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10 Questions: Can Florida, FSU and Miami stay unbeaten?

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With Florida, FSU and Miami still unbeaten this football season, we’re sure you have questions as to whether they all can stay that way.

Follow along:

Does Florida have a puncher’s chance against third-ranked Ole Miss?

Sure. You don’t play a game in the Swamp with a top 25 defense and not have a chance. But it’s going to be tough. The Rebels are the real deal, a fast, explosive team that knocked off Alabama in Tuscaloosa earlier in the season. It was Ole Miss’ first win in Tuscaloosa since 1988. Sure, the Rebs had some luck involved – replays showed an illegal man was downfield on Ole Miss’ clinching touchdown pass, which isn’t reviewable – but it isn’t a fluke when you hang 43 on Nick Saban. The secondary will have to be crisp, and the pass rush will have to be fierce for the Gators to have a shot.

Did a week off cure FSU’s offensive problems?

We’ll see. Quarterback Everett Golson certainly has more explosion in him than he showed in the team’s victory over Boston College, and when a team is able to take away Dalvin Cook – the way the Eagles were – then it needs to be able to move through the air. Fortunately for the Seminoles, their defense looks as if it will be able to keep it in most games.

Is Miami as good as it looked early in the Nebraska game or as bad as it looked late?

Both. No one should think that this is one of the all-time UM teams. But there is a lot of talent on hand, enough that the team should be able to hold off Cincinnati fairly easily. There has been some sputter to this team, but in the end, it has had enough to stay unbeaten. For now.

Can USF stay on the field with Memphis?

It’s a key question. Back when the Bulls were one of the most ambitious new programs in the country, they handled Memphis fairly easily. But Memphis has turned that around. For the Bulls to be bowl eligible, for them to look like a program on the rise, this Friday night clash is one that they have to win.

Why hasn’t coach Jim McElwain bought into freshman quarterback Will Grier yet?

Because Grier has left too many plays on the field for him to forget about Treon Harris, who was suspended last week. Unless he is awful, Grier will get most of the snaps against Ole Miss. His fourth-down play against Tennessee earned him that. But Harris remains more elusive than Grier, and without a great offensive line, a more mobile quarterback may be needed. But if Grier plays well against the Rebs, he could close the door on the competition.

There is a bar that is giving away free beer until UCF wins a football game. Is this known as drowning your sorrows?

The bar is called, aptly enough, The Basement, which is where UCF seems intent on residing in the AAC standings. But the Knights, as weak as they have been this year, should get their first win this week. They play a 1-2 Tulane team, and they did show a bit of fight againt South Carolina. It would help if UCF could run the ball even a little.

Can FIU continue the headaches of a winless UMass team?

Perhaps. FIU has a legitimate offense. But UMass has played a decent schedule – Colorado, Temple and Notre Dame – so the Panthers should count on a better team from UMass than it might think. Still, the arm of Alex McGough should be enough to get FIU into the win column.

Of all the mascots in the world, how intimidating is the owl?

Not very. Which tells you all you need to know about the game between FAU and a Rice team that gave up 70 points to Baylor. FAU won’t score that often, but it should score enough to wish it played Rice two or three times this season.

Does Wake Forest have any weapons to make FSU fans nervous?

Not really. Well, there is the passing attack, which ranks ninth in the nation. But with Jalen Ramsey taking away a good portion of the field, FSU should still have a big edge. For the Seminoles, more of a concern is an offensive line that simply hasn’t played well so far this season.

Has Miami’s talented Joe Yearby touched the ball enough?

Not so far. He’s averaging nine yards per touch. Running the ball, he’s averaging 7.58 yards per carry, which puts him 10th among players with at least 30 carries. The Hurricanes may have no choice but to increase Yearby’s workload.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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