Brace yourselves, South Florida football fans. Something happened this past weekend that you have had to wait nearly two months for: the Miami Hurricanes and Miami Dolphins won a game on the same weekend!
Sure, neither outcome could be considered impressive by most accounts, but a win is a win - and if you’re the Canes, it means you still have some hope to win the ACC’s Coastal Division for the second time ever.
If you’re the Dolphins, it gives you a slight boost in confidence before playing one of the top teams in the AFC this season.
As for the FIU Panthers…well…umm…umm…they didn’t get shutout this past weekend? At this point though, the writing is on the wall for what’s going on down in southwest Miami-Dade and the reality of what the outcome could be.
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Can UM become bowl eligible this weekend and keep their winning streak going against a hated rival? Can the Dolphins pull off what some might consider the biggest upset of the 2021 NFL season? Can FIU maybe get a second win before the season comes to an end? As always, we break it all down with our NBC 6 not-so-scientific system.
Miami Dolphins vs. Baltimore Ravens (Thursday)
Some of the weight was lifted off the shoulders of the men in aqua last weekend with an ugly, turnover-filled 17-9 win against a Houston team that was also 1-7 entering that game. Miami didn’t even have a chance to properly celebrate that win before having to turn their focus to the one home, weeknight game this season.
And, who is that game against? Oh, just a Ravens team who put up 59 points against the Fins when the teams last met to open the 2019 season. While the Dolphins have a slightly better team and won’t give up that many points, one has to wonder if the offense can put up more than the 10 they score in that game.
Miami Hurricanes at FSU Seminoles (Saturday)
For what it’s worth, the ‘Canes have looked like a brand-new team in the six games that Tyler Van Dyke has started at quarterback. At the same time, Miami has also given up plenty of points on the defensive side of the ball that has some wondering if that will come back to bite them sooner rather than later.
At the same time, the Seminoles know they must win out to avoid a fourth consecutive losing season. With all that being said, to paraphrase what AP beat writer Tim Reynolds told NBC 6 this past weekend: it’s Miami-FSU. Records don’t matter, pride is on the line and these two teams are more than likely going to play their hardest up to this point in the season.
FIU Panthers at Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (Saturday)
We’ve tried, we really have, to hype up the Panthers and act like they have a chance to maybe turn things around at some point. Last week’s blowout loss at home to Old Dominion was the final straw and at this point fans might just want this misery to end sooner rather than later.
Florida Gators vs. Samford Bulldogs (Saturday)
It wasn’t all that long ago that the Gators were a top-10 ranked team that had hopes of making the College Football Playoff for the first time. After four losses in the last five games, head coach Dan Mullen is working to hopefully get UF bowl eligible as rumors swirl about what the future could possibly hold in Gainesville.
Other State Games
The FAU Owls are on the road to take on Old Dominion while the UCF Knights are also away from home when they travel to play SMU. The USF Bulls are at home to take on No. 2 ranked Cincinnati on Friday, so that should be fun.
The FAMU Rattlers travel to play Arkansas-Pine Bluff while the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats face Grambling State on the road.
In the NFL, both Tampa Bay and Jacksonville are on the road with the Buccaneers facing off against Washington - who they beat in the playoffs last season - while the Jaguars go for a second win in a row against Indianapolis.