by, Michael Vale
College Football is back people! Now I had this game picked a few weeks ago as an early best bet. Below was my analysis then and at the end I have some updates since that article was posted:
I partially understand why the spread is so high. Florida looked great to end the 2018 season. They went 10-3 including big wins at Mississippi State and home against LSU. Also, Florida’s defense should be very good this year. They return 8 starters from the 2018 team that only gave up an average of 20 points per game. So there’s the good stuff, but let’s look closer at this Florida squad. Florida returns QB Felipe Franks. He’s decent but absolutely nothing to write home about. He was actually benched in the middle of the 2018 campaign and would’ve stayed on the bench if his backup didn’t get hurt soon after. He has every right to improve but asking him to cover a 7-point spread in a neutral site game against a good Miami team is a lot to ask. The other problem plaguing Florida is the offensive line. They only have 1 starter returning on the OL. This will be a HUGE deal early in the season. As long-time football fans know, O-Lines are crucial to an effective offense. Offensive line schemes are complex and take time to develop. Florida’s O-Line might be good in week 12…. But in week one, there will be issues. Just for grins, Miami accrued 44 sacks last year, and they return their entire linebacker core. Simply, Franks is going to get knocked on his ass a lot this game! Also, Miami is getting disrespected as a touchdown underdog. Miami will have a top 20 defense this year, they are much improved on the offensive side of the ball, and they have a new coach in Manny Diaz that will be looking to make a statement!! Also, Diaz’s Alma Mater is Florida St…. He’ll be even more motivated to take it to his Alma Mater’s most hated rival! Take Miami +7.
Now since I posted that analysis, Miami has moved from +7 to +7.5, which is a big move, because we are now from the key number of 7! What changed? Miami named that their starting QB will be Jaren Williams who beat out the Ohio State transfer Tate Martell, who was the favorite to win the job. Williams has never started a game before, but he was 4 star dual threat prospect coming out of high school and he beat out his competition for a reason. Williams is a gifted passer who now has a chip on his shoulder. I don’t think Miami’s offense should be downgraded at all with Williams at the helm! We are now getting a much better number, and I don’t see Florida scoring enough on this tout Miami defense to overcome a 7.5 point spread. We are sticking with Miami +7.5!