Week two of college football is here, and that means the AllGators' staff predictions for Florida's upcoming contest are here as well.
UF will travel to Tampa, Fla. to face the USF Bulls at 1 P.M. on Saturday, a game that should allow the Gators to focus on cleaning up their game before hosting the Alabama Crimson Tide in week three. Although UF shouldn't sleep on any opponent, the Bulls opened their season with a 45-0 loss to NC State - so it shouldn't be a difficult task for Florida to pull off a victory on Saturday.
As always on AllGators, staff prediction records are purely based on wins and losses and do not factor in the spread. That being said, Florida is currently a 28.5-point favorite over USF according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Zach Goodall (1-0): Florida 41, USF 6
In a vacuum, Florida giving up any points to USF a week after NC State allowed zero scores by the Bulls would seem concerning. But much like week one, you can expect the Gators to filter in their backups as the game goes on, which could lead to a couple of field goals from USF while Florida is already up by numerous possessions.
This week is all about Emory Jones. After a concerning two-interception showing a week ago while his backup, Anthony Richardson, made huge plays on the run, the pressure is on Jones to rebound and solidify his status as the Gators QB1. Fortunately for Jones, his opponent this week allowed a lesser-talented quarterback in Devin Leary from NC State to average nearly nine yards per attempt while posting a 65.4 completion percentage in week one.
Meaning, if there was ever a week for Jones to be efficient and productive, it's this one. I can see Jones topping 250 passing yards, more than double his week one stat-line, and a couple of touchdowns through the air while the Gators' run game remains strong across the board.
Demetrius Harvey (1-0): Florida 55, USF 7
While the final score might be different, the expectations this week for the Gators are for them to assert their dominance in a way they weren't able to for a full 60 minutes against Florida Atlantic last week. South Florida isn't nearly as good of a football team compared to Florida Atlantic, and they've yet to score a point against a Power 5 opponent in its past several matchups over the years.
The Gators are poised to show off what type of athletes they have both offensively and defensively this week. While starting quarterback Emory Jones didn't have the best game against FAU, this week should be a good rebound contest for the young signal-caller. Though, don't be surprised to yet again see sophomore QB Anthony Richardson inserted into the contest, especially if the Gators do run away with the contest as I expect them to. As for the Florida defense, expect for the team to once again rotate its players heavily, especially in the secondary.
Saturday should be viewed as a tune-up game for Florida, a time for them to try out a couple of packages that they normally wouldn't, especially as it gets set to take on its first SEC opponent in the Alabama Crimson Tide next week.
Brandon Carroll (1-0): Florida 56, USF 7
The Florida Gators head to Tampa with an opportunity to work out the remaining kinks on both sides of the ball against a lesser USF squad. With Emory Jones locked in to redeeming himself after a not-so-impressive week one performance, the Gators offense takes a step forward in the passing game — while simultaneously continuing to churn out yardage on the ground.
Defensively, Florida shutdowns a Bulls offense that scored no points in their week one blowout loss to NC State, 45-0. The Gators rattle starting quarterback Cade Fortin behind a strong performance from Zachary Carter in his return home.
While making Jones comfortable when dropping back in the pocket and building off a promising three-quarter performance on defense are paramount, Florida will find themselves in a position to employ their backups on both sides of the ball — including electrifying playmaker in quarterback Anthony Richardson — just after halftime due to their sustained dominance early on.
Ethan Budowsky (1-0): Florida 45, USF 10
The Gators really need a bounce-back on offense against USF this weekend. Despite putting up 35 points, the Gators struggled to move the ball through the air in week one and it left fans worrying about Emory Jones as the starter. I think he will be motivated to put up a better performance and show he has the ability to be a quality passer at the college level.
USF is a much lower-quality opponent than FAU and I think the Gators should dominate upfront on both sides of the ball again. I see another big result this week and I believe Dan Mullen will get the offensive issues ironed out this week. Jones bounces back and leads the charge to a big win, with Anthony Richardson playing a supporting role once again.
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