Robert Craft

Sunshine Rivalry

By: Robert Craft news services

This is the best week of the year for college football fans.

Rivalry week is finale week to yet another college football season.

The feast begins Friday night at the Bounce House with “The War on I-4”, and ends Saturday night with Florida vs. Florida State.

We have heard it so many times in our college football lives, “You can throw the record book out when these two teams get together.”

This year it may be different, both UCF and Florida are heavy favorites in their respective matchups.

“The War on I-4” is the end of the year battle between UCF and South Florida. The Knight’s open up as a 23-point favorite. These are two teams heading in polar opposite directions.

The Bulls lead all-time series 6-4, but the Knights have won the last two games of the “War on I-4.”

Take it from me, this game is going to be a blow out! The Bulls have lost three home games in a row against Temple, Cincinnati and Memphis. Coach Charlie Strong is on the “HOT SEAT.” We can call it a local rivalry game, but the Bulls are no match for the Knights in 2019.

UCF has been one of the best offensive teams in the country with the points to prove it. The Knights have 30 or more in 31 straight games, which is the longest streak in the AP poll era (1936).

On Friday night, the Knights will extend the 30 or more point streak as they boat race the Bulls.

My prediction is this game is going to be ugly if you are a South Florida Bull.

Like all UCF home games this season, the game will be over by half time.

UCF 56 South Florida 20

Florida versus Florida State: The sheer richness of noteworthy games, assures us some wild rides and crazy results.

The Gators haven’t beaten the Seminoles in Gainesville since 2009. Since 2000, Florida State holds a 10-9 advantage, despite how close the record is the games have not been close.

Just two short years ago, the Florida Gators were in the same boat as this Florida State team. Florida fired Jim McElwain mid-season and the Seminoles thumped the Gators 31-13.

Fast forward to 2019, Florida State has fired Coach Will Taggart. Florida State is 2 and 0 since Intern Coach Odell Haggins took over the reins. The Seminoles became bowl eligible with a convincing 49-12 victory over Alabama State.

Coach Haggins is 4 and 0 for his career as a head coach at Florida State. Saturday night in the Swamp Coach Haggins will take his first lost.

Florida State has been a dumpster fire since the day Willie Taggart was hired. Don’t get me wrong, the Seminoles have a lot of talented players on their roster. It’s just those players talent has not translated into wins for the Seminoles.

Quick fact: Florida State ranked 124 in the NCAA in pass defense (the lowest in School history). The Gators ranked 19 in the NCAA in pass offense.

Florida State will start the game with a lot of fire and desire but at the end of the day they are no match for this year’s Gator team.

The Gators are playing for a New Year’s 6 bowl, and they would like to send their senior class of 18 players off with a victory.

The Seminoles have given up 36 sacks and 102 hurries in 2019, whereas the Gators have sacked the quarterback 38 times and 134 hurries.

Side note: Florida State’s search for a new head coach has taken a few turns over the past few weeks.

First, FSU strikes out on Bob Stoops. Next, brother Mark Stoops tells FSU no thanks.

The hot names are Norvell, Campbell, Clawson and Haggins.

Also, a report surfaced that Willie Taggart did not sign his contract. This report is not correct Willie Taggart signed his contract, but FSU administration did not sign. Just like the regular season FSU cannot finish.

Final Score:  Florida 45 Florida State 20

The Trask Train

By: Robert Craft news services

The Gators started slow against Missouri in Columbia. Blame it on the coaching, the weather, or anything you want, but do NOT blame it on Kyle Trask.

After going into the locker room with a 6-3 lead, Gator Nation on Twitter was in meltdown mode. The major debate before, during, and after was: should Kyle Trask be the starting quarterback at Florida?

Kyle Trask was the backup quarterback after Feleipe Franks went down with a dislocated ankle. Trask stepped in and stepped up.

Trask has led the Gators to a great season and afforded a chance for a New Year’s Six Bowl Game.

