Florida football: How the Gators’ 2019 opponents fared in week 9

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA - OCTOBER 26: Head coach of the LSU Tigers Ed Ogeron looks on during pregame against the Auburn Tigers at Tiger Stadium on October 26, 2019 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA - OCTOBER 26: Head coach of the LSU Tigers Ed Ogeron looks on during pregame against the Auburn Tigers at Tiger Stadium on October 26, 2019 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Florida football took the week to rest up for Saturday’s showdown in Jacksonville against the No. 8 Georgia Bulldogs.

Florida football opponents have had an up and down season thus far.

Here’s a look at how those opponents fared and how it helps (or hurts) Florida’s strength of schedule.

Past opponents – helping or hurting Strength of Schedule (SOS)?

Miami (4-4), W 16-12 at Pittsburgh

QB Jarren Williams hit WR K.J. Osborn on a slant route with under a minute left. After taking a hit from the safety, Osborn stayed on his feet and took it the distance to give Miami an ugly, low scoring win to boost their record to the .500 mark for the third time this season. The biggest thing at stake for the Miami-Florida State matchup on Saturday is bowl eligibility…as a Gators fan, life is good!
Next game: at Florida State
Helping or hurting  UF SOS perception: Neutral – Miami’s roller coaster of a season hasn’t quite disqualified them as a quality opponent.

UT-Martin (5-3), L 17-10 at Southeast Missouri State (SEMO)

QB John Bachus III threw a pick-six that was returned 32 yards for the winning score with 5:32 remaining in the fourth quarter. Bachus finished with 284 yards passing, one touchdown, and two picks on the day. The Skyhawks are still in first place in the Ohio Valley Conference with a 4-1 record in conference play, but SEMO now sits at 3-1 with the tiebreaker over UT-Martin.
Next game: vs Jacksonville State
Helping or hurting  UF SOS perception: FCS foe hurts UF SOS.

Kentucky (4-4, 2-4), W 29-7 vs Missouri

Mark Stoops’ defense came close to pitching a shut out as Kentucky took a big step toward a bowl game. WR/QB Lynn Bowden only threw seven passes for 54 yards on the day, but his 21 carries for 204 yards and two touchdowns jump-started a sluggish Wildcats offense.
Next game: vs Tennessee (11/9)
Helping or hurting  UF SOS perception: Helping – UK landed their first quality win of the season against Mizzou.

Tennessee (3-5, 2-3), W 41-21 vs South Carolina

This game was defined by big plays for Tennessee. WR Marquez Callaway returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown, WR Jauan Jennings caught a 48 yard touchdown pass (one of his two touchdowns on  a 174 yards receiving and seven reception day), QB J.T. Shrout completed a 55 yard touchdown strike to Callaway, and the Vols blocked a punt and recovered for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter as Tennessee blitzed South Carolina with a 24-0 second half. A bowl game seems within reach against with a remaining schedule of: vs UAB, at Kentucky, at Mizzou, and vs Vandy.
Next game: vs UAB
Helping or hurting Florida football SOS perception: Hurting – Tennessee is showing signs of life, but it’s tough to overlook the first month of the season.

Towson (4-4), L 27-10 at James Madison

The Tigers were held to 77 yards of offense in the second half by a dominant Dukes defense. Towson QB Tom Flacco was 18-32 for 210 yards, one touchdown, and one interception as Towson dropped to 4-4.
Next game: vs Delaware
Helping or hurting Florida football SOS perception: FCS foe hurts UF SOS.

No. 9 Auburn (6-2, 3-2), L 23-20 at No. 1 LSU

Credit to Gus Malzahn for having his Tigers ready for this game. Auburn put up under 300 yards of total offense, but they were opportunistic throughout the day and took advantage of a few LSU mistakes. A second SEC loss effectively eliminates Auburn from any hope of reaching Atlanta, but the Tigers can play spoiler in the last month with games against Georgia and Alabama remaining.
Next game: vs Ole Miss
Helping or hurting Florida football SOS perception: Helping – Florida’s signature win was not diminished after a strong performance in Baton Rouge.

No. 1 LSU (8-0, 4-0), W 23-20 vs No. 9 Auburn

No team has shut down QB Joe Burrow quite like Auburn this past weekend. The Purple & Gold were shut out in the first quarter and only put up 23 points on the day, but shutting down the next Heisman Trophy winner looks like this: 508 total yards of offense with 321 of those yards coming through the air. The passing threat opened things up on the ground for RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who finished with 136 yards rushing on 26 carries with one touchdown. LSU ripped Bama’s #1 ranking away in this week’s poll and King O will lead the “Tigas” to Tuscaloosa to defend the top spot next weekend.

Next game: at #2 Alabama (11/9)
Helping or hurting Florida football SOS perception: Helping – quality wins against Auburn and Florida helped the Tigers jump to No. 1 in this week’s rankings. Florida’s hard-fought loss to LSU has given the Gators more credibility on a national level than UF’s win against Auburn.

South Carolina (3-5, 2-4), L 41-21 at Tennessee

The defense gave up 351 yards through the air and 485 total yards on the day against a Tennessee team that has surprised in recent weeks. Carolina took a 21-17 lead into the locker room, but could not manage a point in the second half. This was a disappointing loss for a Gamecocks team looking to build on the momentum from the Georgia win a couple of weeks back. A couple of bright spots included WR Shi Smith taking the ball 75 yards for a touchdown on the opening play of the game and WR Bryan Edwards making one of the best catches you’ll see this season.

Next game: vs Vanderbilt
Helping or hurting Florida football SOS perception: Hurting – Muschamp and the Gamecocks have struggled on defense since their win in Athens.

Next up for the Gators

No. 8 Georgia (6-1, 3-1), Bye

One of my favorite Florida-Georgia highlights. Spikes blowing up Moreno circa 2008.

Next game: vs No. 6 Florida (Jacksonville, FL)

Vanderbilt (2-5, 1-3), Bye

Vandy should be able to put up a good fight in Columbia. Since the Commodores were on a bye last week, let’s take a moment to enjoy that post-Mizzou Derek Mason interview.

Next game: at South Carolina

Missouri (5-3, 2-2), L 29-7 at Kentucky

Tigers QB Kelly Bryant only managed 130 yards passing on the day, 74 of which came on RB Tyler Badie‘s 74-yard run after the catch on a swing pass to the flats. Two straight losses to Vandy and Kentucky suddenly have Mizzou in position for a potential .500 season since the Tigers have upcoming games against Florida, Georgia, and an improving Tennessee (counting the Razorbacks a “W”).
Next game: at Georgia (11/9)

Florida State (4-4), W 35-17 vs Syracuse

Seminoles RB Cam Akers had four rushing touchdowns to go along with 20 carries and 144 yards rushing on the day as Florida State cruised to an easy win over the Orange. A win against the Canes on Saturday will likely guarantee a bowl bid for Noles.
Next game: vs Miami

Next. Gators to take on Vanderbilt as early game Nov. 9. dark

Remember, No. 6 Florida will take on No. 8 Georgia at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2 in Jacksonville.