One week ago, both the Miami Dolphins and Miami Hurricanes were feeling somewhat decent after close wins that had the squads going in what looked to be the right direction for the rest of the season.
This week, both teams look ready to hit the panic button after embarrassing home losses that saw each lose their starting quarterbacks for an unknown amount of time.
It isn’t all bad, right? FIU had a decent game, right? Oh, the Panthers lost by 33 points in their first road test of the season. Yeah, it was not a good football weekend in South Florida and at this rate you must wonder if it can get better quickly.
Can the ‘Canes bounce back against their easiest foe (on paper) this season? Can FIU get a second win on the season for the first time in over two calendar seasons? Can the Fins go on the road and rebound with a South Florida native now under center? As always, we break it all down with our NBC 6 not-so-scientific system.
Miami Hurricanes vs. Central Connecticut State Blue Devils (Saturday)
Any hopes the ‘Canes had of making it to their first College Football Playoff were essentially eliminated in a blowout loss last weekend at home to Michigan State. At the same time, the hot seat under head coach Manny Diaz may have picked up a few degrees with Miami clearly not playing up to the level of expectations from fans.
This week’s game may get slightly tougher with quarterback D’Eriq King likely sitting this one out with a shoulder injury. On paper, the ‘Canes should still be okay as they take on the FCS-level Blue Devils (yes, we had to look up their mascot) before opening ACC play just five days later - and hopefully having King back in time for that game.
Miami Dolphins at Las Vegas Raiders
Last season, the Dolphins had to bench quarterback Tua Tagovailoa just to get a comeback win on the road against the Raiders. The team won’t have to worry about that this season as the Buffalo Bills took care of the quarterback position, fracturing Tua’s ribs in last week’s blowout win and forcing him to miss at least one game.
The keys to the offense are now turned over to backup quarterback and Palm Beach County native Jacoby Brissett, who may not have the mobility that Tagovailoa possesses but may also have a slightly stronger arm. That begs this question: could Miami be better off with him at quarterback for the time being after last week’s shutout loss to the Bills?
FIU Panthers at Central Michigan Chippewas (Saturday)
All was going right for the men from Southwest Miami-Dade after winning their season opener. After that, it was followed by two straight losses to teams from the state of Texas that have some fans wondering if that means another season of more losses than wins for the Panthers. Both teams are going for their second win of the season after CMU got beat down on the road last weekend by LSU.
Florida Gators vs. Tennessee Volunteers (Saturday)
What once was a competitive series in the SEC has become beyond one-sided, with the Gators having won 15 of the last 16 meetings and the Vols not having won in Gainesville since yours truly was a college sophomore. With Florida coming off a heartbreaking loss last weekend to Alabama, one has to wonder how hungry they are going to be for redemption against yet another hated conference foe.
FSU Seminoles vs. Louisville Cardinals (Saturday)
The continuing downhill slide for the Seminoles this season hit another low last weekend with a blowout loss in their ACC opener. Now, they play a team who is coming off a big win and beat the Seminoles by 32 points when they met last season. If another blowout loss takes place, FSU head coach Mike Norvell may finally have to make some needed changes to the coaching staff.
Other State Games
The FAU Owls are back on the road when they travel to take on the Air Force Academy on Saturday while the USF Bulls will also be out west to face the BYU Cougars. Bethune Cookman hopes to bounce back from their first conference loss of 2021 when they hit the road to face Alabama State.
In the NFL, the Jacksonville Jaguars hope for their first win of the season when they host the Arizona Cardinals. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, one of just seven unbeaten teams left this season, hit the road to face another unbeaten team in the Los Angeles Rams.