The optimist on Twitter would look at Kyle Trask and say he holds the ball too long; he isn’t a running threat and he doesn’t fit Dan Mullen’s offense.

No one was paying attention when Trask lead a come from behind win against Kentucky. Nobody cared when he showed intestinal fortitude in the convincing win against Auburn. Trask had fans believing in his team in a shootout in Baton Rouge. As Birdman would say, put some “Respeck” on Kyle Trask’s name.

The loss to Georgia has some fans not caring about the 2020 season.  The big question fans are asking, “Is Trask able to lead this team to a championship or would Florida be better off playing Emory Jones to gain experience for 2020?”

Let me throw another monkey wrench into the quarterback room. What happens if Feleipe Franks decides to return to the Gators next season?

I have seen a lot of fans questioning Dan Mullen on Emory Jones’s playing time. The reason is that Emory has not progressed enough in the passing games to allow him to take the QB1 job.

I think Kyle Trask won the backup quarterback job during camp and now give the Gators the best chance to win. He is completing 66.8% of his passes this season, a bit over 2/3.

Remember this is Trask’s first year playing as a starting quarterback since Junior High. Trask’s ability to make the correct reads and deliver the football on time in limited playing time has translated into wins.

Florida’s rushing attack has been non-existent this season. The offensive line can’t bust a grape and the running backs are averaging less than 4.1 yards per carry.

Coach Mullen was hired to win games. Florida’s new fun and gun offense put their talent in the best position to win. Kyle Trask as the starting quarterback also puts the Gators in the best position to win.

The answer to whether Trask can win a championship has proven to be “NO”, at least for the 2019 season.  Trask is a redshirt Junior and has one year left at Florida.

The 2020 team will be different. Florida loses a lot of leadership and production players, but Coach Mullen has changed the direction of the program in two short years and has the Gators trajectory heading in the right direction.

Perhaps it would behoove Gator fans on Twitter and Facebook to be a little more patient with Kyle Trask. Just last year, LSU fans were having the same discussion with Joe Burrow. This season Burrow is lighting it up and is the favorite to win the Heisman.

I am not saying Trask will take the same path as Burrow, but you have to let the young man develop. Trask is going to have to take the right steps forward in a continually challenging SEC Conference, but his trajectory indicates success on the Swamp’s horizon.

Mullen, Gator Nation, and the players know that to win a championship, you have to beat Georgia. That is not an easy task, considering Georgia is an Elite, championship program.

To the fans questioning Coach Mullen’s decisions, I say “Trust The Process!

There is still work to be done. There is still time to jump on the Trask Train! Trask 2020, make the Gators Great Again!”

Improving The Gator Bite

By: Robert Craft news services

I have spent a lot less time writing about recruiting during the college football season.  The season is short and I want to enjoy every Saturday while I have it.

After watching the Georgia-Florida game, I definitely see a talent difference between the two SEC programs.

Georgia has been recruiting at an elite level since Kirby Smart arrived in Athens. Florida’s recruiting classes under Mullen have been good, but not elite. If Mullen wants to compete with Georgia on the field, he must first start winning some battles off the field.

Georgia has four commits from the state of Florida, all five are top 50 players in Florida.

They are four-star QB Carson Beck out of Jacksonville, four-star DT Jalen Carter out of Apopka, four-star OL Joshua Braun out of Live Oak and four-star WR Marcus Rosemy. I do not count 4-star DT Warren Brinson from IMG Academy because he is from Savannah.

Three of the four commits live less than a two hour drive from Gainesville. Coach Mullen must do a better job keeping the in-state talent in state (this goes for Miami, FSU and UCF).

Georgia is currently ranked fifth nationally and third in the SEC with 16 commits. Florida is currently ranked 11th nationally and sixth in the SEC with 19 commits.

Mullen’s current staff does not have an Alpha on the recruiting trail. Mullen must add one or more to his staff and increase staff in the recruiting department.

