Florida Gators head coach Billy Napier took to the podium Monday to address the team’s loss to Vanderbilt on Saturday. He also looked ahead to the Gators’ regular season finale against rival FSU.
Napier Talks Struggles Against Vanderbilt
The Gators fell to Vanderbilt in Nashville on Saturday, 31-24. The win gave Vanderbilt its second straight SEC victory after breaking a 26-game losing streak with Kentucky last week.
Billy Napier addressed some of the areas he said he believes had a major impact on Saturday.
“Some missed opportunities from a points standpoint, but also momentum,” he said.
Those missed opportunities included settling for multiple field goals deep in Vanderbilt territory, as well as special teams’ mistakes.
On top of those mistakes, Napier also showed frustration with Florida’s penalties.
“For the first time, I think since we’ve been here, penalties had a significant impact on the game,” he said.
Napier specifically cited a few penalties in which the Commodores were able to earn first downs, as well as big plays offensively for the Gators that were negated by penalties.
“One of [the negated plays] was down to the four yard-line.”
Message to the Fans
“We’ve got a lot of folks working extremely hard,” Napier said.
That was part of his message to fans who are “discouraged or disappointed.”
He made it very clear that he is not concerned about the group he has put together or the effort they’re putting in.
Napier’s First Look at Historic FSU Rivalry
Napier and company will get their first look at a UF v. FSU rivalry matchup as the regular season comes to a close. The Gators have won 36 of the 66 all-time matchups between the two teams and came out on top last year at The Swamp.
“Simply put here, we’ve got to get up off the ground, dust ourselves off and get back to work,” he said.
The Gators will need to bounce back from last week’s loss during this short week, as the Gators will play on a Friday this week.
Napier spoke very highly of the rivalry and the historic program at Florida State.
“When I was growing up, Florida and Florida State were dominating college football,” he said. “Pretty awesome to be a part of this game.”
Florida will travel to Tallahassee to take on the Florida State Seminoles Friday night from Doak Campbell Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. on ABC.