Florida Atlantic at Florida - 9/4/21 College Football Picks and Prediction
Photo by Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
Florida Gators (0-0) vs Florida Atlantic Owls (0-0)
Game Info: Saturday, September 4, 2021 at 7:30 pm (Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium)
Betting Odds: Florida Gators -23.5 -- Over/Under: 52.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds
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The Florida Atlantic Owls will travel to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium to take on the 13th ranked Florida Gators this Saturday night in College Football action.
The Florida Atlantic Owls finished last season with an overall record of 5-4 while earning 2nd in the C-USA East division after finishing conference play with a 4-2 record. Offensively, Florida Atlantic struggled last season as the Owls averaged just 18.9 ppg on 324.6 total yards per game (144.4 passing yds/g; 180.1 rushing yds/g). Leading the way for the Owls offense this season will be led by RB James Charles who finished last season with 429 yards & 4 TD’s on 92 carries. Florida Atlantic had a major battle at the QB position with 4 candidates, however, head coach Willie Taggart named Miami transfer N’Kosi Perry (55.3 Comp %, 348 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT) the starting QB earlier this week. Florida Atlantic returns some experience in terms of their receivers as TJ Chase (23 rec, 334 yards, 2 TD), Jordan Merrell (18 rec, 218 yards), & Brandon Robinson (12 rec, 145 yards, 3 TD) all are back for the Owls this season.
Defensively, Florida Atlantic held opponents to just an average of 17.4 ppg on 342.3 total yards per game (187.7 passing yds/g; 154.6 rushing yds/g). Florida Atlantic returns 9 starters from their strong defensive unit last season and are led this season by DL Davon Strickland & DB Zyon Gilbert.
The 13th ranked Florida Gators finished last season with an overall record of 8-4 however, finished the season losing three straight games, including a 52-46 loss in the SEC Championship vs. Alabama and a 55-20 loss to Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl. Offensively, Florida averaged 39.8 ppg on 509.8 total yards per game (378.6 passing yds/g; 131.2 rushing yds/g) however, it will be hard to repeat those numbers with Kyle Trask, Kyle Pitts, & Kadarius Toney no longer with the Gators. Florida will have QB Emory Jones under center this season who is more of a dual-threat QB and will have Jacob Copeland (23 rec, 435 yards, 3 TD), Justin Shorter (25 rec, 268 yards, 3 TD), & Kemore Gamble (10 rec, 160 yards, 3 TD) as his main receiving threats. Leading the way for the Owls backfield will be Dameon Pierce who had 503 yards & 4 TD’s on 106 carries.
Defensively, Florida allowed their opponents to average 30.8 ppg on 428.0 total yards per game (257.5 passing yds/g; 170.5 rushing yds/g). Florida will need to hope that new defensive coordinator, Todd Grantham, can improve a secondary that ranked 100th in passing defense last season, however, the Gators does have some solid experience in the front seven led by LB’s Ventrell Miller & Brenton Cox.
The Owls are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 road games and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games as an underdog. The Gators are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games in September and 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 home games.
Florida is primed to have a good season, however, it’s going to be interesting to see how they look on the offensive end after losing so many impactful players. Florida Atlantic will have to hope that Miami transfer, N’Kosi Perry, can help a passing offense that really struggled last season, however, Florida Atlantic should have a decent rushing attack after returning basically everyone that helped the Owls rank 48th in rushing offense. Florida is going to win this game, however, Willie Taggert has done a great job with the Owls, especially on the defense end, and between the fact that I think we see the Owls burn some clock with their rushing attack and that their defense gives the Gators unproven offense a bit of trouble, I think Florida Atlantic does enough with the points in this one to cover. Good Luck!