Florida currently has 19 commits and can take as many as 30 this cycle. I believe the Gators will take right around 27 this cycle.

The Gators’ strong season and HBO special exposure is having a positive impact on recruiting. Also, Willie Taggart’s firing will provide positive ramifications due to lack of competition.

Florida recruiting class has one quarterback, three receivers, four offensive linemen, one tight end, four defensive linemen, one linebacker and five defensive backs. Florida appears to be done adding to this class.

The Gators need to address depth on the offensive line and defensive line. This class should have five or six players in the trenches.

Here are some of the top targets still in the noncommitted group.

St. Thomas Aquinas offensive tackle Marcus Dumervil is the Gators main target. Dumervil is a four star and this is going to be a Florida-LSU battle.

Miami Columbus wide receiver Xzavier Henderson is the top wide receiver on the board. Henderson has offers from Georgia, Clemson, Alabama, ect. This is a three-way battle between Clemson, Georgia and Florida.

Deerfield Beach running back Jaylan Knighton has turned his interest towards the Gators after decommitting from FSU.

This 2020 class is in the same shape as the 2019 class. If fans are relying on on-field performance to provide a significant bump in this class, the loss to Georgia certainly doesn’t help.

The early signing period is December 18th. National Signing Day always brings a few surprises, and this year will be no exception.

Who is flipping and who is delaying their signing until February? Can the Gators close the talent gap with Georgia and the other elite programs?


New Coach Chant

By: Robert Craft news services

Florida State University fired head football coach Willie Taggart following the Seminoles 27-10 loss to Miami.

The buyout for Coach Taggart is more than 17 million dollars. Florida State will end up paying more than 20 million to buy out the whole staff at the end of the year. This will mark one of the biggest buyouts in college football history.

Florida State looks to hire their next head football coach. Here are my thoughts on 7 coaches who could land the job in Tallahassee.

Bob Stoops is a bit of a surprise. After 18 years coaching at Oklahoma, Stoops is currently the coach and GM of the Dallas XFL franchise. Stoops is a perfect person to bridge the gap for 3-5 years. He is a proven winner and there is no buyout.

Matt Campbell is the current head coach at Iowa State. Campbell was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year twice (2017 & 2018). Campbell has a very large buyout. He has been successful at two stops Toledo and Iowa State. Cambell record is 59-37.

Mark Stoops is the current head coach at Kentucky. Stoops is in his seventh season with the Wildcats and served as Defensive Coordinator at Florida State from 2010-2012. Stoops record at Kentucky is 40-34.

P.J. Fleck is a popular choice on everyone’s list of candidates. Fleck known for his “Row the Boat” quote. Fleck is a proven program builder in the Midwest.

He spent four years at Western Michigan with a record of 30-22. Currently, he is coaching Minnesota to an 8-0 record and in three seasons at the Gophers helm he is 50-35.

Fleck just signed a seven-year extension with Minnesota. So, you can take his name off the board.

Mike Norvell is the current coach at Memphis. This 38-year-old is a hot name anytime there is an opening. Norvell is 34-15 in his fourth year on the job. He is also rumored to be the leading candidate if or when the Arkansas job comes open.

Mike Leach, the Washington State head coach and offensive wizard is a fan favorite. He’s weird, but he wins football games. Leach, a former Valdosta State assistant, almost took the Tennessee job in 2017.

Josh Heupel is the current head coach at the University of Central Florida. In two seasons at UCF, Heupel has a record of 19-3. Heupel already has recruiting ties in the State of Florida and he is an offensive guru.

Here are a few other names you may hear:  Tom Allen-Indiana, Scott Satterfield-Louisville, Jeff Scott-Co-offensive Coordinator Clemson, Brent Venables-Defensive Coordinator Clemson, Sony Dykes-SMU and Urban Meyer-Former Florida and Ohio State head coach.

This is a big-time job! Florida State has some obstacles to overcome in hiring their next football coach.

