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Fearless Forecast: Predicting a Florida defeat, an FSU victory

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At the moment that Treon Harris jogs toward the huddle, it is all on him. The game. The season. The future.

This is his team now in the aftermath of the Will Grier suspension. This is his offense. And all those fresh doubts of the Gators? Those are his, too. It is up to Harris to keep the No. 8 team in the nation sailing. It is up to him to keep the wins coming.

Ah, but Florida was a decided underdog in today’s game against LSU and the remarkable Leonard Fournette, anyway. That hasn’t changed. The line has gone from 6.5 to 9.5, but most people thought Florida would lose this game even with Grier. The marvelous Gators defense, which is allowing only 14.5 points per game, is not expected to slow Fournette a lot, and if they cannot, then LSU shouldn’t have much of a problem.

Ah, but how about the games to come? Florida will still be favored against Vandy, FAU and South Carolina. They’ll have a shot against Georgia. Even FSU isn’t at the top of its game. So the Gators still have a shot at 9-2, maybe better.

Saturday night, however? That should belong to LSU in Death Valley.

LSU 24, Florida 14

Louisville at FSU

It’s true that Louisville has more talent than they’ve shown in the start to this season. But they don’t have enough, especially if FSU’s talented Dalvin Cook plays.

Most of us keep waiting for quarterback Everett Golson to have a breakout game. This could be it. The offensive line has been better, and the receivers show signs of making big plays.

As ever, the key to the Seminoles will be on defense. If this group can contain speedy quarterback Lamar Jackson, FSU should be able to win at home.

FSU 22, Louisville 14

USF at UConn

USF has beaten better teams than Syracuse, but for coach Willie Taggart, last week’s victory had the feel of the start of something. For it to last, they have to get past the Huskies, who routed UCF last week.

UConn’s defense has been okay so far this year, as a 9-6 loss to Missouri demonstrates. But with Marlon Mack and Quinton Flowers, the Bulls have the weapons to find the end zone.

USF 17, Uconn 10

UCF at Temple

The Owls are having a nice season, off to a 5-0 start. It should be enough to continue the headaches for a UCF team that hasn’t won this season. Quarterback P.J. Walker leads the Owls.

For the Knights, life has been especially hard on their running backs. They’re down to fifth-teamer Michael Willett, which hasn’t given the Knights much reliability offensively.

Temple 38, UCF 7

Marshall at FAU

The Owls have let victory slip away often this year. Marshall, however, is a big enough favorite to win comfortably enough.

Marshall 27, FAU 13

FIU at Middle Tennessee

Middle Tennessee gave up 58 points last weekend. Perhaps that is why running back Jeremiah Bryson will play this week despite being charged twice with domestic violence against the mother of his child. Earlier in the season, however, Middle had close losses to Vanderbilt and Illinois.

FIU played well last week, with quarterback Alex McGough throwing for 270 yards. He’ll have to be sharp again to give the Panthers a chance.

Middle Tennessee 21, FIU 20.

The NFL

Dolphins at Titans

Both teams have struggled since the opening weekend. For the Dolphins, it’s time to rally around interim coach Dan Campbell. For Miami, it should be a good week for quarterback Ryan Tannehill; the Titans are giving up more passing yards than any team in the NFL. Defensively, it is time the Miami defensive line started to dominate the way they were expected.

Miami 27, Tennessee 17

Texans at Jaguars

Both teams are 1-4. The difference is that the Texans have everything but a quarterback, and the Jags mainly have that.

For Jacksonville, Blake Bortles should be able to start despite a tender shoulder he suffered against Tampa Bay in his four-touchdown, 303-yard afternoon. He’ll have to avoid J.J. Watt, however.

For the Jags, receivers Allen Robinson and Allen Hurd combined for 188 yards against the Bucs. If Bortles has time, they can exploit the Texans’ secondary.

Texans 20, Jaguars 17

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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