The opening game of the 2019 college football season was expected to be a good matchup. Overall, the Florida Gators and Miami Hurricanes didn’t disappoint. The game started slow which happens to many teams in the opening game. However, the game picked up excitement in the fourth quarter. Ultimately, miscues and a tiring offensive line was the downfall for the Hurricanes, but the Gators had a lot of miscues in their own. Florida fumbled on two straight possessions which helped Miami stay in the game early. The youth and lack of depth for the Hurricanes were what kept Miami from winning this game late.
For a team ranked in the top ten, Florida looked pretty flat for the most part. Back-to-back fumbles not only kept Miami in the game early, but the Hurricanes also took a 13-7 lead into halftime. The Gators were able to fight their way back with some miscues from Miami, but a late interception by Franks had many people baffled. For starters, the pass itself was a poor decision. But why was a passing play called in the first place? That interception along with several passing interference calls kept the Hurricanes alive. Granted that this was the first game of the season, but the Gators have a lot to work on if they’re going to continue to be in the top ten in all of college football.
Miami has their struggles as well. While Jarren Williams looked pretty good for a guy that only experiences before this game was against Savannah State last season. The redshirt freshman completed 65 percent of his passes for 214 yards and a touchdown, but he had issues against the pass rush that terrorized him all night. The Hurricanes have a lot of work to do with their offensive line if they’re going to have a successful 2019 college football campaign. Williams was sacked four times in Miami’s final two series including a critical 4th and 9 at Florida’s 30-yard line. The Gators forced him out of the pocket and poor pass protection didn’t give the Hurricanes a shot at regaining the lead late in the game.
Franks went 17-for-27, 254 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions in the victory. He also scored on a touchdown run that put Florida up for good. Lamical Perine led the way on the ground with 42 yards on ten carries. Josh Hammond had four catches for 93 yards on the night. Kadarius Toney caught one little screen pass but took it to the house for a 66-yard touchdown reception.
Defensively, Florida looked solid. The Gators made adjustments and went with a pass rush more in the second half. While they gave up a big run play in the fourth quarter when DeeJay Dallas took off on a 50-yard touchdown run, the kept the Hurricanes to just 301 total yards. They also recorded 10 sacks and 16 tackles for a loss. Ventrell Miller led the team with a pair of sacks and six total tackles. Jabari Zuniga was also a positive note with three tfl’s and 1.5 sacks.
The Miami defense also looked impressive as they forced four turnovers. Gregory Rousseau had the lone sack and also had two tackles for a loss. Amari Carter and Romeo Finley had a pick each. Gurvan Hall Jr. led the team with eight total tackles. Even though no one on the Hurricanes stood out defensively, they’re a very good and balanced unit. They showed a lot of promise against the Gators last night.
This loss will leave a bad taste in the mouths of the Hurricanes for a while. Miami came up short after forcing four turnovers. They just weren’t able to capitalize off all of them. For the Gators, they went 4-for-4 on fourth down attempts. That was the game-changer for them to bounce back from the turnovers. The gutsy calls by Dan Mullen gave Florida enough to edge out Miami.