Florida State has an interim Athletic Director and a lame duck President. Both are in their last year of their respective contracts.

Firing a head coach before his two years are up means you have some problems that may have deterred some coaches.

Florida State is a program built to win a national title.  Florida is a talent rich state in recruiting, FSU plays in the ACC, and the logo still has clout.

This is an important hire for the Seminoles. If you get the hire right, everything else will fall into place. If you get it wrong it set your program back ten years (just ask the Florida Gators).

The random internet rumor generator will have a different FSU coach hired every day until one is found.

The firing of Willie Taggart had to be made. The Seminoles have shown no improvement in two years, and even worse, have regressed this season.

Defensive Line Coach Odell Haggins will serve as interim head coach the remainder of the season. In Tallahassee there is already a garnet billboard with a big gold “ODELL” written on it. It appears the locals are happy.

FSU President announced today that he wants a coached hired by the end of the month.

Coaching search rumors are entertainment like no other.

Who is next at FSU?

Florida Georgia Line

By: Robert Craft news services

The Florida-Georgia football rivalry began in 1915 and they have played every year since 1926, except for 1943(canceled due to war). The “World’s Largest Cocktail Party” started in 1933. Jacksonville has hosted the game with the exception of 1994 and 1995.

Georgia leads the series with 51 wins 43 loses and 2 ties.

Let’s take a look at the series by decades. Georgia owned the 1980’s winning eight times during that period.

The 1980 game, Georgia trailed 21-20 with time running out, facing a third down and long from their own 7-yard line.

Georgia quarterback Buck Belue scrambled around his end zone then found wide receiver Lindsey Scott open in the middle of the field.  I can still hear legendary Georgia radio announcer Larry Munson’s call of the play.  “Run Lindsey” lives on today in my memories.

In 1990, Florida hired its prodigal son, Steve Spurrier. The 1990’s belonged to Florida winning 9 times during that decade.

The 1993 game, Florida was leading 33-26 with five second remaining. Eric Zeier, the Georgia quarterback completed what looked like the tying touchdown to Jerry Jerman.

However, Gators cornerback Anthone Lott had called a timeout. On the next play, Lott was called for pass interference giving the Bulldogs one last chance. Zeier last pass was incomplete. Gators won 33-26

The 1994 and 1995 games are the only game since 1933 not played in Jacksonville. In 1994, the Bulldogs traveled to Gainesville and took a beating 52-10.

In 1995, the Gators went to Athens and embarrassed Georgia 52-17. Coach Spurrier stated after the game, “we wanted to be the first team to hang half a hundred on them in their own stadium, we heard no one had ever done that before.”

The 2000’s belonged to the boys from Florida. The Gators won 8 times during the 2000’s.

The 2007 and 2008 games stand out during this decade. In 2007, after a short touchdown run by Knowshon Moreno, the entire Bulldog bench rushes the field to celebrate.

Coach Mark Richt stated that he ordered his team on the field after the touchdown.  That celebration fueled the Bulldogs to a 42-30 victory. This game is remembered as “The Gator Stomp.”

The 2008 game featured two top ten teams with an inside track to the SEC Eastern Division race. The Bulldogs dominated the first half on the field but missed two field goals and failed to recover an onside kick. The Gators lead at half 14-3.

The second half was all Gators just like the 2000’s. Tim Tebow lead the Gators to a 49-10 rout of the Bulldogs.

The 2010’s are up for grab this Saturday.  Georgia leads the 2010’s 5 to 4 wins. With a win on Saturday, Georgia would win the decade battle for the first time since the 1980’s.

This may be the most significant Florida-Georgia game since 2008. The winner takes control of the division and their college playoff hopes are still alive.

