Napier
Florida coach Billy Napier looks at the scoreboard during the first half of the team's NCAA college football game against Utah on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Napier Talks Gator Football After Win Over Tennessee

After Saturday’s 29-16 victory over Tennessee, the Gators have entered the top 25.

Florida coach Billy Napier said Monday the Gators (2-1) must stay humble despite the big win over the rival Vols.

Motivation for the Win Against Tennessee

After Florida’s Week 1 loss to Utah, UF fans were already predicting a disappointing season. The Gators had something to prove and bounced back with a win over McNeese State the following week. They knew they had a real test ahead of them with their SEC opener against Tennessee, which entered with a No. 11 ranking.

Napier discussed the team’s attitude going into Saturday’s game. He said the team got uncomfortable and that gave them the edge to play the way they did.

In addition, Napier highlighted the importance of teaching his team values to keep his players grounded throughout the season.

Looking Ahead to Charlotte

As the Gators prepare for their third straight home game on Saturday, Napier wants to stress the importance of keeping his players humble.

He also knows that in the past, the Gators were not able to sustain the momentum they gained from a big win. With the right preparation, Napier said he is confident that he can get his team where they need to be for Saturday.

Napier mentioned he hopes to avoid the Gators getting overconfident as a result of their win.

Tennessee was ranked No. 11, and the Gators were unranked. Napier aims to keep his players in check despite the amount of attention they may be receiving with the win and AP poll ranking.

Napier said if he notices anyone slacking after Saturday’s win, he will confront the issue.

“We all have human nature to get comfortable,” he said, “To relax, to not have the same urgency or detail, to not have the self-discipline to follow through. It’s our job to attack human nature when we see it.”

Napier Talks Fourth-Quarter Fight

After Graham Mertz was knocked down while attempting to run a few seconds off the clock before taking a knee, a brawl broke out. Most notably, Micah Mazzccua went viral on social media for getting in a boxing match with a Tennessee defender.

Napier spoke his thoughts on the exchange.

The No. 25 Gators are set to host the Charlotte 49ers this Saturday at 7 p.m. in The Swamp.

About Ainsley Davis

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

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