NBC 6 Weekend Football Preview: The Battle for Miami-Dade

What to Know

  • In the Sunshine State, the next to last weekend in September brings some familiar foes to the party for the Dolphins, Gators and Noles.

In the blink of an eye, we have come to the point where nearly one third of the college football season is complete and we’re already two weeks into the NFL season – complete with such wild stories as the struggles of schools like FSU in the college game to the Cleveland Browns actually having a win on their record!

In the Sunshine State, the next to last weekend in September brings some familiar foes to the party for the Miami Dolphins as well as two of the state’s big three college teams – along with the battle of Miami-Dade County for the first time in over a decade.

Here’s a look at how all the games rank this weekend using our not-so-scientific NBC 6 grading system.

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MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 05: Running back Marshawn Lynch #24 of the Oakland Raiders is tackled by free safety Reshad Jones #20 of the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on November 5, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Miami Dolphins vs. Oakland Raiders (Sunday)

Don’t look now, but the Dolphins come into this game as one of just nine teams left in the NFL undefeated just two weeks into the season. Now, they get to host the silver and black for the second straight season (losing 27-24 last November in a game you saw right here on NBC 6) that is facing plenty of problems under first year coach (in his second stint with the team) Jon Gruden.

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Miami Hurricanes vs. FIU Panthers (Saturday)

The battle for bragging rights in Miami-Dade County is back as Panthers head coach Butch Davis returns to face the team he spent six season leading, building the nucleus for what would be the ‘Canes last national title in the 2001 season. Both teams come in with a 2-1 record after Miami handled business last week against Toledo while FIU destroyed UMass at home.

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KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 24: Todd Kelly Jr. #24 of the Tennessee Volunteers points toward the Florida Gators bench after intercepting a pass in the second half at Neyland Stadium on September 24, 2016 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Tennessee defeated Florida 38-28. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Florida Gators at Tennessee Volunteers (Saturday)

The last three seasons have been interesting in this series between teams that once dominated the SEC East – with Florida winning in 2015 on a fourth down touchdown and in 2017 on a Hail Mary touchdown as time expired while Tennessee won for the first time in the series since 2004 when they took home a victory in the 2016 season.

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MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 01: Northern Illinois Huskies readies to snap the ball against the Florida State Seminoles during the Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 1, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Florida State Seminoles vs. Northern Illinois Huskies (Saturday)

Many in garnet and gold have hit the panic button on the first season under head coach Willie Taggart after last week’s blowout loss to Syracuse – as the Noles have scored just 10 points in their two games against FBS foes. Meeting for the first time since the 2013 Orange Bowl, the Huskies are struggling just enough to were the Seminoles might be able to turn things around this week – if not, Taggart’s seat might go from hot to on fire in a heartbeat.

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Florida Atlantic Owls at UCF Knights (Friday)

It might be odd for some to realize that these are the only two teams in the state of Florida to win a FBS conference last season, but both schools legit feel it is time for them to get a seat at the table as one of the state’s big time programs after last season. You can bet that there will be plenty of offense in this one, especially with Lane Kiffin’s Owls looking to get a ranked win after being blown out by Oklahoma in the opener.

Other State Games

In the college game, the USF Bulls open up their conference schedule when they face East Carolina while FAMU hosts Savannah State – who was blown out earlier this season by Miami – while Bethune Cookman hits the road to take on Howard.

Sunday, the Jacksonville Jaguars hit divisional play when they host the Tennessee Titans while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – also undefeated while being led by backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick – host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night.

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