Keys to the Game for the Bulldogs:

  • Establish the running game (entire offense revolves around running the ball)
  • Win the turnover battle
  • Pressure Trask


Keys to the Game for the Gators:

  • Tackle, Tackle & Tackle (no yards after contract)
  • Contain D’Andre Swift (there is not a team in College Football that can stop him)
  • Win the cornerback/wide receiver battles

Georgia is a 3.5 point favor. My prediction: Florida takes it 24-16

Storm In Miami

By: Robert Craft news services

After five games, what have we learned about the Miami Hurricanes?

They aren’t well coached. The Hurricanes are off to a poor start with a 2-3 record. The Hurricanes have yet to beat a Power Five opponent, losing to Florida, North Carolina and Virginia Tech.

First year head coach Manny Diaz is saying all the right things but morale victories don’t keep you off the hot seat. Is Manny in over his head?

On December 30, 2018, Coach Diaz was hired as the head coach at the University of Miami. Diaz was Miami Defensive Coordinator from 2016-2018. Coach Diaz is considered the engineer behind the “Turnover Chain” and a top 10 defense.

Miami fans want to restore the glory days of the 80’s and 90’s. When ‘THE U” rained terror down of college football. The Hurricanes dominated college football landscape winning five National Championships (1983, 1987, 1989, 1991 & 2001) plus national finalist (1985, 1986, 1988, 1992, 2000 & 2002).

Obviously, the Hurricanes of today won’t live up to the “The U” standards.

While it is premature to call for Coach Diaz’s job; the rest of the coaching staff should feel the pressure.

Defensive Coordinator Blake Baker has taken a top 10 defense and turned it into a dumpster fire. Miami currently ranks 15 in total defense. Virginia Tech scoring 42 points is not the Miami standard. It’s very clear Coach Diaz has to become more involved with the defense.

Offensive Coordinator Dan Enos inherited an offensive line that is offensive. Miami’s offensive line has been under scrutiny all season and are ranked 125th in the country in sacks allowed.

Quarterback Jarren Williams had been getting destroyed. Miami has talent at receiver and tight end but it doesn’t matter if Williams has no time to throw the ball.

Running Backs DeeJay Dallas has made the most of their opportunities rushing for 410 yard and scoring 6 touchdowns in five games. Dallas could be one of the top running backs in the country if he wasn’t having to make two guys miss on every play.

Enos get paid to put points on the board. He’s doing just that with the worst offensive line in college football.

Enos now has a quarterback controversy with Jarren Williams getting benched and N”Kosi Perry throwing for 422 yards and 4 touchdowns on Saturday.

The remainder of the Hurricanes schedule is relatively easy to manage. The Hurricanes play Virginia, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Florida State, Louisville. FIU and Duke.

Miami must win 4 of these games to become bowl eligible. After losing to Virginia Tech this past Saturday, becoming bowl eligible will prove to be an uphill battle.

How does Manny Diaz salvage the remainder of the season? First, Diaz must become more involved with the defense. Second, he must hold coaches, players and himself accountable. Finally, he has to do a better job recruiting.

Diaz must influence the defense in practice and on a day to day basis. Coaching defense is how Manny Diaz got the job at Miami. This is the biggest sense of urgency for Miami.

Players and coaches must be held accountable for their actions. Miami finished the game against Virginia Tech with 11 penalties for 90 yards.

Three key personal foul penalties extend Virginia Tech drives. Miami tied the game but Mike Harley’s personal foul for celebration gave Virginia Tech great field position on their winning touchdown drive.

Miami coaches created the “Turnover Chain and Touchdown Rings.” Players care more about wearing them than winning.

The blood of college football is recruiting, and The Hurricanes must do a better job. Miami is currently ranked 27 nationally and 4th in the ACC (247Sports). This is unacceptable!

The Hurricanes glory days appear long gone and the future does not look bright.

The Trask Train

By: Robert Craft news services

“What if I told you a quarterback that hasn’t started a game since ninth grade would be the starting quarterback for the University of Florida.” Stealing the tagline for ESPN’s 30 for 30, Kyle Trask made his first start at quarterback last Saturday.

