At this time last week, I was driving back from the house where I’m staying right now, over a couple of bridges that were rendered risky to impassable by hurricane- and tropical storm-force winds for the better part of 24 hours.
That house — the one my mom more or less grew up in, the one my grandparents made their home for nearly 50 years — didn’t have power when I got back to it after evacuating from it last Wednesday, an outcome I fully anticipated.
I didn’t fully anticipate the relative lack of damage at the house: Tiles from neighbors’ roofs landed in the backyard, the stalk of a banana dipped over one fence and into a side yard, and the trees behind the fence in back of the house were bent by the wind. They appear now to have been combed back by the largest comb in the world.
This was good luck for me. The power eventually came back on Sunday night, and though I had to chuck plenty of stuff from a well-stocked refrigerator thanks to several days without it, that’s a minor inconvenience compared even to a flooded basement or a broken window, much less an injury or a death.
And Hurricane Matthew was lethal. It has killed more than a thousand people in Haiti alone, and that number may rise. It has killed 47 people in the United States.
Hurricanes are always dangerous, of course: Dozens of Atlantic hurricanes have ended thousands of lives over the years. And Matthew was no different. But Matthew wobbled, and spared most of the highly-populated area of the United States very susceptible to flooding and high winds that it was aimed at, like the world’s largest cannon, for almost a week.
It spared the place I was born. It spared the place I grew up. It spared my family, and my home.
I am lucky.
And I am excited to be able to focus on something as relatively insiginificant as Florida football.
Here are my 25 predictions for Florida-Missouri.
- Florida will score at least 24 points.
- At least one team will fail to reach double figures in the first half.
- Florida will lead by double digits at some point in the game.
- Luke Del Rio will complete 60 percent of his passes.
- Del Rio will commit at least one turnover.
- Jordan Scarlett will lead Florida in carries.
- Scarlett will also lead Florida in rushing yards.
- At least one Florida running back will average more than five yards per carry.
- Antonio Callaway will lead Florida in yards per catch.
- Callaway will not lead Florida in receptions.
- Florida will record touchdown passes to players from multiple positions.
- Callaway will make a big play on special teams.
- Jabari Zuniga will record at least one sack.
- Florida will record at least two sacks.
- Alex Anzalone and Jarrad Davis will combine for more than 10 tackles.
- Florida’s linebackers will combine for more than 20 tackles.
- Teez Tabor will make a big play on defense.
- Florida will force at least one fumble.
- Florida will record at least one interception.
- Florida will allow more than 200 yards.
- Florida’s defense will allow fewer than 5.0 yards per play.
- Florida will force at least two turnovers.
- Florida will win the turnover battle.
- Florida will win by at least 15 points.
- Florida will win, 31-13.
Your predictions and comments, as always, are welcomed. A reminder: Please be kind and treat your fellow commenters as you would your siblings.