month of action with MCL & PCL ligament strains. The injury was initially projected to be much worse, so it's good to hear that Keontra should be back in time for key ACC conference games. pic.twitter.com/vmLMIcIA3D— Canes Access (@CanesAccess) September 13, 2021
4: Florida Atlantic Owls (1-1) (Previous: 5th)
Ranking: 88th (The Athletic Power Rankings)
Week Two Result: 38-6 Win over Georgia Southern
Week Three Matchup: @ Fordham
N’Kosi Perry’s college career resurrection continues as he threw for 332 yards on 19-for-27 passing and 4 TDs on the heels of landing the first alcohol company NIL deal, which was with Islamorada Brewery. According to the ESPN matchup predictor, FAU is favored to win every game through the duration of the regular season but have close projected matchups against UAB and Western Kentucky. Thus, even though they do not feature a stout roster by FBS I-A standards, but could play spoiler in Conference USA.
5: Florida State Seminoles (0-2) (Previous: 2nd)
Ranking: 80th (The Athletic Power Rankings)
Week Two Result: 20-17 Loss to Jacksonville State
Week Three Matchup: vs. Wake Forest (+5.5)
FSU gonna FSU. After overperforming week one against top ten, Notre Dame, the Seminoles lost on a last second Hail Mary to FCS Jacksonville State. QB, McKenzie Milton’s story is easy to root for but his digression in his first start since 2018 brings into question how successful FSU can be this year. Georgia Transfer DE, Jermaine Johnson II, could very well burst onto the 2022 NFL Draft scene as he gathered 11 tackles and 2.5 sacks. Johnson leads FBS with 6 TFLs and is now t-2nd in FBS with 4.0 sacks through two games.
Watch the FSU cheerleaders at the end of this pic.twitter.com/udYqBsb6Dd— Chris Hassel (@Hassel_Chris) September 12, 2021
6: Florida International Panthers (1-1) (Previous: 6th)
Ranking: 117th (The Athletic Power Rankings)
Week Two Result: 23-17 Loss to Texas State
Week Three Matchup: @ Texas Tech (+20.5)
FIU had a disappointing loss against Texas State in week two and now face a likely blowout loss against Texas Tech. NFL running back prospect, D’Vonte Price, had a monster debut and followed up with a strong performance as he continues to average 9.86 yards per carry, which is good enough for t-4th in FBS.
7: South Florida Bulls (0-2) (Previous: 7th)
Ranking: 126th (The Athletic Power Rankings)
Week Two Result: 42-20 Loss to Florida
Week Three Matchup: vs. Florida A&M
South Florida finally got on the scoreboard and put up 20 points against the Florida Gators, who started the game up 35-3 at half time. Now, USF aims to pick up their first win since September 12, 2020 against Division I FCS opponent, Florida A&M. If USF avoids defeat, they may also avoid the race to the bottom in not only Florida’s Power Rankings, but also as one of the worst teams in FBS. If the rut continues, we could see former Miami QB, Jarren Williams, in action.