Kyle Trask, a redshirt junior, hasn’t started a football game since he was on the Freshman team at Manvel High. Trask backed up current Houston Cougars starting quarterback D’Eriq King.

Saturday that all changed, Trask led the Gators to a 34-3 routing of Tennessee. Trask went 20 for 28 with 293 passing yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.

He completed his first five passing attempts for 98 yard and most of the 98 yards were air yards, not yards after the catch.

Trask stated, “I’ve been waiting for my number to get called, and I knew I was going to be ready when my number was called.”

He came close to starting last season after playing well in relief of Feleipe Franks against Missouri, but a foot injury ended that chance.

Many fans on social media and message boards speculated that Trask would transfer to Central Michigan. Central Michigan is coached by former Florida coach Jim McElwain.

Trask has said repeatedly he never considered entering the transfer portal. That decision has paid off for both Trask and the Gators.

Trask did have three turnovers in the game. He was sacked in the first quarter and fumbled the ball. That cannot happen. The two interceptions are correctable with proper coaching.

The Florida Gators, after this week’s sacrificial lamb game against Towson, will face four games in six weeks against three teams ranked in the top 10. This stretch of games will define the Gators season and Kyle Trask.

Trask has shown in a game and a half that he is pocket passer and a willing runner.

Trask must improve his mental clock, reading coverages and blitzes. He looks too cool in the pocket with defenders bearing down on him.

He must recognize time in the pocket and either throw the ball away or run. Trask must learn to read the blitz package and get rid of the ball to appropriate receiver.

With Auburn, LSU and Georgia will Trask have enough in game experience to make good decisions? Those are the real tests.

For the Gators to be competitive against the Elite programs: Georgia and LSU, they must clean up their carelessness and bad decisions with the ball.

Simply put, they have to stop turning the ball over. Florida will not beat Auburn, LSU or Georgia if they lose the turnover battle.

In my opinion, the Gators are a better team with Kyle Trask at quarterback. His calm cool demeanor makes him QB1. October will make or break Trask.

Gator fans time to hop aboard the TRASK TRAIN.

As The Jaguars Turn

By: Robert Craft news services

Just barely into a long NFL season, and the Jacksonville Jaguars look like a franchise in chaos. Injuries, poor coaching, and a star player demanding a trade hovers over DUVAL.

The Jaguars made a huge splash in the off season by signing Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles. The deal was a four-year contract worth $88 million. The deal reportedly has 50 million dollars guaranteed.

Nick Foles’ Jaguars debut did not follow script. Foles was injured in the first quarter against Kansas City, suffering a broken left clavicle (collar bone). Rookie Gardner Minshew replaced Foles after the injury.

The Jaguars’ aspirations for a revival this season relied on Foles arrival. Many fans believe the Jaguars are one capable quarterback away from being a Super Bowl contender.

Just one quarter into the season, the Jaguars already were left dealing with an injury to Foles and now they will be without him for 8 to 10 weeks.

Game two was filled with drama. First on the field, trailing 13-6 with three minutes remaining, the Jaguars took possession at their 32-yard line. Gardner Minshew lead a two minute and thirty second drive capped with a four-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver DJ Chark Jr.

Coach Doug Marrone decided to go for a two-point conversion.  Leonard Fournette was stopped inches short of the goal line and the Jaguars fell 13-12.

Doug Marrone must have thought he was a Riverboat gambler, who decided to risk the game on a controversial decision to go for two-point conversion at the end of the game.

From the decision to the actual play call, Fournette run between the tackles. The question remains why go for two?

The Jaguars defense was playing extremely well. Minshew had the hot hand, leading a 68-yard scoring drive.

Coach Marrone just outsmarted himself and his team paid the price. My opinion, the Jaguars should have taken their chances with momentum into overtime.

The headline story Jags camp was the sideline spat between All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey and head coach Doug Marrone.

On a third down play, Ramsey was covering Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.  Hopkins made a diving catch and Ramsey immediately jumps up and waves his arms to signal incomplete.

