The 2019 season is finally upon us! It’s been far too long.
The Gators are opening the season in Orlando against in-state rival Miami. This week zero contest is kicking off the 150th year of college football.
The Hurricanes lead the all-time series 29-26 and the two programs announced a home and home set for the 2024 and 2025 seasons.
The following are our staff’s predictions for the Florida-Miami game:
This is the biggest stage that Florida could possibly be on to open the 2019 season. The entire nation will be watching this marquee matchup, as it is the first game of the season. The expectations are through the roof and I believe these boys still have a chip on their shoulder. Florida will do everything they can to bring home a W to start Dan Mullen’s second season. Miami’s talented defensive front will keep them in it early but as the game wears on, Mullen’s “fresh legs” philosophy and the Gators talent at the skill positions will be too much for Miami. Florida wins 35-20.
With both teams in similar boats with offensive lines lacking experience and borderline elite defensive fronts, the battle in the trenches will define the outcome of the game, as it does most times. However, what sets Florida aparts is the comfort at QB; for the first time in years, there was no question as to who was taking snaps at Florida. Miami wasn’t as fortunate as they elected to start Jarren Williams, who has just 17 career passing yards. With Zuniga and Greenard on the ends, I expect Williams to be on his back more than on his feet with the passes he does get off, being under immense pressure and his receivers in tight coverage. I’ve got Florida being +2 in the turnover margin, which ultimately wins them the game. 31-10, Florida.
Football season is back, and it kicks off with a great matchup between UF and Miami. For me, I am really excited to see what a junior year Feleipe Franks can do, he’s got all the physical tools and the pieces around him to be special, now add in an extra year of experience and familiarity with Dan Mullen’s system, and I have big expectations for Franks in 2019. Ultimately, the Gators defense will hold the key, I don’t think the offense will have trouble scoring, they just need to find a way to slow down Miami’s offensive game and force turnovers, therefore I’m taking the Gators 28-14.
The Week 0 matchup involves two experienced defenses and two inexperienced offensive lines. It’s going to be a low-scoring war of attrition in Orlando, and it will come down to big plays and turnovers. Big plays begin with quarterbacks, and UF’s Feleipe Franks is way more experienced than UM’s Jarren Williams, who will make his first career start on Saturday. With Dan Mullen’s tricky playing-calling on his side as well, it’s Franks’ game to lose. He didn’t have a single interception in the final four games of 2018, so taking care of the football has become a strength for Franks. Williams, on the other hand, may have difficulty preventing turnovers against UF’s experienced secondary and pass rush. I’ve got the Gators winning the turnover battle, time of possession and plays of over 20 yards, leading to their first win of the year.
Florida will have to utilize quick passes against a talented front seven for Miami. The Hurricanes offense should struggle against a terrific Gators defense. I expect the game to be close for the first half, with Dan Mullen making the necessary adjustments out of the halftime break. Florida has the talent to win big. Gators 31-13.
Florida and Miami are set for a 7:00 PM kickoff on Saturday from Camping World Stadium in Orlando. The game will air on ESPN. You can follow all the action through our various Twitter accounts.