Bye Week Bulletin: What to watch while UF’s off

By Adam Silverstein
September 26, 2014


The Florida Gators have their first of two open dates this Saturday and will not step foot on the gridiron – but that does not mean there are no college football games to watch. In this season’s first edition of the Bye Week Bulletin, OnlyGators.com points out the best and most interesting games to keep a close eye on this Saturday.

BUT FIRST…

Here’s Carol Muschamp, the wife of Gators head coach Will Muschamp, kickboxing. Carol is one of a handful of wives of Southeastern Conference coaches who will be featured in a special segment on Saturday’s edition of ESPN‘s College GameDay.

MUST WATCH

Tennessee (2-1) at No. 12 Georgia (2-1) – 12 p.m. (ESPN)
Aside from the fact that the Gators play the Vols next Saturday, UT is a young, interesting team that posted 72 points in its first two games (against Utah State and Arkansas State) before getting routed 34-10 by Oklahoma. UGA is the fourth-highest-scoring team in the country and still searching for its first SEC win after falling 38-35 to South Carolina during the second week of the season.

Vanderbilt (1-3) at Kentucky (2-1) – 12 p.m. (SEC Network)
The only thing that could make UF fans feel worse than the Alabama rout last Saturday would be UK proving to not be nearly as improved as many beleive. The Wildcats should dominate the Commodores, which rank among the worst 25 teams in the country in nearly every important statistical category. Nevertheless, VU hung around with USC last week and only dropped that contest 48-34.


Arkansas (3-1) at No. 6 Texas A&M (4-0) – 3:30 p.m. (CBS)
Led by a stellar two-headed rushing attack, the Hogs have averaged 48.8 points per game through their first four contests but only managed to post 21 against Auburn in a Week 1 beatdown. Under Bret Bielema, Arkansas is 0-7 against ranked opponents, losing those games by an average of 26.4 points. The Aggies present a huge test for a still-rebuilding Razorbacks program.

No. 1 Florida State (3-0) at NC State (4-0) – 3:30 p.m. (ABC)
The Seminoles have failed to impress this year and have arguably been gift-wrapped victories against two of the fout best opponents they will face this season (37-31 vs. Oklahoma State, 23-17 vs. Clemson). The Wolfpack, led by quarterback Jacoby Brissett, are undefeated…against Georgia Southern, Old Dominion, South Florida and Presbyterian. However, FSU has not won at NC State since 2008, making Saturday’s contest a bit more intriguing and a great game to skip to during commercial breaks and at halftime of the Arkansas-Texas A&M contest.

Missouri (3-1) at No. 13 South Carolina (3-1) – 7 p.m. (ESPN)
One of the most explosive offenses in the SEC against one of the worst secondaries in the league makes this game sound one-sided in favor of Mizzou, but the Gamecocks have been able to squeak out three-straight wins, while the Tigers lost to Indiana – yes, Indiana – last week. Two SEC East contenders go head-to-head in this one, and considering the game is at 7 p.m., it will be a nice follow-up to the SEC’s afternoon slugfest.

SHOULD WATCH

Minnesota (3-1) at Michigan (2-2) – 3:30 p.m. (ABC)
How bad are the Wolverines? Bad enough to watch and see for yourself during SEC on CBS commercial breaks.

Texas (1-2) at Kansas (2-1) – 4 p.m. (FOX Sports 1)
A showdown between a former Florida defensive coordinator and former Gators offensive coordinator. Charlie Strong has kicked nine players off his Texas team this season, yet the Longhorns should still wipe the floor with the Jayhawks.

Duke (4-0) at Miami (2-2) – 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Remember how much you enjoyed watching the Canes struggle with teams like the Blue Devils on an annual basis? That may still be the case, but Duke is legit now, with the seventh-best defense in the FBS entering Saturday night’s game. Another good flipper.

Oregon State (3-0) at No. 18 USC (2-1) 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
The only somewhat prominent night cap, the Trojans host a Beavers team that has pulled off some upsets over the last few years. However, coming off a loss to Boston College, USC should be ready to take some aggression out on Oregon State.

COULD WATCH

Louisiana Tech (2-2) at No. 5 Auburn (3-0) – 4 p.m. (SEC Network)

No. 16 Stanford (2-1) at Washington (4-0) – 4 p.m. (FOX)

Cincinnati (2-0) at No. 22 Ohio State (2-1) – 6 p.m. (Big Ten Network)

New Mexico State (2-2) at No. 17 LSU (3-1) – 7:30 p.m. (SEC Network)

Memphis (2-1) at No. 10 Ole Miss (3-0) (ESPN3.com)

39 Comments

  1. Dave Massey says:

    That Arkansas and T A&M game is very interesting. I thought NIU was going to play Arkansas a lot tougher than they did. That is a good program they have up in Dekalb. Thought going into the year that Arkansas was going to be lucky to win three or four games and go winless in the SEC at least against West teams, and they still might. The SEC West is just absolutely brutal.

