Week 0 Predictions – 2019

Last Year:  Last season, the Buckeye50 staff wrapped our 14th year of game predictions. It is certainly fun for us, and we always enjoy the feedback we get from our readers. Once again we will focus on the big match-ups and ones that should play a factor in shaping the playoff picture. Sit back and enjoy.

This Week’s Games As this is technically Week 0 for the 2019 season, there is only one game that fits our profile for contests we predict. Miami and Florida are getting together in Orlando to kick off the 2019 season. The ‘Canes are 33-2 in non-conference games against schools from Florida but they will be an underdog this week. Can they keep up their success against in-state foes or will the Gators start off with a win over an ACC opponent?

Buckeye Greats:  As with the past, we will continue to include former Buckeye players in our prediction fun and we are thrilled to have Vaughn Broadnax back with us as a regular participant for the fifth straight year.

Here we go once again … our Week 0 Picks – Good Luck to All – Gregg

Miami  vs.  (8)Florida (-7)

Andy:  Florida vs Miami, a rivalry for the ages. The two most storied programs in one of the best football states in America.

Neutral site game in Orlando at night. Florida surged last season under first year coach Dan Mullen, they finished the season with 10 wins and saw their best play at quarterback since Tim Tebow. They did lose some big starters, notably Tackles Jawaan Taylor and Martez Ivey. The Gators only return one starter on their offensive line at the center position. 
They had the 24th best overall defense last season and return 7 of their starters, but lost key edge rusher Jachai Polite. 
Miami is under first year head coach Manny Diaz, who served as a defensive coordinator for the Hurricanes last season before taking over for retired coach Mark Richt. Under their first year with Diaz, the Hurricane defense went from finishing the 2017 season as the 41st best overall defense. Last year under Diaz they finished as the 3rd best defense in the country.
On offense Miami struggled a lot last season, rotating between three different quarterbacks and not effectively establishing a strong run game. Miami has some talented athletes on this roster, but I don’t believe Miami will be able to effectively march down the field against Florida consistently if this game turns into and offensive shootout.
The match-up to watch here is how Florida’s offensive line fairs against Miami’s aggressive front seven. And I think they’ll give Franks enough protection to get some points on the board.
Final Score;
Florida 28 – Miami 17

Bbaver:  Pick: Florida – What a difference a new head coach makes when you get a guy like Dan Mullen. The Gators improved from 4-7 under Jim McElwain in 2017 to 10-3 under Mullen a year ago. Feleipe Franks 9 TDs & 8 INTs in ’17? Those numbers flipped to 24 TDs & 6 INTs under Mullen’s watch. The Gators go 6 deep with elite WRs, and aren’t going to give up many points on the other side of the ball. They do have major questions on the O-line, though. And if the ‘Canes pull the upset here, it will be because their D-line (which is tops in the ACC) was too much for Florida’s inexperienced O-line (which returns only 24 career starts). And Miami’s LB core of Pickney, Quarterman, and Finley is about as good as it gets. It could be interesting, but I like the Gators here 27-17, in a game where stormy weather could play a factor in Orlando.

Coach Rick:  I have Florida winning in what will be a great game.  I think Miami is better than what people are giving them credit for though.   Florida 24   Miami 17

Cory:  There is some real hype behind both Miami and Florida this season, and it will be interesting to see which team lives up to it this week. Miami should hit the field with its trademark swagger under new head coach Manny Diaz. There is talent on this Miami roster, however, the Hurricanes will take the field with a big question mark at the quarterback position. Many thought Ohio State transfer Tate Martell would take the job, but instead it is redshirt freshman Jarren Williams. Williams attempted all of three passes last year before redshirting. It is possible we see Martell on the field should Williams struggle, which is a real possibility against a Florida team expected to challenge for an SEC East title. The Gators have a bit of a question mark of their own at quarterback. Returning starter Feleipe Franks is a very talented athlete and should be improved with a full season under center behind him, however, he is not a great thrower of the football. What will likely turn the game in Florida’s favor is their defense. The Gators were one of the best teams in the nation in turnovers last season, which does not bode well for such a green quarterback as Williams.   Florida 24, Miami 10

Dave:  Florida 28 – Miami 21

Dr. Mark Miami 28-17 – I batted about .200 when Mark Richt coaches Georgia and Miami but now that he has retired , I’ll pick the Hurricanes. I’m not sure about Florida,  their D should be OK but offense will probably be inconsistent.

