Last week Florida played Miami Ohio. They struggled to execute any type of play on offense and until late it was unclear if they would end up with the W. this week they play in state against USF. I don't know if you could call this a rivalry yet but after this week you might. USF is one of the team that lucked out in 04 when Big East teams jumped ship to go to the ACC playing in a non BCS conference USF jumped at the chance. Florida is by far the favorite in this one but USF should not be taken lightly. USF has played well against quality teams early on in the season.
Auburn,WVU,FSU,UCONN,Cincy,and Pitt all have lost to USF in the last few years while being ranked in the top 25. USF is in a transitional season this year after a bad split with founding HC Jim Levitt, Skip Holtz has taken over as Head coach. Skip is no stranger to upsets either for while at ECU the Pirates took down Boise st in their 07 bowl game and WVU,and VT in back to back games in 08. That was probably his most impressive season as a Head Coach in my opinion going on to win the C-USA that year. Skip is an offensive genius and has the ability to win with lsser athletes. At USF he will have the speed he needs to compete with the big boys and Florida will be his first test.
USF Qb B.J. Daniels is a lighting rod. Looking much like Tyrod Taylor or Michael Vick of VT he has tremendous speed for a QB and a very strong arm. Accuracy is his biggest problem. If he can control his passes and make smart decisions he will have a huge impact on this game. The most impressive thing about Daniels is the ability to break a big run without much blocking. This is an attribute that has made good QBs great such as Michael Vick (VT) and Pat White (WVU) his speed and agility are lethal attributes.
UF QB Johnathan Brantley has backed up Tim Tebow for a few years now and seen how to lead a team, however i was unimpressed by the highly touted QB in the first game of the year. He appeared flustered and unmotivated. The Florida offense looked stale, some blame that on the suspensions and injuries and they may be right. I would hope that is why Florida played so poorly against MIA (OH) because while USF struggled to get up and going once they took the lead it was a solid and consistant pace. MIA offense could get the job done but with the same sunshine state speed that Florida has USF will challenge UF on both sides of the ball.
I don't know that this will be a great game past the second quarter but i believe it has the potential to go down to the wire. With Florida having to replace 6 starters on defense USF couldn't have picked a better time to play the Gators.
My prediction isnt really my prediction it may be a hope or dream that a small Big East school could beat Florida while they are at top 5 levels but im gonn predict USF27 UF 20 make no mistake UF has a better bench and by far better recruiting but if they don't mesh well by Saturday USF may come out the better team for a day.