Here are five takeaways from this weekend’s football action around the state.
Shocker on grounds of former Orange Bowl
So much for nostalgia.
Miami had good reason to feel sentimental playing a game at Marlins Park, which was built on the grounds of the former Orange Bowl, one of college football’s most hallowed stadiums that was the home of so many great games and memories for the Hurricanes during their glory days.
But all the warm and fuzzy feelings belonged to former Miami head coach Butch Davis and his Florida International team, which earned arguably the biggest win in program history with a 30-24 upset of the Hurricanes.
FIU was a 20-point underdog going in and hadn’t beat Miami in three previous tries, but none of that mattered after the Panthers (6-5) gained bowl-eligibility with a win.
Meanwhile, Miami (6-5) saw progress made after a three-game winning streak halted in humiliating fashion.
The Hurricanes close the regular season at Duke on Saturday.
Bethune-Cookman knocks off Florida A&M again
The 40th annual Florida Classic was indeed a classic on Saturday, as an announced crowd of more than 55,000 fans saw Bethune-Cookman continue its dominance of Florida A&M.
It was the highest-attended Florida Classic game since 2011.
The Wildcats earned a 31-27 win over Florida A&M, the ninth straight win for Bethune-Cookman in the series.
Not only that, Bethune-Cookman (7-4) prevented Florida A&M from claiming the mythical black college national championship.
Florida A&M (9-2) was the highest-ranked Historically Black Colleges and Universities team in the country and could have claimed that title with a win in what was its season-finale.
Florida A&M won’t play in the postseason due to a self-imposed ban after an NCAA discovery found that 93 athletes weren’t properly certified to play from 2010 to 2017.
Disastrous third quarter all but ends playoff hopes for Jaguars
In a game it needed to win in order to keep playoff hopes alive, the Jacksonville Jaguars seemed in decent shape at halftime at Tennessee, trailing 7-3.
Then it got out of hand rather quickly, and now the Jaguars looks like they should shift focus to the 2020 NFL Draft.
Tennessee scored four touchdowns in less than 10 minutes to start the third quarter and broke the game open to further entrench the Jaguars in last place in the AFC South.
Jacksonville is now 4-7, two games behind Indianapolis and Tennessee in the division.
Gators, Seminoles ready to tussle after bye weeks for each
It’s unusual for any team to have a bye week for the second-to-last week of the regular season, and it was even more strange that both Florida and Florida State were off this week.
But that has given each team two full weeks to prepare and come up with new wrinkles for one another when they meet in Gainesville on Saturday.
Florida ended a five-year losing streak to Florida State last year with a 41-14 win in Tallahassee.
Apopka knocks off top-ranked Seminole
A crowd of roughly 5,000 people came to Sanford to see a clash of powers between Apopka and Seminole in an 8A regional final on Friday, and that sizable gathering witnessed a defensive gem turned in by Apopka.
The defense for Apopka forced four turnovers and kept Seminole off of the scoreboard in a 20-0 win that propelled Apopka to the state semifinals.
Apopka (11-1) will host Lutz Steinbrenner in a semifinal on Friday, while Seminole (11-1) suffered its only loss of the season.
Seminole entered with the highest RPI of any team in the state.