GreggMore important than the outcome of this game …. will they manage to get the Washington State banner on the set of GameDay? The Hurricanes opened the season last year on a neutral site with a loss to LSU when they were ranked in the top ten.  Now it is their opponent, Florida that is highly ranked. Both teams come into 2019 with the same weakness, an unproven offensive line. But the Gators have the edge with an experienced quarterback in Feleipe Franks so I have to give the edge to them.  Both of these teams have high expectations for 2019 but have a lot to prove. I think this will be close, but Dan Mullen will get the edge on first year head coach Manny Diaz.   Florida 24  Miami 17  

Jason:  The Manny Diaz era at Miami starts with a bang as the Canes travel up the road to Orlando to take on the favored Gators.  Florida is coming off a successful first season under Dan Mullen and need to get off to a good start to build on the prior season’s success.  The Gators won games with their defense a year ago along with a big time running game that rushed for more than 5 yards per carry and eclipsed the 200-yard mark nine times.  The Canes come in with a beefy front 7 so if Florida can wear on them, they can control the football and control the game.  However, the Gators will be working with a completely rebuilt offensive line so if Miami can come out and smack the Gators in the mouth and pressure QB Feleipe Franks who has been inconsistent and is prone to the turnover, the Canes can make it a four-quarter game.  Offensively, Miami QB Jarren Williams will see his first action in college football and he won’t ease into the college experience, facing the rival Gators on a neutral field but likely decidedly Gator backers. How he responds will go a long way into determining if Miami can pull off the upset.  Look for him to play just ok and mix in a turnover or two and Florida will take advantage.  It will be interesting for a half but Florida will be too much for Miami led by the defense, which D will frustrate the young Cane signal caller leading to several 3 and outs and Florida will pull away late in the 3rd quarter to get the decisive win.

Florida 31  Miami 17

Joe-S-U:  The “U” over FL – It hardly seems fair to make this the inaugural Pat Steger Who Gives A S**t Game when it’s, well, the only game we’re picking. And we’ve been waiting for 8 months for college football to start, so this is better than watching NFL preseason. Florida would probably move up to #3 if they win this “high profile” matchup, but they’ll probably move to #2 after they lose. I didn’t get a chance to lay on the beach this summer and really absorb my preseason magazines, our summer vacation was spent in Gatlinburg watching my stepson deposit all our money in the arcade. So I’m not as up on the Gators and ‘Canes as I could be. I thought Manny Diaz was the Indians’ backup catcher and I thought Feleipe Franks was that new hotdog place on the Hilltop

JohnThese early season games typically fall into two categories: Obvious mismatch or toss up. This one kinda falls in between. On paper, and that’s all we really have to go by here in week 0, the Gators appear to be the slightly better team. Of course, the ‘Canes have all world QB Tate Martell, who is not afraid of competition, just itching to take off the Clark Kent glasses, put on the red cape and lead the “U” to another nat…oh, wait, he’s third string? Never mind.   Florida 31  Miami 24   

Josh  For what was one of the leading story lines this off-season, especially interest from Columbus, first year coach Manny Diaz finally announced the starting quarterback to take the led in what was a three person quarterback battle, and that is with freshman Jarren Williams. Tate Martell, the Ohio State transfer, was expected to be the front runner, and part of the reason for his transfer to the Coral Gables, but he did not show or exhibit the same upside. Regardless thought of who was going to be named the starter, they will go against a very active front seven from the Florida Gators, and you can expect Gator DC Todd Grantham to throw the kitchen sink against a very green quarterback. Florida did lose some talent to the draft, and this should open up an opportunity for Williams if he is able to attack the regrouping secondary. On the other side of the ball, Feleipe Franks will start for his second season, after a very up and down year. He did finish the year strong, including a big win against Michigan, but because of his inconstancy, the Gators aren’t sure what type of performance he will provide. Dan Mullen has been able to mold good college quarterbacks, including Tim Tebow and Dak Prescott, and with a second year, Franks should take more of a commanding lead with the offense. But that doesn’t mean he would have pressure from the Hurricanes defense, who have a lot of speed in their linebackers group, and can make it difficult to get short to middle gains. I expect this to be a battle in the trenches, and a low scoring game with an early game, and with the pressure on with all of college football watching. I think with the experience and the edge in talent, Florida finds a way to win.   Florida 21 – Miami 17

Pia PeteFlorida over Miami

PJSBuckFlorida over Miami

Steven:  Just for the fact that Miami coach Manny Diaz took the step that Urban Meyer wouldn’t, (i.e. getting Tate Martell to move to receiver) I’ll take the Hurricanes. Added to that, I still believe the SEC East is comparatively weak and the Gators undeserving of their preseason ranking.  This should be a tight game as the defenses on both sides will be ahead of the opposing offenses. People will want an exciting game with tons of offense, but this one looks like a grinder.  The U 24-18

Trout: I’m glad CFB is back, just wish the matchup was better. I don’t think either team is that great. And neither are going to be considered a contender in their respective conferences. However, because I have to choose one, I will have to go with the Gators. I think they might be the slightly more consistent team, although that’s not saying much. I think the game is going to sloppy and very low scoring. And it won’t surprise me if the gators barely pull it off. Florida does just enough to beat the Canes in this interstate matchup. (Florida, 17-13)

Vaughn Broadnax (OSU 1980-83):  I was going to buy the Florida hype and make them my pick to win this game. However, something is afoot with he Gators and it doesn’t quite smell right. There seems to be too much turmoil. I am going to go with the upset.

Miami 28 – Florida 20

Final Score:  Florida 24 – Miami 20


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