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College Football Saturday: Florida, FSU on upset alert, Miami taking ACC aim in Week 7

Florida and Florida State need to do little more than avoid upsets in Week 7. But Miami is playing for pole position in the ACC Coastal Division.

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Sunshine Snaps: Florida's "back," FSU > Miami

Florida's No. 2 ranking in the BCS standings is another indication that the Gators are back. Even if Florida State throttles Miami like it should, the Seminoles won't be.


Seminoles' fans mixed on Saturday performance

Florida State may have come away with a win Saturday against Boston College, but some fans seem to think all the Seminoles did was get out of their own way. Despite a 51-7 route, this game said more about how bad Boston College is than how good FSU is.

Bud Elliot of Tomahawk Nation said the Seminoles seemed disinterested in defending the run and possibly a bit too anxious to defend the pass, which helped Boston College have some success on the ground in the early going.

Eventually, things came together for FSU, but it just seemed to take too long for them to jump out on a team with far less talent.

Here are some quick thoughts from Elliot:

The talent disparity on the field, however, was enormous. It didn't appear that BC had more than a couple of players who could theoretically start for the Seminoles. And that showed throughout the game.


UCF holds off Southern Miss 38-31 in 2OT

The Southern Miss. Golden Eagles have had a pretty miserable season, but they gave the UCF Knights all they could handle. The Knights held on for a 24-21 win, but it was much closer than many thought it would be. Blake Bortles threw for 239 yards and ran for two touchdowns to pace the Knights offense, and the defense held Southern Miss to under 300 total yards.

UCF jumped out to a 10-0 lead but were never able to create much distance between them and Southern Miss. Jalen Richard had two second-half touchdowns to keep the Eagles in the game, but it seemed like their defense wasn't able to get the stops they needed late in the game. However, the UCF offense wasn't able to put the game away, and Southern Miss was able to tie the game with 18 seconds left to send it to overtime.

The teams traded touchdowns in the first overtime. UCF scored a touchdown to lead off the second overtime, but Kemal Ishmael picked off Anthony Alford to end the game at 38-31.

Box Score Hero: There weren't a ton of offensive bright spots, but Bortles gets the nod here based on his two rushing touchdowns for the Knights. He went 27-40 for 272 yards in the air.

Rankings Ramifications: Neither team was ranked entering the game, and neither one will be after.

But did they cover? UCF was favored by 16 points, so they failed to cover the spread.

What's next?

UCF: 10/20, at Memphis

Southern Miss: 10/20, vs. Marshall


Gators ride Driskel to 31-17 win over Vanderbilt

The Florida Gators had to work for it, but they were able to leave Nashville on Saturday night with a 31-17 win over the Vanderbilt Commodores. Quarterback Jeff Driskel didn't throw the ball particularly well for the Gators, but he ran for 177 yards and scored three touchdowns on the ground to pace the Florida offense, including a 77-yard killshot with 2:35 left to ice the game. Driskel now holds the school record for rushing yards in a game by a QB, eclipsing Tim Tebow's 166 yards vs. Ole Miss in 2007.

Both offenses struggled to find consistency in this game, and neither team was very efficient on third down, including an awful 2-of-11 effort from Florida. However, the Gator defense was able to keep Vanderbilt under wraps for most of the game. Jordan Rodgers put up over 200 yards passing, but many of those yards came at the end of the game with Vanderbilt desperate to score. Zac Stacy had 87 yards and a touchdown, and Wesley Tate contributed 66 yards as well. Jordan Matthews hauled in 131 receiving yards and a touchdown, but there weren't many other contributors in the Vanderbilt passing game.

Box Score Hero: Jeff Driskel was only 11-20 for 77 yards through the air, but he reeled off a school-record 177 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.

Rankings Ramifications: The Gators should rise to No. 4 with West Virginia losing, and could jump all the way to No. 3 if South Carolina loses to LSU.

Bud did they cover? Florida came into the game as a 9.5-point favorite, so they were able to cover the spread.

What's next?

Florida: 10/20, vs. South Carolina

Vanderbilt: 10/20, vs. Auburn

This story originally appeared on


Florida State crushes BC, 51-7

The Florida State Seminoles bounced back nicely from their loss to NC State last week, crushing the Boston College Eagles 51-7. The Noles opened the game with 28 straight points, and the game was effectively over by halftime. The Florida State defense made life miserable for the BC offense all night, despite registering only one sack. BC only managed 227 total yards 15 first downs, capping off an anemic effort.

E.J. Manuel and the FSU offense had a really nice night, ripping off 633 yards of total offense. Manuel threw for over 400 yards and four touchdowns, and three different receivers caught touchdown passes. Kenny Shaw and Rodney Smith both had over 100 receiving yards, and James Wilder Jr. caught two touchdown passes. Lonnie Pryor had two touchdowns on the ground despite only having three carries. Chris Thompson was held to only 67 rushing yards, but in the end it didn't really matters since Manuel was so productive in the air.

Box Score Hero: Manuel went 27-34 for 424 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions before being pulled in the fourth quarter. Not a bad day at the office.

Rankings Ramifications: With several teams ahead of them in the standings losing, Florida State will probably rise a few spots back into the top ten.

Bud did they cover? Florida State came into the game as a 29 point favorite, and they managed to cover

What's next?

