USF is the undefeated one. USF is the high-scoring one. USF is the one at home.
But, really, does USF have a shot to beat No. 13 FSU?
Oh, the Bulls have some talent, and as such, they have a puncher’s chance. But FSU has most of the highly-ranked recruits, and they have Dalvin Cook, and they’re in a fairly nasty mood after last week’s drubbing by Louisville.
Odds are, it will be much like last year’s game. It will probably be close for a while, and then the Seminoles — and Cook — will run away with the game.
Let’s be honest. FSU has played a much tougher schedule with two of its three opponents ranked in the top 20. FSU has the higher-regarded recruits. FSU has a longer, richer history.
Still, USF has a chance if it can start fast with Quinton Flowers and Marlon Mack and Rodney Adams. Something good needs to happen early to convince the Bulls they have a chance.
Prediction: FSU 35, USF 21.
Florida at Tennessee
If Tennessee is ever going to beat Florida, this should be the year.
The Vols are home, and they’re higher ranked, and they have a more experienced quarterback. Granted, Florida has the better defense, but can that defense hold up all afternoon. Especially if Florida’s own offense is slowed by new quarterback Austin Appleby. Florida’s offense has sputtered enough in its first three games.
Look for the Gators to try to win this with defense, field position and the occasional shot by Appleby.
This year, it shouldn’t be enough.
Prediction: Tennessee 17, Florida 14.
UCF at FIU
Give FIU a little credit for ambition. For achievement, not so much.
The Panthers are off to a 0-2 start and now face an improved UCF team. It will be interesting to see how much freshman quarterback McKenzie Milton can account for through the air.
Of course, UCF has been fairly ambitious itself with losses to Michigan and Maryland the last two weeks.
This time, UCF should be the more talented team.
Prediction: UCF 26, FIU 10
Ball State at Florida Atlantic
FAU is coming off the worst loss in the program’s history, a 63-7 bashing by Kansas State. Ball State shouldn’t be as good, but the Owls are beaten up across their offensive line.
Prediction: Ball State 17, FAU 10.
Browns at Dolphins
Miami is off to a slow start, but Cleveland hasn’t started yet. With Ryan Tannehill and Ndamukong Suh, Miami should win this one easily at home.
Prediction: Miami 27, Cleveland 7
Ravens at Jaguars
The Jags are a much better team than they’ve played so far. Sadly, Baltimore might just be too much to handle. If Jacksonville can get receiver Alan Robinson untracked, it would help.
Prediction: Ravens 24, Jacksonville 17
Rams at Bucs
The Bucs open their home schedule, which should add a bit of energy. However, Tampa Bay is missing Doug Martin, and Vincent Jackson hasn’t played well. That leaves Mike Evans on his way to a big day.
Tampa Bay 20, Los Angeles 17