NBC 6 Weekend Football Preview: Must Win Time in the Magic City

What to Know

  • The Miami Hurricanes are facing a huge conference rival and the FIU Panthers facing a must win game to save their season.

While it has been a rocky season in the world of football in South Florida, there is some good news for fans of the Miami Dolphins – we can guarantee, without a shadow of a doubt, that the men in aqua and orange WILL NOT lose this weekend (mostly it’s because they do not play as the Fins have their bye week after losing the first four games and scoring just 26 points in the process.)

While the Dolphins are taking the week off in their continuing run toward the top pick in the 2020 draft, the college teams both from Miami-Dade County are back in action after their first bye weeks – with the Miami Hurricanes facing a huge conference rival and the FIU Panthers facing a must win game to save their season.

At the same time, the biggest game in college football takes place up the road in Gainesville featuring two teams with hopes of making it to the College Football Playoff this season – but before anyone can think about that, we rank up each game with our NBC 6 not-so-scientific-system.

BLACKSBURG, VA – NOVEMBER 17: Defensive back Caleb Farley #3 of the Virginia Tech Hokies hits wide receiver Mark Pope #6 of the Miami Hurricanes following his reception in the first half at Lane Stadium on November 17, 2018 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images)
Photo credit: Getty Images

Miami Hurricanes vs. Virginia Tech Hokies (Saturday)

While every fan of the Canes will say that their biggest rival in the ACC is the Florida State Seminoles, it has been the Hokies who have kept the Canes from making the ACC Championship game more times than not – and that could be the case this season as the loser of this game is essentially knocked out of contention for the Coastal Division crown.

Head coach Manny Diaz could not have been happier to have the bye week after a sloppy five-point win over Central Michigan in their last game – and the Canes would love to get their fifth win in their last six games against the Hokies, who looked like hot garbage in a 35 point home lost last weekend against Duke that has heated up the seat under their head coach, Justin Fuente.

MIAMI, FL – SEPTEMBER 15: FIU wide receiver Maurice Alexander (1) evades UMass cornerback Brian Roberts, Jr. (43) on his way to a 38-yard touchdown in the second quarter as the FIU Golden Panthers defeated the University of Massachusetts Minutemen, 63-24, on September 15, 2018, at Riccardo Silva Stadium in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Samuel Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Photo credit: Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

FIU Panthers vs. UMass Minutemen (Saturday)

Head coach Butch Davis’s team returns to action following a bye week that came after a disappointing loss to Louisiana Tech that dropped their record to 1-3 on the season – and essentially, they need to win this game over a team that has been one of the worst in the FBS this decade.

First year head coach Walt Bell, who spent last season leading the offense for Florida State during their first losing season in over four decades, got the first win for the Minutemen of 2019 last weekend for a program that has had one winning campaign in the last 10 seasons and has lost the last two games against the Panthers.

AUBURN, AL – OCTOBER 15: Onterio McCalebb #23 of the Auburn Tigers is tackled by Lerentee McCray #34 of the Florida Gators at Jordan-Hare Stadium on October 15, 2011 in Auburn, Alabama. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Photo credit: Getty Images

Florida Gators vs. Auburn Tigers (Saturday)

It’s the game of the day in college football as the seventh ranked Tigers travel to take on the tenth ranked Gators in the first game between the longtime SEC rivals since the 2011 season – and both teams know that a win here will go a long way toward getting their first ever selection into the College Football Playoff this season.

For the Gators, it’s the first of three showdowns in a four game period against teams ranked in the top seven as quarterback Kyle Trask has looked impressive in his first two starts – but he is going to be facing a top ranked defense for the Tigers that already has wins over two ranked teams this season as Florida prepares for a gauntlet of games that includes road trips to LSU and South Carolina along with the annual battle against Georgia.

Other State Games

The UCF Knights continue conference play with a Friday night showdown at the Cincinnati Bearcats while the rival USF Bulls travel to face the UConn Huskies in a game moved up in time due to concerns over mosquitoes in that state. The FAMU Rattlers are at home against North Carolina Central while the Bethune Cookman Wildcats are at home to face off against Morgan State.

In the NFL, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers remain on the road as they take on the New Orleans Saints while the Jacksonville Jaguars battle the Carolina Panthers in a showdown of expansion teams from the 1995 season