    Hope Brissett pulls that game off too, always love to see the noles go down.

  2. Michael J. says:

    I think it will be imperative to see how Tennessee does passing the ball against Georgia’s porous secondary because Florida’s secondary is also bad. Tennessee is not healthy at receiver, will that make a difference. I doubt anyone wants to peek at FSU, the biggest chance for them to lose came last week, I doubt they will lose a game this season with Winston back. UF better step it it up on the field or an exact repeat of last year could be in store with UF being awful and FSU winning it all.

  3. SW FL Joe says:

    Jones, Taylor and Driskel running should be enough to beat the Vols. Don’t give Jeff a chance to throw picks and we should escape with a win

    • Ken (CA) says:

      Did you see what the Vols did to UGA today? If it weren’t for Gurley having a career day at Athens, they would have won. Many people around here keep underestimating our opponents and overestimating our coaching and preparation

      • Tim says:

        Seriously, so many gator fans have been in denial waaay too long. We are a very bad football team.
        We lost to ga southern at home. Won 4 games. It took 3 ots to beat Kentucky at home. If Alabama doesn’t turn the ball over they could have beat us 70-0. We weren’t even competitive.

        Butch Jones has the vols headed in the right direction. They aren’t there yet but are getting better. If you watched the Uganda game they looked like the better team. Muschamp has our program headed down the toilet bowl.

      • SW FL Joe says:

        I saw the Vol defense give up 5.5 yds/rush. We got 4.0 yds/rush against Bama. We can run on these guys especially in the 4th qtr. The key will be UF moving the chains and keeping Worley on the sideline. Give any opportunity, he will light up our secondary. This will be the game we need to control the clock and take the air out of the ball.

        • Dave Massey says:

          That will limit the Vol’s number of opportunities but if the defense doesn’t play vastly better, especially the secondary, we’re in trouble. The defense was supposed to be the strength of this team.

  4. Bill says:

    Our loss to the vols next week will seal muschamps fate.

    The one question to ask is why it took this long. He has run this program into the ground.

  5. G2 says:

    We’ll see next week, think it will be a tough, close game. If Treon doesn’t get a chance to come in at least a few series or run the wildcat gonna be hopping mad!

  6. USA says:

    Tennessee is a very good team. Should’ve beat UGA today. UT may be the most balanced talented team in the wide open SEC East this year. They are athletic and their kids play extremely hard on both sides of the ball. Its hard to imagine us winning on the road at UT next weekend. With Muschamp as our head coach, we just don’t have the confidence and swagger to win these kind of games anymore. Same ole anemic nickel-n-dime offense and terrible 3rd down defense that wears down immediately in the second half. It sucks but it is reality.. Ready for a new head coach. I don’t care if we do win the East this year. Still need a new head coach!

    • Michael J. says:

      I would not characterize Tennessee as a “very good” team. It doesn’t make you a good team to come close to winning, you have to win. Right now Tennessee has lost to the two good teams they played. The bad teams, of which Tennessee is one, may come close, but they don’t finish with a win. How many years in a row have they had a losing record? They may be improved, just like Kentucky, but both of them can’t seem to win when it comes right down to it. If they beat Florida, it doesn’t mean they are a “very goo” team, it just means they can beat a bad team, nothing more. Tennessee upset one good team last year, but that doesn’t mean much since they still finished with a losing record. This isn’t horseshoes or hand grenades, coming close doesn’t count.

  7. gatorboi352 says:

    Anyone else notice how legit Brissett looked against the #1 team in the land?

    Maybe Driskel (and every other QB we’ve had the last 4 years in the program) isn’t as bad as we all think. Maybe the coaches can’t develop players to save their lives.

    • sean kidd says:

      I agree and the same goes for half of the receivers.

    • Michael Jones says:

      Brissett put on quite a show. Couldn’t help but be happy for the kid.

      Good things happen when a QB actually throws the ball TO his receivers. The UT QB, Worley, doesn’t have the strongest arm in the world but he actually hit his receivers, and good things happened.

    • Dave Massey says:

      I don’t think anybody thought those quarterbacks were bad, just that the coaches were sold on Driskell, so they took their talents elsewhere. Glad Brissett played so well.

