One week in, I’m looking a little like Nostradamus.
No, I didn’t nail the final score, correct team covering, or over/under in Florida-Miami in my 25 predictions, but I was dead-on with Miami’s score and got a lot more things right than I anticipated in my return to the prediction game.
Let’s run it down.
- Florida will score in the first quarter. Right. Kadarius Toney’s 66-yard catch-and-run ensured that.
- Feleipe Franks will throw for at least 200 yards. Right. Franks threw for 254 yards.
- Franks will complete a pass of more than 40 yards. Right. Toney’s catch-and-run would’ve counted but felt like a cheap win here, so I’m glad Franks followed up with his late throw to Josh Hammond — and not just to get this prediction checked off.
- Franks will throw at least one touchdown pass. Right. He had two.
- Florida players other than Franks will throw at least one pass combined. Wrong. I was actually thinking more about a garbage-time drive for Emory Jones than any sort of package or trick-play throw, but I was wrong all around.
- Kadarius Toney will have at least six offensive touches. Wrong. In one of the worse losses I’ll take here, Toney’s first touch went for 66 yards and six points ... and he got just three more, all carries. Baffling, that.
- Lamical Perine will lead Florida in carries and rushing yards. Right. This was a gimme, but Perine’s 10 carries and 43 yards were fewer than basically anyone expected.
- Perine will not lead Florida in yards per carry. Right. You know who saved me on this? Tommy Townsend, of all people, whose six-yard run left him at 6.0 on the night.
- A Florida player other than Perine will have a rush of 10 or more yards. Right. Being intentionally vague to preserve my options helped, as Franks, not running backs Malik Davis or Dameon Pierce, was the only Gator other than Perine to scamper for 10.
- At least two Florida players will make at least four catches. Right. Credit a gameplan that inexplicably featured Perine (six catches) in the passing game and Hammond (four catches) being one of the targets on Florida’s ill-fated pre-halftime drive for this one going to the good.
- Florida will force a three and out in the first quarter. Right. Miami’s second of two first-quarter drives was a three-and-out.
- Florida will record at least three sacks. Right. I guess 10 is more than three?
- Jonathan Greenard will be responsible for at least half a sack. Right. I guess 1.5 — which feels really low, given his night — is more than 0.5?
- A Florida player not named Greenard will record a solo tackle for loss. Right. Florida’s 16 total tackles for loss were distributed among 11 players, including Greenard.
- A Florida defensive back will record at least half a sack. Right. Also kind of a gimme, given Todd Grantham’s scheme, but Trey Dean getting the 1.5 sacks that went to DBs was maybe a slight upset even if he is the putative nickel corner.
- David Reese will lead Florida in tackles. Wrong. And you know how dumb it is that this got counted wrong? Reese had five total (solo plus assisted) tackles, which is what I use for this when I predict it. Five Gators each recorded six tackles, but Reese — who had one solo tackle and four assists — came up one short of that tally. C’mon, dude. Jump on a pile.
- Florida will record at least one interception. Wrong. Surprisingly, Florida’s only takeaway came on special teams, and on a muffed punt, at that. Credit to Dan Enos for mostly limiting Jarren Williams to the easiest possible throws and to Williams for keeping the riskier ones out of harm’s way.
- Florida will not force more than three turnovers. Right. Just the one.
- Florida will allow between 200 and 375 yards. Right. 308 yards for the U.
- Florida will allow fewer than 24 points. Right. If only I could grant a bonus point for having gotten the Florida score right in this one.
- Florida’s defense will allow between 3.0 and 5.0 yards per play. Right. Those 308 yards came on 66 plays, at a 4.7 yards-per-play clip. Keeping it that low while hemorrhaging big plays thanks to bad tackling is actually somewhat impressive.
- Both teams will score in double digits. Right. Obviously.
- Florida will lead by double digits at some point in the game. Wrong. Neither team did, and neither team led by more than the six points Miami led by at the half.
- Florida will lead in the fourth quarter. Right. The go-ahead, game-winning touchdown secured this one.
- Florida will defeat Miami, 34-20, and begin its 2019 season 1-0. Wrong. As always, no partial credit here: Either I nail the score, or I can’t have a perfect week.
Year to Date: 19-for-25, 76 percent.