The predictions: Bucs should expose rookie quarterback

by Gary Shelton on September 21, 2019 · 0 comments

in College Sports in Florida, Florida State University, general, Tampa Bay Bucs, University of Florida

Saturday, 3 a.m.

The offenses, we can assume, are excited.

The defenses? Not so much.

When the Giants visit the Tampa Bay Bucs on Sunday (4:05 p.m.), there is plenty of reason to expect plenty of points. Never mind that the teams are a combined 1-3.  The  Giants won a 38-35 game a year ago.

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In that game, then-rookie Saquon Barkley ran for 142 yards, and then-quarterback Eli Manning hit 17 of 18 passes and had a rating of 155.8.

This year, Manning has been benched in favor of Daniel Jones. But Barkley is the second-leading rusher in the NFL. There is no reason for the Giants to think they can't move the ball.

The Bucs' defense might not agree. It held the Panthers without a touchdown last week, and it gave up just 17 to the 49ers' offense in the opener.

The key here is defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, who should be able to keep Jones off-balance. The Giants have lost two games by a combined 35 points, and they've had trouble taking care of the ball.

At home, the Bucs should pull it out in the fourth quarter.

Prediction: Tampa Bay 28. New York 20.

The colleges

Tennessee at Florida seems like too big a game for September. Then again, when you note the Vols have lost 13 of their last 14 against the Gators, maybe they should move it to July. The Vols are just 1-2, losing to Georgia State along the way.

The Gators have their own problems. They're down to backup quarterback Kyle Trask, who will play instead of injured starter Feleipe Franks.

Florida has generally won the games its supposed to win, especially against Tennessee.

Prediction: Florida 31, Tennessee 21.

Louisville at FSU: The coaching seat of Willy Taggart gets hotter by the week. The team has only a one-point win in overtime against Louisiana-Monroe in three games, and no one seems very happy. Part of the problem seems to be that FSU has been a three-quarter team, and games last four quarters.

Still, the Noles are at home, and if this season is going to fall short of disaster, they'll find a way to win this. It would help if the defense could stop someone in the clutch moments.

Prediction: FSU 24, Louisville 17.

Central Michigan at Miami: Are the Hurricanes trying to win the Orange Bowl or the Stagg Bowl? They lose when they play a legitimate program, and once again, they're playing a struggling team.

If the Hurricanes don't win this in the Orange Bowl, none of us will care about their scores hereafter.

Prediction: Miami 27, UCM 10/

UCF at Pitt: Stanford is struggling, but UCF didn't hurt their reputation with an easy win. The game against Pitt will be more difficult.

Still, quarterback Dillon Gabriel is an exciting player, maybe exciting enough to dominate the second half.

Prediction; UCF 20, Pitt 14.

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