As college football fervor swept across the nation, the Sunshine State was no exception, offering a range of emotions from euphoria to disappointment. Florida’s big three—FSU, UCF and UCF kicked off their seasons with games that left an indelible mark on fans and analysts alike.
FSU: A Stunning Comeback Seals Victory
Playing under the bright lights of Camping World Stadium in Orlando, the FSU Seminoles faced a formidable opponent in the LSU Tigers. Ranked No. 8, the Seminoles were part of the weekend’s lone top-10 matchup, and they did not disappoint. Trailing 17-14 at halftime, FSU turned the game on its head in the second half, outscoring the Tigers 31-7. Quarterback Jordan Travis was the hero of the evening, leading a string of seven straight scoring possessions. Not to be overshadowed, wide receiver Keon Coleman made an impressive debut, becoming an integral part of a triumph that saw FSU win 45-25.
UF: A Rough Start but Room for Improvement
Contrastingly, the UF Gators had a night to forget as they fell to the Utah Utes 24-11. Despite 333 passing yards from quarterback Graham Mertz, Florida’s red-zone inefficiency proved costly, netting just 11 points in four trips. The lack of Spectrum Cable coverage due to a dispute between Charter Communications and Disney became a secondary talking point, as peak viewership hit 3.8 million, leaving fans to lament what could have been a redemptive broadcast for the Gators.
UCF: A Resounding Statement in the Big 12
The Knights marked their debut season in the Big 12 Conference with a resounding 56-6 thrashing of Kent State. Despite initial hurdles, quarterback John Rhys Plumlee found his groove, completing 22 of 30 passes for 281 yards and three touchdowns. Johnny Richardson and RJ Harvey spearheaded a dynamic rushing attack, accumulating a total of 234 yards between them and adding two touchdowns courtesy of Harvey.
The Final Whistle
The first week of college football in Florida had it all—comebacks, disappointments, and the birth of new stars. While FSU fans revel in their team’s ascendant performance, Gators supporters will hope for a quick turnaround. Meanwhile, UCF’s stunning debut in the Big 12 sets the stage for an exciting season ahead. If Week One is any indication, the college football scene in Florida will be nothing short of riveting.