The Miami Hurricanes will face in-state rival and No. 12 ranked Florida this Saturday, marking the first time the two foes have met since 2008.
The Florida-Miami rivalry first began in 1938 and the two teams met annually all the way up to 1987. What was once considered by many as the biggest rivalry in the state of Florida, the two teams have met only five times since. The Hurricanes lead the all-time series, 28-26, however, the last time the two met in 2008, Florida won handily, 26-3.
The Gators opened the 2013 season against Toledo and RB Mack Brown had a field day against the Rockets’ propelling the Gators to a 24-6 win. Rushing for 112 yards and two touchdowns, Brown walked away with a career day toting the rock 25 times.
Gators’ QB Jeff Driskel proved efficient completing 17-of-22 passes for 153 yards and one touchdown.
Despite losing eight starters, the Gators’ defense appeared to be as good as they were last year. Quick and physical, the Rockets were held to just 205 yards and finished 1-of-13 on third downs.
Florida amassed 414 yards of offense, including two touchdown drives that went for over 80 yards a piece.
The Gators were without five players for their opener: LB Antonio Morrison (suspended), CB Loucheiz Purifoy (suspended), DT Darious Cummings (suspended), WR Latroy Pittman (suspended) and OL Quinteze Williams (suspended). All but Pittman are expected to return for Saturday’s game against Miami.
In addition to Brown, the Hurricanes will see the return of sophomore RB Matt Jones who was hospitalized in late July due to a viral infection. According to ESPN, the Gators expect Jones to see as many as 25 touches against the Hurricanes.
Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease told ESPN, “I’m not saying that’s what he’s going to get, but I expect him to be out there in the offense. We got to be smart in how we use him…and the number of reps he can handle.”
Backing up RB Mike Gillislee, Jones finished the 2012 season with 275 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
If Miami wants to walk away victorious, it is crucial that their defense comes to play. Stopping the combo of Jones and Brown will be a task in itself, but holding a mobile quarterback at bay is key if Miami wants the W.
When: Saturday, 9/7/2013, Noon
Where: Sun Life Stadium
Tickets: You can purchase Miami Hurricanes tickets here.
Spread: Florida by 3