Florida State: 10/20, at Miami

Boston College: 10/20, at Georgia Tech

This story originally appeared on


Gators open lead to 18-7 over Commodores

It's been a tense and close game, but the Florida Gators have expanded their lead over the Vanderbilt Commodores to 18-7 after three quarters. The only score of the third quarter came on a 13 yard run by Florida QB Jeff Driskel.

The Florida defense is Vandy's life tough so far. Jordan Rodgers has less than 100 yards passing, and Zac Stacy has only 57 rushing yards so far. Overall, the Commodore offense is under 200 total yards, and is having a lot of difficulty building rhythm. It looked like Vanderbilt had taken the lead on a 40+ yard run by Stacy, but a holding call brought the play back and the Commodores failed to do anything with the drive.

Driskel is not having the greatest passing day of his life (11-19 for 77 yards and no touchdowns), but he has over 100 yards rushing and two touchdowns with his legs. The Gators have over 220 rushing yards as a team, and that number will rise as they attempt to grind out a win on the road.


Noles build lead to 41-7 over BC after 3 quarters

The game was already out of reach for the Boston College Eagles at halftime, but the Florida St. Seminoles didn't take their foot off the gas, building their lead to an insurmountable 41-7 at the end of three quarters.

The Seminoles began the second half with the ball, and marched 75 yards down the field in 8 plays before Lonnie Pryor punched in his second touchdown of the game from three yards out. On the Noles' next drive, E.J. Manuel threw his second interception of the game. It didn't end up hurting FSU, as they got the ball back and cashed in with a 26 yard Dustin Hopkins field goal.

The Florida State defense forced two straight BC three and outs to start the second half. The Boston College offense has struggled all game. Andre Williams has 96 yards rushing, but that's about it for bright spots for the Eagles' offense.


Miami QB Stephen Morris leaves with injured ankle

Miami Hurricanes quarterback Stephen Morris left Saturday's game against North Carolina after rolling his left ankle in the middle of the fourth quarter.

The injury occurred after Morris extended a third-down play with a throw on the run. His ankle buckled after the release and Morris instantly fell to the ground. He was unable to put any weight on his ankle while being helped off the field and is now sporting a heavy ice wrap.

Morris was replaced by sophomore Ryan Williams, and the backup converted fourth-and-1 with a handoff to Mike James on his first snap.

Morris wasn't having his best game before being pulled, passing only 12-for-26 for 155 yards and two interceptions. Then again, Morris' improvisational skills are key to this Miami offense so it's possible this injury could prevent the Hurricanes from pulling off the comeback.

The Hurricanes are losing 18-14 to the Tar Heels with a little more than five minutes remaining in the fourth.

This story originally appeared on


Hurricanes cut lead to 18-14 with one quarter left

The Miami Hurricanes have made things interesting coming out of the locker room, cutting North Carolina's eight-point halftime lead to an 18-14 score.

The Hurricanes got back in the game on their second drive of the quarter as Stephen Morris capped off a 12-play, 94-yard drive with a five-yard touchdown on a quarterback keeper. Miami did attempt to go for two, setting up a trick play instantly after their score but the offense was flagged for a snapping the ball to quickly. After the uncommon delay of game penalty, the Hurricanes settled for a normal PAT instead.

North Carolina responded on their next drive, moving the ball 45 yards with relative ease before a drop from TE Eric Ebron killed the drive on third-and-seven. The Tar Heels settled for a field goal instead, with Casey Barth draining it from 48 yards away to make up for an earlier miss.

The Hurricanes had a scare in the final seconds of the quarter with Morris throwing an interception to S Tre Boston but the turnover was called back due to a pass interference call. A 14-yard Mike James scamper then put Miami on UNC's 35 for the final 15 minutes of action.


Tar Heels lead Canes 15-7 at the half

The Miami Hurricanes were able to pull even with the North Carolina Tar Heels in the second quarter, but a touchdown by Giovani Bernard with less than three minutes left in the half has given the Heels a 15-7 lead at halftime. Mike James scored from one yard out with just over five minutes remaining in the second quarter to give Miami their only score on the day. Both teams have been able to move the ball easily, but have had problems capitalizing on their drives. Both Bryn Renner and Stephen Morris have red zone interceptions. Aside from that pick, though, Renner is thoroughly outplaying Morris, who is only 5-14 for 72 yards and two picks.

Mike James leads the Canes with 64 yards rushing. Duke Johnson, who is slowed down by an injury, has 21 yards on six carries. Davon Johnson leads the team with 31 receiving yards.

Giovani Bernard has 77 rushing yards and two touchdowns for the Tar Heels. Erik Highsmith is leading the team with 50 receiving yards.


Tar Heels lead Canes 7-0 after 1st quarter

The North Carolina Tar Heels lead the Miami Hurricanes 7-0 after one quarter. UNC running back Giovani Bernard scored from 10 yards out on the Tar Heels' first drive, and so far that's the difference. Both teams have over 100 yards of offense, but mistakes are preventing them from turning those yards into points.

Mike James is seeing the majority of the action running the ball for the Canes, as Duke Johnson is battling through injury. James has 47 yards on nine carries, and Johnson has two rushes for two yards so far. Stephen Morris is only 3-9 for 43 yards and an interception. Miami ended the quarter deep in North Carolina territory, but failed to convert on a fourth and three from the UNC 28 yard line.

Shakeel Rashad picked off Morris as the Canes were starting to enter scoring territory, but not to be outdone, Bryn Renner threw a red zone interception to Eddie Johnson on the ensuing drive.

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