The 2019 college football season has finally arrived! This season will be the 150th season in college football history. To kick off the 2019 season, the first game will be the Florida Gators vs. the Miami Hurricanes. This will be the second season that Dan Mullen is the head coach for the Gators. This game will also be Manny Diaz’ head coaching debut with the Hurricanes. Florida and Miami fans have been waiting for this game as this game will renew their in-state rivalry. Florida and Miami also agreed to a home/home series in 2024 and 2025. Here is the Florida Gators vs. Miami Hurricanes preview.
Florida Gators vs. Miami Hurricanes Preview
The Hurricanes will be taking on Florida Saturday night at Camping World Stadium. This will be Diaz’ first game as head coach. It will also be their redshirt-freshman quarterback’s first start. Jarren Williams beat out N’Kosi Perry and Ohio State transfer Tate Martell for the starting quarterback job. Miami does feature some talented players in running back Deejay Dallas and wide receiver Jeff Thomas. Another pass-catcher to watch for the Hurricanes is sophomore tight end Brevin Jordan. The Canes will need to get the ball in these player’s hands early and often in order to defeat a very tough Florida defense. Miami’s offensive line will need to have a big game to stop the Gators pass rush and give their young quarterback time in the pocket.
The Miami offense does have some questions but the defense is a much stronger unit. Miami’s defense has some very talented players on their defense such as Shaquille Quarterman and Virginia Tech transfer Trevon Hill. The last time we saw the Miami defense play, it wasn’t a pretty game for them and their fans. Miami got blown out by the Wisconsin Badgers 35-3. The Badgers absolutely owned the Canes and their offense didn’t make it any easier on their defense. If they want people to forget about that poor performance, they’ll need to have a great performance against Mullen and the Gators offense.
Florida is back after having a great 10-3 season with Mullen as their head coach. Florida’s offense returns a great deal of their production except for their offensive line. Redshirt-junior quarterback Feleipe Franks will look to continue his great performances during the end of last season. Franks had 31 total touchdowns last season with six interceptions which was much better than what he did in 2017. Running back Lamical Perine returns to Florida for his senior season. Perine was arguably the best back on Florida’s roster as he had 826 rushing yards with seven touchdowns. Florida’s offense also features one of the best receiving groups in the nation. Players like Van Jefferson, Trevon Grimes, Kadarius Toney, and Josh Hammond should be a big role in their offense for this week and the rest of the season. Just like Miami, the offensive line needs to be sharp.
On defense, the Gators return most of their starters and add some talented pieces to their roster. The 2019 Florida defense will be led by C.J Henderson, Jabari Zuniga, and David Reese. Henderson is one of the top defensive backs in the country and is back for his junior season. Florida will also return their other cornerback Marco Wilson who missed most of last season with an ACL injury. At the defensive line, Florida has Jabari Zuniga and Adam Shuler who were key players on defense last season. Florida also added Louisville graduate transfer Jon Greenard as he’ll replace Jachai Polite at one of the defensive end positions. At linebacker, Florida returns their “coach on the field” in David Reese. He’ll be playing with rising sophomore Amari Burney. Florida should have one of the top defense in the country especially with Todd Grantham returning to Florida.
Five Players to Watch: Miami Hurricanes
Five Players to Watch: Florida Gators
- Franks throws for 200 yards and two touchdowns.
- Dallas rushes for at least 50 yards and scores a TD.
- Florida’s defense forces two turnovers.
- Miami’s defensive line sacks Franks two times.
- Florida defeats Miami 31-17.