The Predictions: Bucs Need to Learn to Win

by Gary Shelton on September 12, 2019 · 0 comments

in general

Is Ndamukong Suh better than McCoy?/STEVEN MUNCIE

Thursday, 3 a.m.

As far as aging defensive tackles, one side likes Gerald McCoy. The other side prefers  Ndamukong Suh.

As far as Heisman-winning quarterbacks, both teams would probably vote for Cam Newton...but not by much over Jameis Winston.

As far as fast little running backs, everyone likes Christian McCaffrey over Ronald Jones. Hey, it'll take more than one good game for Jones to be considered a big leader.

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And so you pore over the matchups, trying to find some way that the Bucs
can beat Carolina and avoid the dreaded 0-2 start. But the odds are all with the Panthers. They're at home for a prime-time game, and  Luke Kuechly is better than Lavonte David, and the Panthers' secondary is better than the Bucs.

So can the Bucs win this one?

Yeah, they can. The Bucs won five games last year. The Panthers won seven. Neither side was very happy. The teams split games. So overconfidence shouldn't be a problem for either team.

For the Bucs, the problem with keeping another team from beating them is that they have to not beat themselves -- turnovers, penalties, brain-rock plays -- before they can get going. They need to learn how to win.

This time, most of the momentum seems to be with  Carolina.

Prediction: Carolina 27, Tampa Bay 21.

South Carolina State at USF: To the question of if USF can beat anyone in the country, S.C. State meekly holds up its hands.

After consecutive games against Power 5 teams, the Bulls should spend a pleasant afternoon smoothing out their games. The offense, which has 10 points in two games, in particular should have a big game. They simply have too much speed for S.C. State.

If they don't' win this game, they should cancel the rest of their schedule.

Prediction: USF 31, S.C. State 0.

Florida at Kentucky: The Gators open their SEC play against the Wildcats, who can be a pesky little opponent. But Felipe Franks had one of his better games for the Gators last week. If that happens, Florida can move to 3-0.

The difference? The Gators' defense.

Prediction: Florida 27, Kentucky 17.

FSU at Virginia; Every game, it seems the flames get hotter at Willie Taggart's feet. Think about it: Their star running back gains almost 200 yards, and they beat Louisiana-Monroe by a single point.

I mean, is all of this Jimbo Fisher's fault? No one likes the way Fisher snuck out of town, but for Pete's sake, didn't he recruit anyone?

Prediction: Virginia 19, FSU 14

Stanford at UCF: Too many weeks, UCF plays an inferior program and gets major support in the polls. But this week, the Knights can earn some legitimate respect if they can knock off the Cardinal.

Prediction: Stanford 25, UCF 21.

Bethune-Cookman at Miami: Really? Things are so difficult in Miami that they have to pick on Bethune-Cookman. Oh, they'll win. But shame on them.

Prediction: Miami 54, Bethune-Cookman 3.


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