Ramsey wanted Coach Marrone to have the play reviewed. Marrone did not throw the red challenge flag. The drive continued and the Texans kicked a field goal to take the lead 3-0.

Gene Steratore, the CBS official analysis, stated the it looked pretty clear that it was not a catch. Ramsey walking off the field clearly upset and when Coach Marrone said something to him, he turned around and the two went at it.

Marrone put his hands on Ramsey, who jerked away. Moments later, he walked over to Ramsey and said something that set him off again. Ronnie Harrison had to get between Ramsey and Coach Marrone.

That’s when it ended. Not so fast.

On the following Monday, the Jaguars All-Pro cornerback demanded a trade. Ramsey must be taking a line out of Antonio Brown’s off-field play book.

Ramsey quoted “the whole city trash. Coaches trash, fans trash too. They only care about crab trays and hard drugs. I’m Out!”


The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

By: Robert Craft news services

Recapping last weekend college football action around the sunshine state, we have the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, to steal a line from the classic 1966 spaghetti western.

The Good:

UCF traveled to Boca Raton on Saturday and true freshman quarterback Dillon Gabriel led the Knights to a 48-14 victory over FAU.

UCF’s rushing attack of McCrae (93 yards), Thompson (91 yards and a touchdown), Anderson (75 yards) and Killins (37) amassed more than 300 yards rushing for the second week in a row.

Gabriel finished the night 7 of 19 passing for 245 yard and 2 touchdowns. UCF’s defense put pressure on Florida Atlantic quarterback Chris Robinson all night long. UCF tallied 5 sacks with 16 tackles for loss.

Up next for the Knights is Stanford.

Stanford quarterback K.J. Castello is expected to start after missing last week’s loss to USC due to a concussion.

UCF opens as a seven-point favorite over the Cardinals. This is a classic battle of two contrasting styles. UCF wants to play fast, whereas Stanford prefers to play in a phone booth.

UCF’s defense will be challenged against Stanford’s huge offensive line.

Game time is 3:30 at The Bounce House.  Stanford melts in the fourth quarter. My take: UCF 34 Stanford 21

Florida Gators took care of business against one of their cupcakes on Saturday by shutting out UT Martin 45-0. Feleipe Franks completed 25-27 for 270 yards, 0 interceptions and 2 touchdowns. The Gators took care of business on both sides of the ball against a less talented UT Martin.

Up next for the Gators is a trip to Lexington, Kentucky to open SEC play against the Wildcats.

Both teams are 2-0 but Kentucky is forced to play without starting quarterback Terry Wilson due to injury. Wilson torched the Gators last season as Kentucky ended a 31-game losing streak vs. Florida.

Sawyer Smith will get the nod for the Wildcats on Saturday night. Kavosiey Smoke leads the Wildcat’s rushing attack 18 carries for 170 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Florida will enter this contest with two major players out due to injury Kadarius Toney (shoulder) and C.J. Henderson (ankle).

The Gators look for revenge in the commonwealth after Kentucky broke the streak.  Gators defense too much for Smith and company. My take: Florida 31 Kentucky 16

The Bad:

The Miami Hurricanes have lost their first two games since 1978.

North Carolina Tar Heels defeated the Hurricanes 28-25. The Tar Heels were led for the second week in a row by Freshman quarterback Sam Howell. Howell’s touchdown pass to Dazz Newsome with 1:01 left in the game put the Tar Heels up 28-25.

Miami had one last chance but Bubba Baxa shanked the field goal attempt wide left to seal the North Carolina victory.

Jarren Williams 30 for 39 for 309 yards and 2 touchdowns and Deejay Dallas 14 carries for 107 yards paced the Hurricanes.

Miami will rebound this week with a blowout win against an overmatched Bethune Cookman Wildcats. My take: Miami 54 Bethune Cookman 13

The Ugly:

Florida State won the game against UL Monroe but collapsed in the 2nd half again.

