Not So Big Three: Noles, Gators and Canes all lose, again
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — It’s rare that Florida, Florida State and Miami lose on the same day.
But all three losing on consecutive weekends?
That’s never happened — until now.
The “Big Three” of Sunshine State football are struggling simultaneously right now, in historic fashion. Florida lost to Missouri 38-17 on Saturday, Florida State fell against North Carolina State 47-28 and Miami lost to Duke 20-12, a trio of defeats that marked only the third day in the last 40 years where all three played and lost.
Losing on the same day also happened on Oct. 30, 2004 and Oct. 8, 2011 — it didn’t happen last weekend because Miami lost to Boston College on Friday night, before Florida lost to Georgia on Saturday and Florida State lost 59-10 to Clemson. Take away the 2004, 2011 and 2018 debacles, and the most recent instance of Florida, Florida State and Miami losing on the same day was Oct. 14, 1978.
“We didn’t play very well, at all,” Florida coach Dan Mullen said Saturday.
He was speaking of his own team, of course.
But the same would have applied to the Seminoles and Hurricanes. His counterparts — Florida State’s Willie Taggart and Miami’s Mark Richt — had no choice but to offer similar sentiments about their own clubs as a woeful Sunshine State Saturday dragged to a close.
The Seminoles are 4-5 and in danger of missing a bowl after their loss.
“Our guys know how to play football,” Taggart said. “We’ve got to teach them how to win.”
Miami’s reign as the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Coastal Division champion is almost certainly over, with the Hurricanes falling to 5-4 overall and 2-3 in league play after their third consecutive loss.
“I don’t have a lot of really good answers, right this minute,” Richt said. “I’m sure you all have a bunch of questions. It’s just heartbreaking to not be able to get the victory. We put a lot into it and didn’t get it done.”
Miami’s last win was against Florida State, four weeks ago.
“I think we’re working hard,” Miami safety Jaquan Johnson said. “I think we just need to execute better. We start executing better, I think things will start going our way.”
It doesn’t get exactly easier for the three storied Florida programs. Florida State plays Notre Dame next weekend, Miami goes to Georgia Tech and Florida meets former coach Will Muschamp and South Carolina.
And the NFL teams aren’t exactly helping the mood of disgruntled fans around the state: All three of Florida’s pro clubs lost last week as well, with the Miami Dolphins losing in a Thursday night matchup on Oct. 25 and the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers falling last Sunday.