UAB at Florida
Saturday, 1 pm PT - SEC Network
CRIS Opener: Florida -10.5 O/U 48
CRIS Current: Florida -10.5 O/U 48
Not much of anything to play for other than pride in this matchup as UAB heads to Florida for a late season non-conference affair. The Blazers have been on of the biggest overachievers in the country this season with a 7-3 record (8-2 ATS). But there isn't much on the line their last two games with bowl eligibility wrapped up and North Texas having already clinched the West Division. The Gators, who fired head coach Jim McElwain two weeks ago, have lost five straight and will obviously not be participating in the postseason. Their focus is likely on not getting embarrassed at home against a mid-major.
Interesting angle to consider here is the schedule for both squads. UAB has not played a single Power 5 team this season. In fact, they haven't faced a team inside Sagarin's top 100; North Texas (100th) their "toughest" opponent. Florida meanwhile has not played a single non-Power 5 squad. Vanderbilt (97th) was their weakest foe to-date; UAB checks in at 112th.
The biggest issue for Florida has been a lack of offensive production with only 334 ypg vs. the SEC. Three different quarterbacks have seen action with freshman Feleipe Franks expected to start as Malik Zaire is questionable due to a knee injury. If you eliminate a stinker vs. Georgia's top-tier stop unit and getting thrown into last week's game at South Carolina after Zaire went down, Franks has been serviceable. I think they'll be able to move the ball against a UAB defense that has benefited from a soft schedule and a down year for offenses in C-USA. The Blazers didn't play Florida Atlantic and against North Texas allowed 548 yards at 7.5 ypp. And while Florida's offense has been abysmal, the defense has quietly eroded of late. Over the last three weeks against Georgia, Missouri, and South Carolina, the Gators allowed a combined 7.1 ypp.
In the end, I expect this one to play "loose" as neither team has much of anything to lose. Remember, Florida was 3-0 and averaged 30.6 ppg to open SEC play. And while the comp was weak, UAB has been consistent enough offensively (23 points its lowest output) that it should be able to net enough points to help get this game over the relatively low total of 48.