Orange and Blue
Florida head coach Billy Napier watches from the sideline during the second half of an NCAA college football game against South Carolina, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Matt Stamey)

Orange & Blue Game Returns to the Swamp

The annual Orange & Blue game returns to The Swamp Thursday at 7:30 p.m. All eyes are on the Gators as fans get a preview of the offseason improvements that Florida Gators football head coach Billy Napier and his team have made.

Format

The game will be four quarters with a 15-minute running clock. The clock will stop in the last four minutes of every quarter and for each penalty, possession change and score.

Each team will dress about 50 players. The rosters were randomly selected, sending players to either Orange or Blue.

Orange

The Orange team is loaded with talent for Thursday night’s game.

At wide receiver, Ricky Pearsall has been making some impressive grabs in camp.

Running backs for the Orange include Trevor Etienne and Montrell Johnson Jr., both showing some impressive talent this spring.

On defense, Chris McClellan is showing serious strength on the D-line. Fans hope for a standout performance for McClellan this season.

Blue

There are also some standout players to watch for the blue. At the wide receiver position, Andy Jean has showed great improvement this spring.

In addition, running back Cam Carroll from Tulane will be an interesting watch. Napier could possibly incorporate Carroll into the offense in addition to the clear standouts on Orange, Ettiene and Johnson Jr.

On defense, Cam Jackson brings some power to the D-line, standing at 6’6 and weighing 355 pounds.

The Quarterback Question

Possibly the most exciting element for fans to see is the quarterback battle between redshirt junior Graham Mertz and redshirt sophomore Jack Miller III. Mertz and Miller will be playing for both teams in the game.

Napier discussed Mertz’s maturity and leadership following the previous scrimmages and offseason training.

Napier was also impressed with Miller’s hard work this spring.

Napier said he will not name a starter after the game, and that the competition has kept the quarterbacks sharp and on top of their game.

Game Outlook

Coach Napier hopes that the Gators show improvements in the Orange and Blue game. Napier discussed the progress made in the past two scrimmages.

The team has put in the work to make Napier’s second year more successful.

About Ainsley Davis

Ainsley Davis is a second-year sports journalism student at the University of Florida.

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