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Billy Napier Can Relax For Now

It's only Billy Napier's second season in Gainesville, but his first season ended with a losing record at 6-7. I see both sides of why he is on the hot seat because three straight losing seasons would not be good for Gator Nation. The Gators opened their season with a bad performance at Utah, but Saturday night's upset win over Tennessee may have silenced the negativity around Napier and the Gators for now. According to Napier's press conference, Florida's win over Tennessee was an atmosphere at The Swamp that we have not seen in years. If Florida can play like that in every game this season, they won't lose many games. That deafening sound of The Swamp that I mentioned the other day played a key role in the upset win over the Vols.


Florida knocked off Tennessee 29-16 in an upset win, especially in the first half. It was a fantastic performance from both sides of the ball due to the ground game with Montrell Johnson and Trevor Etienne. Quarterback Graham Mertz showed incredible poise and leadership at the quarterback position, and I was not expecting to see that from him this season. The Gator defense played like no other due to the consistency we have yet to see from them in this decade due to being inconsistent before hiring Austin Armstrong this past offseason. Florida's defense did an outstanding job by getting pressure on Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton and forcing turnovers. The crowd at The Swamp played a key factor by forcing Tennessee into false start penalties and preventing Tennessee from getting plays in from the sidelines.


I wouldn't say Billy Napier's seat has gotten cooler, but Saturday night's game showed how good of a coach he can be for the Gators. Right now, he is more relaxed after the win over Tennessee because that wasn't a win over a typical Vols team, but they were an eleventh-ranked team coming into The Swamp Saturday night. They weren't the Tennessee teams that Florida beat before the Josh Heupel era.


The Gators remain at The Swamp as the Charlotte 49ers will visit Gainesville. I hope Florida will be focused and ready coming off a big win over Tennessee. Florida needs to come out against Charlotte like they did against McNeese and Tennessee to avoid a hangover. My main concern against Charlotte is that Florida may come out sloppy and let the 49ers hang around to make the game competitive. If Florida can do their job against Charlotte on Saturday night, then I will feel better about their trip to Kentucky for their first SEC road trip this season.

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