National CFB writer makes prediction on Miami football at Florida 2024 opener

The Miami football game at Florida is one of "College football's extremely early Week 1 predictions: Georgia-Clemson leads robust slate" by Brad Crawford of 247Sports.
Aug 24, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes running back DeeJay Dallas (13) runs with the ball
Aug 24, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes running back DeeJay Dallas (13) runs with the ball / Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

With the Florida and Miami football teams coming off consecutive mediocre seasons, the opening game of 2024 in Gainesville has added significance. The winner can build on an important win to begin the season and the team that loses will hear doom and gloom from a significant portion of their fan base.

Florida beat Miami 24-20 in 2019 in their last meeting in Orlando. Miami is 12-13 in Mario Cristobal's first two seasons. Florida is 11-14 in two seasons with Florida. Cristobal and Napier both have a lot to prove in their third seasons leading programs in the Sunshine State.

Miami has better projections and a more favorable schedule entering the 2024 season. Miami projects to be favored in nine of their 12 games in 2024. At Florida and Louisville and versus Florida State are the only games Miami is likely to be an underdog as the outlook stands during spring football.

Miami at Florida is one of eight first-week games Crawford projected. Four of the eight games involve ACC teams. Crawford also projects North Carolina at Minnesota, Florida State versus Georgia Tech on August 24 in Dublin, Ireland and Clemson versus Georgia week one in Atlanta in games involving ACC teams.

Early lean: Florida 33, Miami 27
Given the Gators' win total hovering around 5.5 at most books this spring, this is one of those see-saw games for Florida that Billy Napier really needs to reach bowl eligibility in his third season. Starting off with a home loss to Miami would be a bad look for(a) program looking for some momentum. This one marks Cam Ward's first start as Miami's new quarterback after transferring from Washington State and it comes inside one of college football's most raucous venues in Gainesville."

Brad Crawford, 247Sports

FanDuel has the win totals set for Miami at 9.5 and Florida at 5.5. Florida plays its last five games of the 2024 season versus Georgia, Texas, LSU, Mississippi and Florida State. The Gators are projected to be underdogs in all five games. Versus FSU is the only game Miami is a projected underdog in its final five games.

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If Miami wins at Florida, they have an opportunity to begin the season with four straight victories for the second consecutive year. Miami hosts Florida A&M and Ball State before playing at South Florida to conclude non-conference play. Miami opens ACC play on September 27 against Virginia Tech.