For some teams, the ball going off a kicker’s foot can be the difference between a moment of jubilation and a moment of sadness.
In the case of the Miami Hurricanes, it was an extra point in the fourth quarter of last week’s game against N.C. State that was the ultimate difference in the one-point win over the Wolfpack. For the Miami Dolphins, it was a field goal as time expired that sent them to a sixth straight loss and questions about a blockbuster trade.
Now, both teams are at the crossroads of their seasons with the month of October coming to an end - with each team hitting the road to face opponents that, on paper, they don’t have a chance of beating. But, as we’ve seen so far in the 2021 season, that doesn’t really mean much.
Can the ‘Canes get a win over a ranked team for the second straight week? Can the Dolphins get a much-needed divisional victory over a long-time divisional that could take some pressure off the quarterback position? Will FIU get their first road victory in nearly three calendar years?
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As always, we break it all down with our NBC 6 not-so-scientific system.
Miami Hurricanes at Pittsburgh Panthers (Saturday)
That’s right…the same team who lost their previous two games thanks to a kick going the other team’s way decided to wait until they played the No. 18 team to play what could be called their best game of the season – and leave some people wondering why the heck it took so long.
Now, all head coach Manny Diaz has to do is make it happen again: this time not inside the friendly confines of home, but on the road against a Panthers team which is firmly in the driver’s seat for the ACC’s Coastal Division spot in the conference title game this December.
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills (Sunday)
Speaking of teams without any luck in the kicking game recently, the Fins have limped into the final weekend of October with six straight losses – the last two coming on the final play of the game in back-to-back defeats against teams with a combined record of 4-8.
This week, Miami has a chance to break that streak against…let’s take a look at the schedule really quick…oh yeah, a Bills team that beat the Dolphins 35-0 when they played back in week two of the season. Well, there’s always the month of November to end that losing streak, right?
FIU Panthers at Marshall Thundering Herd (Saturday)
There comes a point where it goes from funny to poke at the Panthers’ woes on the field to sad about the fact they haven’t won a road game since November 2018. With all due respect to the men and women who support this program, that streak is another one that likely won’t end this weekend.
Florida Gators vs. Georgia Bulldogs in Jacksonville (Saturday)
At the start of the season, this was one of the games people thought could decide a spot in the College Football Playoff. With eight weeks of the season in the books, it seems more like another chance for the Bulldogs to get some practice in before they make it to the playoff.
FSU Seminoles at Clemson Tigers (Saturday)
The Tigers were one of those teams who thought they could be in the playoff before dropping three games in a season for the first time since 2014. The Seminoles, meanwhile, have gone from one of the worst teams in the FBS to one on a three-game winning streak and smelling a potential upset.
Other State Games
The USF Bulls took the field Thursday, losing against East Carolina. The FAU Owls return home to take on UTEP while the UCF Knights are on the road against Temple. The FAMU Rattlers celebrate homecoming against Grambling State.
In the NFL, both Tampa Bay and Jacksonville are on the road with the Bucs taking on the New Orleans Saints and the Jaguars battling the Seattle Seahawks.