  8. Bill says:

    Driskel isn’t very good, but his strength is as a runner. That has never been utilized correctly.

    No point in “protecting” him. Let him run and see what he can do

    • Michael Jones says:

      Agreed 100%. He’s strong as a bull and can run like a deer. Pretty tough too. Let him do his thing.

      • Michael J. says:

        I’ve never seen anyone characterize Driskel as being “tough.” WE saw , with Brissett, what someone “tough” to bring down looks like. Does Driskel ever break any tackles? He pretty much goes down when he is hit. It had to be agony watching Brissett play so well with the realization that Florida basically drove him away. I say that because he finally had enough of Florida when je saw Driskel stink it up in the Sugar Bowl and knew if the coaches weren’t going to give him a chance then, the game was rigged.

        • Michael Jones says:

          Tough as nails. We wouldn’t have even been in the Sugar Bowl if he hadn’t played as well as he did that year. As a matter of fact, he almost brought us back to win that game against Louisville. Just ran out of time.

          He hasn’t played up to that level since that year and he has his shortcomings, but the kid is plenty tough. I can still remember him moving a pile of future NFL LSU defensive players to get a first down at the Swamp.

          Of course, I don’t think that you’re really interested in intellectually honest debate. Have your fun for awhile. Just like we did two years ago in Tally when Morris knocked your future NFL QB into la la land and we ran herd over your beloved Noles, lol. . .ah, the sweet taste of victory. Wouldn’t it be funny if it happened again this year?

          • Steven says:

            Were you watching the same games as me?
            Our offense was terrible in 2012. Our defense was just so damn elite that they carried us.
            Thanks to Urbs players by the way.

            We didn’t even average 150 yards passing. Our defense set us up with great field position and created turnovers.
            We scored 44 points vs South Carolina and didn’t even have 200 yards of offense.

            If our offense was even average we are playing Bama in the SEC championship and have a good shot of winning the whole thing.

    • Dave Massey says:

      Quarterbacks need to be able to throw first and run second, he can’t run enough to make up for his throwing.

  9. Marcus says:

    Maybe I’m blind but I watched the fsu game and thought brissett. He does the same thing driskel use to do. Which is hold on to the ball too long. It worked majority of the game but it was the reason for the two fumbles. If he did that at Uf he would be crucified. Plus, he had 100 plus on two passes. One a trick play and one blown coverage. Everything else were short passes. He averaged 7 yards per attempt even with those huge passes. If he did that at Uf he would be crucified. Also, I never judge by one game. I saw the georgia southern vs nc st game also.

    • gatorboi352 says:

      One game? Thru FIVE games Brissett has 13 touchdowns and 1 pick.

      2 Passes were 100 of his yards? I wish Driskel could hit 2 passes for 100 yards.

    • Dave Massey says:

      He averaged over 11 yards per completion. They scored 41 on the number one team in the country. The play where he shed two sacks was absolutely amazing. What do people want? Perfection every play, that’s what Gator fans want and expect, not the real world. The pack lost because of their defense not Brissett. Wish our quarterback did that. If he was still here he would have been starting last year after JD got hurt and probably still would be now. JB, wishing you were here.

      • Michael J. says:

        You’re right about no one being perfect. Did you see Jimbo Fisher about have a fit after Winston “driskeled” on his last interception? The only thing that could have given N.C. State a chance to win the game was a turnover and Winston handed one to them. No, the perfect quarterback only exists in the imagination. But I’ll take the guy who is over 75% good every day. I think we saw two quarterbacks in Raleigh that fit the bill.

    • Michael J. says:

      I think you’re mistaken on Brissett holding on to the ball too long. It atually gave him time to survey the field, something Driskel rarely does. As for the two fumbles, it was a case of FSU making a great play. You may not want to hear it, but I think we saw a budding superstar in the making with the player that caused the first fumble. The true freshman, Lorenzo Featherston, may be too skinny right now, but he has some serious quickness, and that’s something you can’t teach. You can have your five stars in Bullard for Florida and Demarcus Walker for FSU, but FSU still trailed until the freshman made a play.

  10. Marcus says:

    Thought brissett looked okay. *sorry typing on mobile

  11. Daniel M. says:

    If the whole Muschamp thing doesn’t work out Charlie Weis is available.

  12. Marcus says:

    13 tds to 1 pick. Playing odu, ga southern, and some junior college team. Fsu only legit team. Kentucky beats all those teams by 40. Also, he held on to the ball too long that’s why he fumbled. You can not hold the ball for 10 plus second every pass. I remember in 2012 when Driskel did that and everyone hated him for that. He would get sacked left and right. Plus, what I mean by two passes were for 100 plus yards is one was a trick play. Guy was all alone and caught a 10 yard pass and took it 50. The early td was a guy 15 yards ahead of another guy(maybe more) for 50 plus yards. I could make that throw and so can driskel. He hasn’t had the opportunity. Nobody on our team has been open by about 15 yards since denote Thompson vs arkansas.

