Can Florida quarterback Treon Harris do it again?
Last year, Harris led the Gators to a victory over the Bulldogs. This week, he tries to do it again. Oh, the bloom is off Georgia a bit, and Nick Chubb is injured, but the Dogs are still a talented team.
The truth is that Harris didn’t do a lot in that game, throwing for only 27 yards. He spent most of the day handing off to Matt Jones and Kelvin Taylor. But this year, Harris is more of a passing threat. He threw for 271 yards and two scores in his start against LSU, not bad for a guy who was filling in for suspended quarterback Will Grier. Look for the Gators to try to run the ball more than they have with Kelvin Taylor.
This could be the biggest test of the Gators’ regular season.
Can FSU conquer the red zone?
For all the talk of the return of a blocked field goal, one of the contributing factors to the Seminoles’ loss to Georgia Tech was their inability to finish drives.
FSU settled for field goals in three of its four drives into Tech territory, the latest problem for the Seminoles’ offense. On the year, FSU has scored only 12 touchdowns in its 25 trips inside the red zone. That shouldn’t create a problem against Syracuse this week, but with Clemson up the following week, it could be a problem.
Take the Miami and the Tech game, and FSU has only one touchdown in eight trips to the red zone. For the season, FSU has run 76 plays in the red zone, and 35 of them have been negative. If FSU is to have a good season, it is an obstacle that the Seminoles have to overcome.
Can Miami interim coach Larry Scott become a candidate for the permanent job?
Hurricanes’ fans don’t want to hear it, but sure he could. At the moment, however, bigger names seem to be out there, such as former coach Butch Davis (who hasn’t coached in five years) and former assistant Greg Schiano (who hasn’t coached in two). Heck, Dwayne Johnson – the Rock – was asked whether he wanted the job in a WWE interview this week.
Considering the way this week has gone, does Scott even want it? He’s lost his starting quarterback. One of his players had his mother die. Another player, Michael Wyche, was arrested for domestic violence. Also, the Canes lost 58-0. Yes, there have been better weeks.
Is USF’s defense disciplined enough to stop Navy?
We’ll see. USF has played pretty good defense for most of the year – Maryland notwithstanding. And Navy’s attack isn’t as potent as, say, Memphis’. Still, that triple option can give a lot of team fits.
So far this year, quarterback Keenqn Reynolds has been especially elusive, with 636 yards rushing so far. It’s the most of any quarterback in the American Conference. He’ll find some creases against the Bulls, too. USF just has to make sure it isn’t many.
Is UCF’s coaching job a better opening than the one in Miami?
A column in the Orlando Sentinel thinks so. So, too, does opinionated Paul Finebaum. That says just how far the Hurricanes have fallen.
But the Canes still can open some doors to recruits that UCF simply cannot. And the Canes are in a power conference, which gives Miami some options that UCF doesn’t have.
Still, UCF does have its own on-campus stadium, and they are in a more winnable conference.
Can FAU spoil FIU’s thoughts of a bowl game?
Maybe. The Owls have had some decent moments this year, the Tulsa game and the first half of the Miami game. But FIU has a lot of firepower, and quarterback Alex McGough has put together back-to-back games.
To stand a chance, FAU needs to take care of the football. The Owls have 15 turnovers this year (only 12 all of last season). Quarterback Jaquez Jones, who has had injury problems all year, has to have a big game for the Owls to have a shot.
Do the Hurricanes stand a chance behind Malik Rosier?
Starting quarterback Brad Kaaya, one of the best in the ACC, is out with a concussion, which leaves the Canes in the hands of young Rosier. Rosier struggled against Clemson, hitting only seven of 22 passes for 42 yards and two interceptions.
It’s an inopportune time for the Canes as they go against No. 22 Duke Saturday night. Look for the Hurricanes to try to lean heavier on running back Joe Yearby.
Can the Florida defense make Georgia look mediocre?
Good defenses have this season. The Bulldogs sputtered against Alabama, Vanderbilt and Missouri. With running back Nick Chubb out and rumors that the team could switch to quarterback Brice Ramsey, the Florida defense has a chance to take over this game.
The Gators’ defense has been solid throughout the season, but its secondary might need to have its best game of the season for Florida to stand a chance.
Should FSU sit Dalvin Cook on Saturday?
Perhaps. Cook has struggled more and more with his hamstring over the past few weeks. Why shouldn’t FSU give him a day off in a winnable game against Syracuse? After all, the Seminoles play a vital game against Clemson in the following week.
Of course, coaches are coaches, and no one wants to go into a game without his team’s best weapon. Odds are greater that FSU plays Cook until it takes a 14-0 lead (sometime in the first quarter) and then uses him sparingly (if at all) the rest of the day.
Can USF make it four in a row?
It’ll be difficult at Navy, but it’s possible. For the record, USF hasn’t won four straight since it took the first four games of the 2011 season. It finished 5-7 that year under Skip Holtz.
This time, the Bulls have to play well enough with their own offense. Quarterback Quinton Flowers and running back Marlon Mack need to have big games, and the defense needs to at least keep Navy ordinary. Notre Dame scored 41 points on Navy last week, after leading only 24-17 at the half.
It might help, of course, if USF’s receivers did a better job catching the ball from Flowers.