Florida coach Billy Napier talks to players during the NCAA college football team's practice Thursday, March 17, 2022, in Gainesville, Fla. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

Florida Gators Preview: 2022-2023 Defense

The Florida Gators Football program is going through somewhat of a “rebuild”. Since the takeover of Dan Mullen in 2018, the Gators have gone from legit SEC contenders to a lost disappointing college team.

New Gators Football head coach Billy Napier speaks at a press conference when he was first introduced in Gainesville. Napier will hope to improve on the Gators’ 6-7 record from a year ago. Credit: CBS Sports College Football

Recent Struggles:

The Florida Gators Football program is going through somewhat of a “rebuild”. Since the takeover of Dan Mullen in 2018, the Gators have gone from legit SEC contenders to a lost disappointing college team.

Mullen came in and brought success on both sides of Football. In 2018, the Gators were coming off the backs 4-7 2017 season and had a new coach and a fresh start. The Gators and Mullen came and changed the culture. The Gators for that season only allowed an average of 20 points per game on defense and scored on average 35 points per game. They had a 10-3 record and were tied for second in the SEC.

The 2019 season was their best all-around season with Dan Mullen. The gators gave up their lowest amount of points in Mullen’s Tenure. The team gave up 15.5 points a game, having three shutouts. The offense kept their pace and the Gators finished 11-2 for second in the division. This was the last time the Gators had elite defense in recent history.

Consequently, the next two seasons were downhill. 2020 the defense was horrific. They averaged 28.5 points against and in their last two games gave up 52 points to Alabama and 55 points to Oklahoma. However, the Gators were still able to win with their high-powered offense led by Kyle Trask and Kyle Pitts.

The 2021 season had no saving grace, the team was bad. The gators averaged 26.8 points against but the offense struggled. The team couldn’t get the big win and Mullen gone was the result. The team went 6-7, and the Gators were back where they started when they got Mullen.

https://twitter.com/GatorsFB/status/1509938645721128973?s=20&t=r9BmK_Nz6gZvBPwo4HiDXw

Out with old… In with the new:

The Gators got a new coach during the spring offseason, Billy Napier is in and the Gator Culture changed. Billy Napier is here and he is seen as the saving grace. He was the No. 1 acquisition of the spring and he is the face of the Gators.

Safety Tre’Vez Johnson had this to say about the new coach.

The vibes have changed and the locker room wants to change this defense. The defense has been horrendous and the change is on the rise.

The front four are highlighted with Princely Umanmielen, JR, Dante Zanders, RSR. In the middle, Florida has physical and athletic linemen. Ventrell Miller, RSR Derek Wingo, JR,
Jeremiah Williams and RFR are the main middlemen. And a secondary lead by Tre’Vez Johnson JR, Trey Dean, RSR and Rashad Torrence, JR.

The Team is here and has a lot of upsets. It is up to Billy Napier and the staff to get the most out of the team.

A preview of the defense will be on full display on April 14, for the annual Orange and Blue game. That game will be in the swamp and the first time the public has a sneak peek at the team.

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