Florida head coach Billy Napier directs his team against LSU during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Gators Football Opens Season with Rematch Against Utah

The Florida Gators will play the Utah Utes in the Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City to start the Gator Football season on Thursday. Kickoff for the game will begin at 8 p.m. EST.

Last season, the Gators started the season against Utah in The Swamp, winning 29-26.


This may be new for both teams. For starters, Florida will play their new quarterback, Wisconsin transfer quarterback Graham Mertz. As for Utah, they are playing by ear. Utah’s quarterback, Cameron Rising, is likely not playing tonight due to his ACL injury in the Rose Bowl. However, Utah Head Coach Kyle Whittingham has Rising as the starting quarterback on the depth chart for Week 1. If not Rising, Bryson Barnes or Nate Johnson will likely start Thursday night’s game.

When talking about new players and getting everyone on the same page, Napier had the following to say.


First Test for Gators

When looking at Thursday night’s game, Gator Nation may wonder how will Graham Mertz deal with the pressure with his new team? How has the defense changed since last year? and what is Billy Napier doing differently after his slow start with the Gators his first year?

The game will show where the Gators are and where they can go this season. This will be a telling game as to what gaps Napier has missed to address with his team during the off season and what he has improved during the year.






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