Florida vs. Miami game: Pick, prediction, line, spread, odds, time, TV, watch live stream

By Adam Silverstein
August 23, 2019
Florida vs. Miami game: Pick, prediction, line, spread, odds, time, TV, watch live stream

Image Credit: Michael Nash

One of the best rivalries in college football is renewed to celebrate the game’s 150th season when the No. 8 Florida Gators and Miami Hurricanes battle on Saturday. In a game moved up a week by ESPN and provided a national spotlight, Florida and Miami will clash on a neutral site at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.

This will mark the first meeting between the Gators and Canes since 2013 and just the 13th time these Sunshine State rivals will meet at a neutral site in the history of the programs. To no one’s surprise, UF and UM are 6-6 in the prior 12 meetings.

Florida is looking to continue its momentum from the 2018 season and continue its resurgence, while Miami is hoping to regain a level of dominance after seeing a sudden offseason coaching change. What will go down as the Gators and Canes clash in central Florida? Let’s find out with plenty of information, notes, analysis and a game prediction.

Viewing information

Event: Camping World Kickoff
Date: Saturday, Aug. 24 | Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Camping World Stadium — Orlando, Florida [Capacity: 65,000]

TV: ESPN (Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Maria Taylor)
TV Alternate: SEC Network (Dari Nowkhah, Chris Doering, Gene Chizik)
Additional guests include Danny Wuerffel, Tim Tebow and Gators alumni
Live stream: WatchESPN.com | SiriusXM: 84 | Radio: WRUF, TuneIn
Live updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

Tale of the tape

No. 8 Florida GatorsMiami Hurricanes
Head coachDan MullenManny Diaz

Injuries and absences

Suspended: DL Tedarell Slaton, DB Brad Stewart, WR Rick Wells, DB Pat Moorer
Out (1): DT Elijah Conliffe (undisclosed)
Out for season (2): CB C.J. McWilliams (Achilles), LB David Reese (Achilles)

Game notes

» Miami leads Florida 29-26 in the all-time series and has won seven of the last eight meetings dating back to 1986. The teams are 6-6 in their 12 prior neutral-site games.
» The Gators and Canes played annually from 1944-87 and have not played in Orlando since 1976 or at all since 2013. This is just the seventh UF-UM game this century.
» In the last eight meetings in which Miami has led Florida 7-1, the Canes were the higher ranked team six times (6-0) and the Gators were the higher ranked team twice (1-1). UF is 7-5 when ranked playing against an unranked UM.
» Florida is 24-14 all-time in games that hosted ESPN “College GameDay.” This will be the second time that “GameDay” and SEC Network’s “SEC Nation” will emanate from the same site; the first time was the Florida-Georgia game last year. UF and UM are 1-1 when hosting “GameDay” together.
» The Gators’ 39 appearances on “College GameDay” are the third most among their peers with only Alabama (46) and Ohio State (44) being featured on the show more. However, Florida’s .632 winning mark is only the seventh-best nationally.
» This is the second time in three seasons that Florida is opening a season against a Power Five opponent at a neutral-site venue and the second straight year Miami is doing so.

» After struggling to a 6-3 start, the Gators ended the 2018 season on a four-game winning streak, taking their last three games by a combined score of 145-39.
» Florida went 3-2 against ranked opponents in 2018, beating three ranked teams in a single season for the first time since 2012. It was also the first time it won 10 games since 2015 and just the third time since 2009. UF is looking for its first back-to-back 10-win seasons in a decade (2008-09).
» Under Mullen, the Gators are 6-0 when scoring first, 8-0 when leading after the third quarter, 7-0 when allowing 20 points or fewer and 9-0 when outrushing their opponent.
» UF has scored in 384 consecutive games, an NCAA record.

Prediction and analysis

Spread: Florida -7 | O/U: 47

There’s a lot to like about Florida entering this game, and it seems many are discounting the dominant fashion in which the Gators ended the 2018 season. In fact, an argument could be made that UF had one of the five best finishes of 2018. Still, it lost enough starters for questions about the offensive line and overall defense maintaining its steady improvement to be valid. And while concerns about redshirt junior quarterback Feleipe Franks are also understandable — after all, four games does not a season or career make — it’s tough to look at the way he played to close 2018 and think he is going to regress. If Florida gets that Franks to go along with the best set of playmakers its had since guys like Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy were on the field, this offense could be special if the offensive line can hold up. Injuries have hurt the secondary depth and there are plenty of players getting more field time than they have in the past up front, but most of them have been on this roster for a few years.

Miami, on the other hand, is coming off a season of disappointment. After starting 5-1 and appearing to have maintained the groove they were in from 2017, the Canes lost four straight games and dropped five of their final seven, including a 35-3 drubbing by Wisconsin in the Pinstripe Bowl. UM’s coach suddenly retired, and while it replaced him with a known quantity, that known quantity has also never led a team before. And speaking of never leading a team before, expected starting QB Tate Martell lost the offseason battle to redshirt freshman Jarren Williams. It’s not that Williams is not talented — he was the 77th-ranked player in the Class of 2018 and any unseen dual-threat quarterback can be a handful — but he is unproven playing his first game against a Todd Grantham defense and two of the best cornerbacks in all of college football. That said, the Canes bring a stout defense into the game and could take advantage of the Gators’ inexperienced offensive front.

So where does this leave us? As long as the spread stays at a touchdown or less, Florida is the play. The Gators have experience, a better coach, a more proven offense and an attacking defense going up against a first-year starter in his first game. That does not mean the game will be high scoring. There are always first-game jitters, and with this being Week 0, it may start a bit slow. So let’s side with Florida and the under in this one.

2018 records: ATS picks 6-6 | O/U picks 6-6

Odds and ends

» Florida will wear traditional orange helmets with blue jerseys and white pants. The Gators have not strayed from their traditional uniform combinations since the middle part of the 2018 season.
» Here’s a look at the Camping World Stadium field.

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