First impressions ...
Well, with it only being Week Zero, last weekend’s Weight Watchers-ish slate to kick off the college football season only offered so much material. Or, really, variety.
Merely a Chuck Woolery special – two FBS games and two FCS games.
Of course, one of those renewed a previously heated rivalry.
So, away we go …
Lose the battle, win the war: Not for nothing, but Miami Hurricanes fans have more reason to feel upbeat than their counterparts of the Florida Gators.
Yeah, Miami lost, 24-20, in pretty brutal fashion, unable to get over the hump no matter how many opportunities the Gators gave it to do so. But, push comes to shove, we’re talking an unranked team with a new, first-time head coach going toe-to-toe with an outfit regarded as a surefire top-10 squad.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Jarren Williams held his own, despite coming under heavy pressure all night. He was calm, cool and collected … and, frankly, only done in by his untested offensive line getting manhandled by Florida’s defensive front.
Reality check … already: OK, here it is – Feleipe Franks just isn’t good enough. Gator Nation can rationalize all it wants in order to feel better about the guy directing the Florida offense, but the fact is the kid is just too erratic in every measurable facet to guide the Gators to fulfilling their potential.
He’s a deceptive athlete … in that he fools his supporters in that there is more to his game, because he looks the part, and he has a big arm and can move for a big guy. Truth is, there isn’t. He is what he is … up and down, dramatically so. Not just week to week, but snap to snap.
Could be a problem: If Florida defensive coordinator Todd Grantham isn’t able to drill into the heads of his cornerbacks and safeties proper technique to pass coverage, the Gators could be looking at a bunch of “Ampipe coughs it up at Walnut Heights” experiences with any one of his guys playing Stefan “no play ball, just tackle receiver” Djordjevic.
In short, they got lucky against Miami. Two pass-interference calls, including one on fourth-and-a-country-mile, kept the Hurricanes’ last-ditch drive alive, and another easily could have been called in the end zone on that same possession.
Uni watch: Miami, flat out, smoked Florida on the threads … which isn’t exactly that hard to do. The Gators went with their usual clown outfit, an amazing misuse of good colors (orange, blue and white) that somehow makes Penn State’s forever ugly all-white road unis look stylish.
The Hurricanes’ white lid, white top and orange pants was exquisitely sharp by contrast.
Truth be told, both could take a lesson from Villanova, which opened the 2019 campaign for all of college football last Saturday with a noon start at Colgate. The Wildcats’ blue-white-blue road wear is as sharp as it gets, and to make matters even better for their followers, they ripped the 13th-ranked Raiders, 34-14.
A real star: Gotta be honest, the setting for the latest edition of Miami-Florida, held at Orlando’s Camping World Stadium seemed special. The City of Orlando, where the venue is located, owns and operates CWS, which most of us born before millennials would know as the old Citrus Bowl, and it appears to be first-rate after tons of updates and renovations.