Miami football named after UCF by Florida RB discussing season opener

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 07: Quinton Dunbar #1 of the Florida Gators is tackled by Stacy Coley #3 of the Miami Hurricanes during a game at Sun Life Stadium on September 7, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 07: Quinton Dunbar #1 of the Florida Gators is tackled by Stacy Coley #3 of the Miami Hurricanes during a game at Sun Life Stadium on September 7, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Discussing the season opener at SEC Media days, Florida running back Lamical Perine named Central Florida before mentioning the Gators season-opening opponent, the Miami football team.

Perine was among a three Gators to join head coach Dan Mullen at SEC Media Days in Hoover, Alabama to discuss the 2019 season. Perine was gracious for the most part in his discussion of the Miami football program. When discussing the game with Miami, Perine mentioned UCF and FSU before the Hurricanes.

It likely was not intentional or planned. It was also in alphabetical order. Maybe he was saving the best for last? Central Florida has been the most successful college football program on the field in Florida in the past two seasons. Perine said the Gators goal is to reach that status. He considers the game against Miami a rivalry.

Franks, Perine and Zuniga all consider the game against Miami to be a rivalry and understand that to be the best you have to beat the best. Zuniga stated that when Florida plays Florida State or Miami the game means more than Football. Off the field, the winner can point to their victory in recruiting.

QB Feleipe Franks and DL Jabari Zuniga also spoke at the annual event to preview the upcoming season. The game is an opportunity for the football programs for Miami and Florida to assert themselves in the Sunshine State. This is the Gators and Hurricanes first meeting since 2013 and only their second since 2004.

The rivalry between the Florida and Miami football programs, or the Gators more specifically, ended their annual games after the 1987 season. The Hurricanes and Gators played annually from 1938-87 with the exception of 1943. Miami holds a 29-26 advantage all-time in the series.

Perine and his teammates are ready to play the 2019 season no matter who their opponent is.

"“Yeah, I feel like it is a rivalry because it’s an in-state game…We got this motto where we feel like honestly, we are trying to be the best team in Florida. To be that, we have to beat the best teams — UCF, Florida State, Miami, whoever you want to put us against. USF, anybody.”"

Franks and Zuniga concurred with Perine’s assessment about the importance of the Hurricanes season opener with the Gators. Franks spoke about Miami and Florida not playing more frequently.

"“Yeah, we don’t play often and that’s one of the things that makes it special…Two, we are good in-state teams. It’s a fun game, I love playing in games that are highly anticipated.You play a really good team, University of Miami is a really good team, University of Florida has a really good team, and when teams like that clash and play that’s when it’s awesome…The stage is set for you and you have to go out and perform…Those are the stages I like to play on. It will be fun.”"

Miami Hurricanes Football
Miami Hurricanes Football /

Miami Hurricanes Football

Miami and Florida playing in 2019 allow the Florida Cup to be awarded for the sixth time since being established in 2002 by the Florida Sports Foundation. Miami, Florida and Florida State all have to play each other for the Florida Cup to be awarded. Florida State plays Miami and Florida every year.

The Florida Cup is awarded depending on the Hurricanes and Gators playing. Miami won the first three cups from 2002-04. Florida won in 2008 and Florida State in 2013. Miami is 8-3 all-time in the Florida Cup series, Florida State is 5-6 and Florida is 3-7. Miami and Florida State played twice in the 2003 season.

Zuniga spoke about the importance of Miami and Florida playing to football in the Sunshine State. The Gators rising redshirt senior defensive end was asked if winning the Florida Cup was a priority for Florida.

"“Yeah, I do. I feel like they are in the state of Florida so you know, Miami and FSU, those are always going to be games that mean something more than football…It’s just one of those things where they are going to get the best of us and we are going to get the best of them.”"

Next. Miami football exemplified best of the 1990s. dark

There has been a lot of talk about Miami playing Florida this season. The fans are getting testy. Florida fans have been lashing out at any negative talk about their team from close followers of the Hurricanes. This rivalry is not going to be civil. Thirty-nine days away, August 24 cannot come soon enough.