State roundup: What has happened to Florida?

by Gary Shelton on September 9, 2018 · 0 comments

in College Sports in Florida, Florida State University, general, University of Florida

Sunday, 3:30 a.m.


No, not Stanford. Samford.

Yep, the raging Bulldogs, a 33-point underdog, played FSU to the last heartbeat Saturday night before losing, 36-26. It was the latest of a series of games that shows that football isn't what it used to be in this state.

Yeah, Samford (and hold the "...and son" jokes.

Elsewhere in the state, Florida lost to Kentucky for the first time in 32 seasons (Florida coach Dan Mullen was 15 at the time). Miami won big over Savannah State, 77-0, but it wasn't enough to take the sting out of last week's loss to LSU.

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In other words, the football in this state is now firmly in the hands of the smaller schools -- UCF and USF.

Everyone else is wobbling.

FSU 36, Samford 26

The Seminoles were four minutes away from a humbling loss that would have left them 0-2. That would have been no way for Willie Taggart to start his career with the Seminoles.

It almost happened, though. Samford got a 440-yard passing day from Devlin  Hodges, and the Bulldogs made everyone forget about all those highly ranked recruiting classes of FSU.

It wasn't until Deondre Francois hit a five-yard touchdown pass with 4:03 to go that the Seminoles pulled ahead. They had trailed 13-0 early.

If Hodges had not thrown four interceptions, Samford still might have pulled out the game.

"We’ve got to continue to evaluate and see if we can be better," Taggart said.

"We took the ball first this game hoping that we could start fast. First game we took it in the second half... The biggest thing is looking at what we’re doing schematically and technically and try to correct it to make sure that our guys are doing it the way we need them to do it."

Kentucky 27, Florida 16

The Wildcats won for the first time in more than three decades, spoiling Dan Mullen's second-ever game with Florida. Running back Benny Snell Jr. ran for 175 yards and quarterback Terry Wilson added 105. Wilson ran for two touchdowns and threw for a third.

Feleipe Franks, who threw for five touchdowns last week, hit just 17 of 38 for 232 yards.

"I don't know if the loss tonight will hurt or help moving forward," Gators head coach Dan Mullen said. "We're going to find out in how we react to it on Monday and how we react to it throughout the whole week of practice and how we react to it and how we step on the field next Saturday.

"When you miss tackles and allow them to continually move the chains, that's hard," Mullen said. "We had opportunities several times to get them behind the chains and get off the field, and we weren't able to do that because of some missed tackles."

Miami 77, Savannah State 0

Clearly, Savannah State had no business being on the same field as the Hurricanes. What good it did either team would be small.

The Hurricanes led only 7-0 after a quarter, then poured in on for their big win. Quarterback Malik Rosier threw for two scores and ran for one.

The 77-point margin of victory was a record for the Canes.

UCF 38, South Carolina State 0

No, the Knights weren't anyone's official champions last year. But they had a fine season.

Now, they look as if they're headed for another one.

Quarterback McKenzie Milton had a tough night, throwing three interceptions, but it didn't matter. The Knights blew away South Carolina State. The Knights rushed for 316 yards and threw for 250.





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