Huddle up! Here’s a look back at this weekend on the gridiron, with three key takeaways from the state’s football scene — and a glimpse at what’s to come next week.
Lopsided loss at Kentucky puts more heat on Napier
Florida fans aren’t known for having a lot of patience with coaches, and because of that, Billy Napier might already have reason to be nervous just 18 games into his tenure.
Florida fell to 1-7 on the road under Napier following an awful 33-14 loss at Kentucky, which won three straight against the Gators in the rivalry for the first time since 1948-51.
It was Kentucky’s biggest margin of victory over Florida since 1979.
Florida is now 9-9 under Napier, who signed a seven-year, $51.8 million contract in 2021.
It’s the worst start for a Florida coach through his first 18 games since Charley Pell in 1979-80.
More so than the record, Florida at many times hasn’t looked prepared or organized in games.
Because of that, fans are already asking what his buyout is and if there is another coach to land when the season ends (would Deion Sanders dare think about coming to Gainesville?).
To answer the buyout question, Napier would be owed 85% of his total remaining compensation if he is let go, according to the Gainesville Sun.
Dolphins fail to take charge of AFC East against Buffalo
It wasn’t a catastrophic first loss of the season for the Dolphins in Buffalo on Sunday, but the 48-20 defeat to the Bills certainly feels like a bit of a missed opportunity.
The Dolphins were playing so well going in, and they seemed primed for a statement win that would have put them two games up with the tiebreaker in hand against the Bills in the AFC East.
Instead, the Bills were the ones making a statement that they weren’t going to let the Dolphins gain major separation early in the season in the race for the AFC East.
Miami did have more rushing yards (142-104) than Buffalo and only had 21 fewer yards, but being -2 in the turnover margin and allowing 310 passing yards to Josh Allen was too much to overcome.
The rematch between the teams at Hard Rock Stadium won’t be until the regular-season finale in January, so we’ll see if that turns out to be for the division title.
Seminole, Lake Mary win anticipated prep football contests
Four highly-ranked prep football teams were in action against each other on Friday, when Seminole (No. 44 in FHSAA rankings) hosted Apopka (No. 53), while Lake Orion (No. 17) hosted Mandarin (No. 43).
Seminole improved to 5-1 with a 21-3 win over Apopka, while Lake Mary remained unbeaten at 5-0 with a 34-16 win over Mandarin.