Game one for the 2022 version of the Florida Gators and game one for Coach Billy Napier will kick off at 7pm from the Swamp on ESPN. The Gators are coming off of a forgettable year where their final record of 6-7 ended Dan Mullen's tenure at Florida. Since then, Coach Napier has time and time again shown that he is the real deal. Whether it be in providing players better parking, recruiting emphasis on the state of Florida, or consistent efforts to enhance the player experience at UF. Now, it's time for the rubber to meet the road and the games are being played. Stadium and Gale's very own writers are predicting what you can expect from the Gators in game one against Utah below:
Jake Moats (@jakemmoats):
This offseason has felt like an eternity. New era. New regime. Scared Money don't Make Money. I'm taking Anthony Richardson to have 3 passing TD's and 1 rushing TD. 200+yards passing and 75+ yards on the ground. The Gators defense will give up some plays, but eventually the energy of the Swamp forces Cam Rising and the Utes into a costly mistake late in the game to seal the first victory of the Napier Era.
Jakob Ames (@JschoolJakob):
Wishful thinking and a little foolish but I don’t care. I’ve seen Anthony Richardson’s raw talent with my own eyes and I’m a #Believer. I’m trusting the new coaching staff and doubting the cupcake conference that is the Pac-12. Also, I have no clue what a Ute is. GO GATA 🐊
Nate Hughes (@NateJHughes):
I’m expecting a more disciplined team than we’ve seen in a few years, especially defensively. Florida’s offensive line is extremely talented and experienced, and in this run heavy system I believe they’ll have success Saturday night. Anthony Richardson is not of the best athletes in the country, but one of the best quarterbacks, and with the size they have at receiver the Gators should be able to take advantage of Utah’s smaller dbs.
Garett Morgan (@GarrettMorgan13):
I think much like the Alabama game last year Utah jumps ahead by 10 or 14 early but the gators settle in in the 2nd quarter and head into half down 14–10. I think we establish the run and wear them down on the ground in the 2nd half and hit a late field goal and hold on defensively to win the game on the last drive.
Brian Kurtz (@SwampStats):
I expect both teams to have success moving the ball on the ground so I think this one comes down to who can move the ball through the air best and avoid turnovers. Utah does have an experienced QB returning in Cam Rising, but this will likely be his biggest test yet, going up against an SEC secondary. On the Florida side, Napier offense isn’t the flashiest, but for four years he put Levi Lewis in place to succeed - Lewis’ worst year was throwing 7 INTs on almost 300 attempts in 2020. Tomorrow night, AR will announce his presence to the rest of the nation with a few big plays that will end up making the difference in a Gator victory.
Anthony Beck (@AceWade1):
I think Billy Napier is gonna ease Anthony Richardson into the game by establishing the run. Their success running the ball will keep Utah’s defense on their heels and open up the play action pass. I believe Ricky Pearsall and Justin Shorter will get to the open spots in the defense.
Dan Thompson (@DKThompson):
Gators 31 Utah 27
(man of few words)