    • Dave Massey says:

      You left out that they beat South Florida by 32 points. Presbyterian and ODU are weak teams. No way Kentucky beats Ga Southern by 40 points. A lot of people put Florida down for losing to GS because they were FCS, they have now moved up. That is a powerhouse program though that has won a half a dozen NC’s in FCS. They are better than people give them credit for. They pretty much had the Pack beat until they fumbled at the 1 in the 4th quarter with what would have been the clinching score. There are a lot of programs that avoid playing them and also Northern Illinois, a team from the MAC nobody wants a part of in the Big Ten. I’ll take his play any day over what Driskell has done so far. He still put 41 points up against the No. 1 team in the country. And I have seen plenty of wide open receivers missed since “Hands of Stone” Thompson left Florida. By your account we shouldn’t count long plays or completed passes to receivers who are open. I’d trade him straight up for JD any day.

  13. Marcus says:

    The pack lost because of two bad fumbles. You don’t fumble you don’t lose. You cant have two turnovers against Fsu. He made a lot of plays with his scrambling and it cause him in the end.Live by the sword you die by the sword. Perception is always different. Just like maty mauk going 12-34 against usc horrible defense and he is supposedly one of the sec best and no one bashing him. When you create a good rep no one cares if you have one occasionally bad game or bad play. Not at fla. Even when tebow threw I think 2 picks against msu people were calling for brantley to come in on passing downs. Whoever the coach starts I’m going to just support them and the team. Go gators.

    • Dave Massey says:

      The pack didn’t lose because of two bad fumbles. FSU turned the ball over too. They lost because their defense couldn’t stop FSU. Brissett played well enough for the team to win, don’t put the loss on him. I have a friend who is a Mizzou fan and Mauk got plenty slammed by Tiger fans after they lost to Indiana, especially considering Bowling Green threw for over 400 yards the previous week against them. Not even sure where you are going with that one bad game or play comment, and I think you are a little confused on your history too.

  14. Marcus says:

    I forgot usf who also is a horrible team. That’s how you put up 13 tds to 1. I didn’t discredit those long wide open passes. Please show me a player missed wide open when they are 15 yards from the defender. It has not happened. Trust me.I’m sorry gsu is a team you should blow out. You think we lose to them or even close to them with driskel and all the other 15 players lost to injuries. No way.we blow them out. He did put up 41 points at the number 2 team in coaches poll. Bama is number one. Plus fsu had 4 turnovers. Short fields help alot. Also, just stating obvious. Blown coverages counted for 100 plus. Jist like when we played bama. 180 yards on two plays from blown coverages. Dont make a great qb makes the defense you played bad. Plus a point i want to make is what qb against fsu has looked. All have looked good so far. Even citadel qb. I’m done arguing. We can’t have brissett he left. He started his one game and wasn’t impressive. I just which fla fans could be like other and support players we have. It’s a reason no skill players want to come to uf.

    • Michael J. says:

      Everyone saw the game in Raleigh. The fact is that Driskel has never come close to playing as well as Brisett did against even the sisters of the poor. You can support Driskel all you want, but he’s been a lousy quarterback for a long time now and to say that he would have been able to perform as well as Brissett did is just not backed up by anything that has been seen anywhere except in your mind.

    • Dave Massey says:

      If you have been reading comments on this website you would know that I have been one of the most vocal supporters of the Gators and their players, definitely in the minority. There are links to former articles to the right if you want to check. We weren’t even talking about Florida anyways.

      FSU is the top ranked team in the AP poll, Bama is third, do you really have to split those kinds of hairs.

      Wide open receivers are missed all the time along with receivers dropping the ball with nobody around them. There are blown coverages all the time. Give Brissett credit for playing a great game, short fields or not you still have to put it in the end zone. And you certainly can’t judge him at Florida based on one game as an underclassman, that is not giving him a fair opportunity.

      You underestimate GSU, Florida probably wouldn’t have blown them out even with their full roster. And certainly not by 40 points. They might have won, but not by a blowout. I’ll bet you can’t even name the last time GSU lost a game by 40 points. They barely lost to NC State and Georgia Tech this year. You don’t know squat about college football.

      Clemson’s QB didn’t look very good against FSU. Citadel only scored 12, not impressive.

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