Florida head coach Billy Napier, right, shakes hands with offensive lineman Riley Simonds (64) as players warm up before an NCAA college football game against Utah, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Napier, Gators preparing for first SEC test after historic win

The Billy Napier era at the University of Florida began at a historic high after the Gators defeated the No. 7 Utah Utes in front of a sellout crowd of 90,799. The new head ball coach was candid about his expectations going forward, and said he was careful not to overreact to Saturday’s victory.

It’s a New Day, Yes it is!

Napier and the Gators entered week one with sky high expectations. With a top 10 opponent making its first stop of the season on the hallowed grounds of The Swamp, most butts were in seats by the time the game kicked off at 7 p.m. By the time the game finished, it was hard to find someone who was not standing.

After two consecutive one-loss seasons at Louisiana, Napier began his Gators tenure at 1-0. However, the Murray County, Georgia native won’t rest on his laurels. He was honest about his approach to the team’s week one showdown. Saturday was about evaluation as much as celebration.


Last season’s seven-point loss in Lexington dashed the team’s playoff hopes. Things got much worse from there, and the Gators finished the season with an interim head coach. The Gators worked their way into the red zone before the yellow flags came out, forcing the team to dodge field storming fans after the loss.

Five of the team’s last 10 games and three of its last five against the Wildcats have been decided by one score. Napier does not take Mark Stoops’ squad lightly. The Gators new man spoke glowingly about Kentucky and its preparation.

Saturday’s game

For Week 2, the Florida Gators will host SEC opponent, the Kentucky Wildcats. After last season’s playoff-dashing loss to the blue and white, the game should make for an interesting sight. While a top-ranked team always makes for an exciting matchup, nothing compares to an SEC showdown.

Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. in the Swamp on Saturday.

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