Charleston Southern Buccaneers (0-0) at Florida Gators (0-0)
|Date & Time||Saturday September 1, 2018, 7:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Florida Gators -39.5 -- Over/Under: 43.5
|TV Channel||Stream College Football all season on ESPN+. Start your 7-day FREE trial today!|
We have some opening week college football action from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida as the Charleston Southern Buccaneers take on the Florida Gators.
The Charleston Southern Buccaneers will look to improve on a 2017 campaign that saw the Bucs finish at 6-5 overall, including 3-2 in Big South Conference play which was good enough for CSU to finish in 3rd place in the conference. Shane Bucenell and London Johnson are expected to battle for the starting QB position after Bucenell threw for 737 yards, 6 touchdowns and 4 interceptions on 47.5% passing last season and Johnson threw for 581 yards, 4 TDs and 3 picks on 52.6% passing last season. Noah Shuler is back as the Bucs’ top running back with 583 yards and 8 touchdowns last season while Kameron Brown is back to lead Charleston’s receiving corps after throwing for 552 yards and a pair of touchdowns last season. Defensively, J.D. Sosebee returns as CSU’s leading tackler from last season with 81 tackles and 8 tackles for a loss.
The Florida Gators will be looking to rebound from a disappointing 2017 campaign that saw the Gators finish with a 4-7 overall record, including 3-5 in SEC play to finish 5th in the SEC East division. Feleipe Franks is back at QB to help improve on an offense that finished 108th in the FBS in scoring and 2nd worst in the SEC in terms of total yardage. Tyrie Cleveland, Ole Miss transfer Van Jefferson and now sophomore Kadarius Toney will make up a solid Gators receiving corps for the 2018 season while the Florida backfield returns Lamical Perine who led Florida with 562 yards and 8 touchdowns last season. The Gators’ ground attack will also hope to get a full healthy Malik Davis on the field after a knee injury last season and to have Jordan Scarlett on the field after being suspended for the entire season last season. Defensively, the Gators’ top four tacklers are back from last season and the secondary should lead the charge with CJ Henderson back after logging 4 picks for Florida last season. The pass rush needs to improve after racking up just 23 sacks last season, but hopefully Cece Jefferson and leading tackler David Reese can help the cause after Reese racked up over 100 tackles for the Gators last season. Only time will tell if the Gators can get back to the promise land of bowl season, the talent is definitely there, it’s just a matter of putting the pieces together.
Trends will be updated if/when they’re released.
This is a ton of points to lay with Florida, considering that the Gators are coming off of a down year and who knows if we are going to see an immediate improvement in the first game. However, like I had said earlier, the talent is there, and Charleston Southern were shutout in both of their games against FBS competition last season by a final score of 76-0. The Buccaneers have also been held to less than 10 points against FBS opponents in 4 of their last 5 outings. Hard to see that changing here so I’ll lay the points with Florida here.