Leading 24-7 at half, Florida State forgot for the second week that there are four quarters to play.

UL Monroe scored on their first four drive of the second half. UL Monroe outscored the Seminoles 31-14 in the second half, and forced overtime.

Cam Akers carried the Seminoles the entire game with 36 carries for 193 yards and 2 touchdowns while also catching 5 passes for 55 yards and a touchdown.

Akers scored on a third and goal to give the Seminoles lead 45-38.

UL Monroe QB Caleb Evans walked in moments later to bring UL Monroe an extra point from a second overtime.

The Seminoles got lucky when the extra point sailed wide right.

Florida State travels Virginia to open ACC conference play against the Cavaliers. Coach Taggart and company avoid a second straight disaster.

FSU right now is a dumpster fire and the Cavaliers take advantage of the chaos.  My take: Virginia 31 FSU 23.

The Florida Heat

By: Robert Craft news services

With fans on social media torching coach Willie Taggart in the aftermath of Saturday’s season opening loss to Boise State, Seminole fans are wondering what it will take for the FSU administration to Fire coach Willie Taggart.

Florida State played in 36 consecutive bowl games from 1982-2017. Before last year’s 5-7 season Florida State opened the 2019 season by blowing an18 point lead at half and getting beat down by a less talented Boise State.

This game, like the whole state of Florida, was impacted by Hurricane Dorian. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday night in Jacksonville, but the venue and time changed.

It looked like Florida State was benefiting from a noon start at Doak Campbell Stadium. The Seminoles jumped out to a halftime lead 31-19 thanks to explosive plays from James Blackman and Cam Akers. Florida State fans were gloating about offensive coordinator Kendal Briles had succeeded and raised the bar for the Seminole offense.

Someone forgot to tell FSU they had to play four quarters on Saturday.

Florida State’s collapse was a complete (lack of) team effort.

Boise State’s ability to run the football wore down the Seminole Defense, and the offensive side of the ball.

The Seminoles stopped hitting those explosive plays shown in the first half. Boise State ran 108 plays and controlled the clock with 40:03 minutes of possession.

I could breakdown more stats on how Florida State choked on Saturday, but the bottom line is Boise State’s coaches out coached Willie Taggart and FSU’s staff.

Social Media went crazy after the epic melt down by the Seminoles. One Florida State fan posted a poll suggesting replacing Willie Taggart with Urban Meyer. TALK ABOUT POLL RESULTS!!

“We laid an egg in the second half,” Taggart said.  This is Taggart’s second straight home opener loss and Florida State’s third.

Florida State is a premier college football program. Rivals recruiting ranks over the past five years had the Seminole recruiting class at number three.

The Seminoles won a National Title in 2013 and were in the playoffs in 2014. Many Florida State fans still want to blame Jimbo Fisher on the lack of talent, but the Seminoles don’t have a problem with talent

Some media outlets say Willie Taggart is on the “hot seat.” I do not believe this to be entirely true.

Willie Taggart’s buyout after this year is $17 million, not including assistant coaches.

Florida State Athletics has lost $3 million last year and had to get $6 million from boosters to balance the budget.

Florida State fans, Willie Taggart is not going anywhere!

Taggart amazes me with his ability to rise up and convince Athletic Director’s to pay him insane money with a record (52-57).

Also, Taggart just hired Kendal Briles as offensive coordinator in December. Briles served on his father’s staff at Baylor and received and NCAA sanctions for recruiting violations. He was also named in a Title IX lawsuit filed against Baylor.

Florida State fans are fed up with Willie Taggart and it’s hard to blame them when you consider how last year went and how awful the collapse was in the second half Saturday against a non-power five opponent.

Considering the talent on the Florida State roster, Willie Taggart is in over his head.

Unless a Big Booster comes up with a pile of cash, Willie Taggart will be coaching Florida State this season and next, so buckle up Nole fans it’s going to be a bumpy ride.