Miami Hurricanes (0-0) vs #8 Florida Gators (0-0)
Coach: Manny Diaz
Miami Players to watch:
Senior MLB Shaquille Quarterman (6-1/235)
Quarterman is a three-time All-ACC linebacker.
As a true freshman, the Oakleaf High product racked up 84 total tackles, 10 for loss, 3.5 sacks and a fumble recovery for a touchdown: leading to freshman All-American honors. Durable and tough, Quarterman has started every game since he arrived at Coral Gables. Last year, as a junior, he tallied 82 tackles, 14 for loss, 5 sacks, and an interception. Over his career, Quarterman has been one of the most consistent and fundamentally sound linebackers in the nation.
**Sophomore TE Brevin Jordan (6-3/245)
New Offensive Coordinator, Dan Enos – lured to Coral Gables from Alabama – loves to incorporate the tight ends into the game plan. “He loves the tight ends,” said Jordan of Enos, “he loves to throw us the ball.” Jordan, a third team All-ACC selection last year, started 11 of Miami’s 13 games. He caught 32 passes for 287 yards and four touchdowns. Look for him to double those numbers this year.
*Junior CB Trajan Bandy (5-9/188)
As a Sophomore, Bandy enjoyed a breakout season, starting all 13 games and earning All-ACC third-team honors. He posted career-high totals in tackles (36), tackles for loss (4.5), interceptions (three), fumble recoveries (two) and passes defended (eight). Bandy wore the new “Turnover Chain” five times, more than any player. Quick and instinctual, look for Bandy to play almost exclusively at nickel/slot this year.
Junior DE Jonathan Garvin (6-4/250)
With the departure of Joe Jackson(NFL), Miami will be looking for more production from the four-star defensive end. Garvin Started all 13 games opposite Jackson last year. He finished with 60 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries and five PBUs. Garvin also added his first career touchdown on fumble return. He ranked fourth in ACC and second on team with 17 tackles for loss, and third on team with 5.5 sacks.
Coach: Dan Mullen
Florida Players to watch:
Senior DE Jabari Zuniga (6-4/257)
Jabari Zuniga (92) looks to step out of Jachai Polite’s shadow in 2019.
Photo: UFA | Jay Metz
Zuniga appeared in and started all 13 games last year, recording 45 tackles on the season. He finished second on the team with 11.0 tackles-for-loss, 6.5 sacks and four quarterback hurries. With a new defensive scheme in place this year, look for Zuniga to use his explosive power and quick first step to rack up double digit sacks.
Junior CB C.J. Henderson (6-1/191)
Regarded as one of the top cornerbacks in the entire country, new Defensive Coordinator Todd Grantham said C.J. Henderson is the definitely the best cornerback he’s ever coached. Henderson started all 13 games last year, racking up 38 tackles, five tackles-for-loss, three sacks, two interceptions, team-high seven pass breakups and two forced fumbles.
Junior QB Feleipe Franks (6-6/240)
Is this the year Feleipe Franks puts it all together? Highly touted out of high school, Franks arrived at Gainesville with prototypical size, a strong arm and endless potential, but has yet to turn those tools into production. However, Franks teammates are saying he’s found new confidence in HC Mullen’s system. Franks first must improve his decision-making and accuracy, while building on his ability as a running threat. He also might have to maintain confidence behind a rebuilt offensive line replacing four starters.
**Sophomore PK Evan McPherson (5-11/177)
Florida boasts one of the top special teams units in the country – and a lot of that has to do with placekicker Evan McPherson. McPherson was 50-50 last year on extra points; had a long of 48 yards; went 17 for 19 (89.5 percent) on field goals and led all freshmen in field goal percentage. McPherson was also Florida’s leading scorer with 101 points.
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Grass