Gameday Predictions

Game day is finally here and after providing coverage and analysis on the game all week, it's time the writers offer up their predictions on the game.

This is tough because I can see a low scoring 17-14 outcome but I can easily see an offense-filled outcome like 35-31. The one thing I do know is I see the same winner in each outcome. I have Miami pulling off the upset on the road. Miami could pound the football, control the clock and limit the Gators possessions and win in a tight low scoring game 17-14. The could also score quick, attacking Florida through the air as well as on the ground and even scoring on defense. While the talk is that if the game becomes a track meet, Florida would easily take Miami but I have faith in the team from Coral Gables. They are hungry, driven, and ready. They will be well prepared and underestimated when they arrive in Gainesville. I think if Florida takes them too lightly, Miami could put the game out of reach early but I am giving the Gators the benefit of the doubt. I think they know how much Miami wants this game and they know that the Hurricanes are not Hawaii but if they don't know. They're going to find out real soon.

For weeks now I have heard how the Gators are going to walk all over the Hurricanes and how Saturday will be a celebratory day for Urban Meyer and his football team. I simply do not buy it. The idea at Florida is that they will be able to do whatever they want on Saturday and there has been talk of scoring 70 points. The fact is that Gators did not score 60 points all off last year and as good their firepower is on offense they are a team with some weaknesses. If the Canes can establish their running game it will give Miami's young quarterbacks the ability to make some plays against an unproven Florida secondary. If that happens and the Canes defense is able to control the Gators skill positions player it will be a very competitive game on Saturday. If Miami was walking into the Coliseum on Saturday I would not give them much of a chance, but this is a Gator team that lost 4 games last year and is far from invincible. I feel the idea that Saturday is going to be some sort of coronation for the University of Florida will work in Miami's favor as they are clearly being underestimated. The key to this game will be the turnover battle and I believe that Bill Young will be able to come up with a scheme that will frustrate the Gators. I expect Miami to come out and control the game in the trenches and use big days from Javarris James and Graig Cooper to lead them to a victory. This is a different Miami team than the one that took the trip to Norman last year and the culture and talent change that has taken place at Miami over the past year will be very evident on Saturday.

Miami Hurricanes 31 Florida Gators 27

A lot of players have talked about it all week -- this game should really give UM a good idea of where they stand 21 months into the Randy Shannon era. His discipline has been instilled into the program. More than 40 players on this roster were recruited by Coach Shannon and his staff, including all the quarterbacks. He hired some new assistants, including defensive coordinator Bill Young, during the offseason to replace some coaches he no longer wanted. This is a huge test for Shannon and co. and I think the Canes will be up to the task. Unfortunately for Miami, they're still probably two years away from being where Florida's at. Remember, Urban Meyer's been at Florida for a few years now and this is his team. In a couple years, Coach Shannon will be able to say the same. For now, however, I think the Canes are too young and while I think the running game for the Canes will keep it close, Florida may have a bit too much big game experience right now and the home field advantage will be very difficult to overcome. I predict the Canes play hard, take the game into the fourth quarter, and come up short against one of the nation's best teams.

Florida 31, Miami 17

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