Miami Hurricanes vs. No. 8 Florida Gators
Camping World Kickoff; TV: ESPN; Line: Florida -7; Over/Under: 46.5
Saturday, Aug. 24 at 7 p.m.; Camping World Stadium; Orlando, Fla.
College football can’t get more exciting than the Florida Gators and Miami Hurricanes renewing their rivalry to kick off the season. And having it at a neutral site in Orlando is even more thrilling. This is what the sport is all about.
But both teams enter this game in different stages. Florida has extremely high expectations entering Dan Mullen’s second year on the job. The Mark Richt experience in Miami, meanwhile, did not work out and resulted in him retiring. So Manny Diaz, who was Richt’s defensive coordinator, came back and took over after initially leaving for the Temple Owls.
While Florida’s offense figures to take off its second season under Mullen, the ‘Canes are loaded defensively. Their only question is quarterback and offensive line. If those two things come together, then they could take off sooner than you think. And they just might be able to pull off this season-opening upset. Hey, they did it before, in 2013, and derailed Florida’s season.
Florida is one of Tennessee football’s sure losses just because of how good we expect them to be. They’ll put that on display Saturday. Miami will be slightly better, but the distractions of the new coach, the game being in Orlando, which is closer to Gainesville, and Florida’s offense will be too much. Gators win, cover and score enough to hit the over.