Napier
Florida Gators Head Coach Billy Napier looks at the crowd moments before a Gators touchdown at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023. Napier became the ninth coach with 50 or more wins since 2018. (Augustus Hoff/WRUF)

Napier Talks About Accountability Ahead of LSU Matchup

Billy Napier has receipts. According to Napier in today’s press conference, he’s been taking notes on his staff, fans and the coverage of games by the media. He used his usual vocabulary of team qualities like “accountability” and “leadership,” but patience is one term that Gator fans don’t have.

Commitment

While the Gators’ season hasn’t gone the way Napier wanted, he emphasized the team’s ability to grow and learn.  Unlike Georgia or Alabama, veterans don’t dominate the roster. A team predominately filled with freshman and sophomores will have growing pains. However, the Gators football team hasn’t found a way to get all of the players performing at a high level at the same time.

For example, Trey Smack was named the SEC Co-Special Teams Player of the Week in Week 7. He made four out of five field goals and tied his career-long field goal record after making a 54-yard attempt. Against Arkansas, he only completed one out of the two attempts from more than 40 yards.

Smack isn’t the issue. It isn’t a special team’s issue. It’s the Gators’ inability to get all of the gears going. And, when that happens, the Gators have trouble matching their competition.

However, Napier talked about team’s ability to unite behind a common goal.

Accountability

Napier has consistently shown a level of accountability while expressing his own frustration. He repeated his belief that the players shouldn’t be blamed for coaching mistakes. He spoke about the qualities that he saw in his team despite the losses.

He also talked about how the responsibility falls on himself as the head coach of the team.

On LSU

The Gators need to figure out a way to compete with LSU this Saturday. While Mertz has shown an ability to compete, throwing 17 touchdowns and only two interceptions. But, the LSU team is ranked No. 14 for a reason. They have put up more than 30 points in seven of their eight games. Quarterback Jayden Daniels has thrown for more than 2,500 yards and has 27 touchdowns on the season.

Napier talked about the ability of LSU and how their team excels:

In other words, it’s going to be an uphill battle, and the Gators’ haven’t shown the ability to go toe-to-toe with a ranked opponent.

About Liana Handler

Liana Handler is a sophmore at the University of Florida, studying sports journalism.

Check Also

Florida’s Valby Voted SEC Female Athlete Of Year

Selecting Florida’s Parker Valby as the SEC Female Athlete of the Year had to have …