Richard Gouraige is the backbone of the Gators offensive line. But, Florida’s 26-16 loss to Kentucky left Gator Nation with more questions than answers.
The Gators went from an upset win against Utah to a fall-flat home loss in the span of a week.
Now, the No. 18 Gators will look to bounce back on Saturday as they face South Florida in The Swamp. Florida redshirt junior offensive lineman Richard Gouraige addressed the media this week to discuss the Gators’ frustrating loss and their upcoming game.
Moving on from Kentucky, Focusing on USF
Undoubtedly, the Gators left much to be desired against the Wildcats. Florida’s offensive production declined considerably, partly thanks to an unfamiliar performance from star quarterback Anthony Richardson.
The Gainesville native finished the game with 145 passing yards and two interceptions. Richardson also totaled four rushing yards in six attempts, a contrasting mark compared with his 106 yards and three touchdowns against Utah.
Although the game remained up in the air until the last quarter, Kentucky capitalized on a poor Florida second half. Gouraige recognized Kentucky’s solid performance and said the team identified several issues by watching game footage.
Defensively, the Gators struggled at times, leaving open spaces for Kentucky running backs and wide receivers. However, Gouraige believes the team will show a different performance on Saturday.
New Culture in the Locker Room
After head coach Billy Napier joined the staff in January, the Gators have focused on building a new identity. New faces in the locker room, such as coaches, assistants, transfers, and recruits, mean new ideas for the program.
Gouraige said the team has bought into Napier’s structure in hopes of recovering from last year’s forgettable season. The Gators certainly look at the future with hope as they climbed up in the football recruiting rankings for 2023.
Earning the Right to Win
The Gators’ motto this week has been about improvement.
In Saturday’s post-game interview, Napier said the team would need to reevaluate and bounce back after hitting its first roadblock of the season.
Gouraige added to that sentiment.
The Gators will face the Bulls at The Swamp on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The game will stream on the SEC Network.