Changing the Culture.
With Napier’s first game as Florida’s coach, it really is a story you have to love. A night game in Gainsville, with a young hometown hero named the starter, against a top 10 playoff hopeful team. The Gators showed who they are, and how they want to move on after a disappointing 2021 season. With a statement win early Florida showed they will not be a push over this year by any means.
Florida virtually dominated at the O-line, rushing for 283 yards with 4 touchdowns, and gave up 0 sacks against a Utah defense that was impressive last year. On the defensive side, multiple goal-line stands against the #7 team in the country, prove there is amazing potential on this team. Despite the secondary struggles giving up over 200 yards in the air, they made a play when it counted the most, with the game winning INT.
Gator of the night
Anthony Richardson is that guy. No doubt last year AR’s decision making was the biggest issue in his game. The pocket awareness and accuracy were night and day from last year, and in this game, I’ve never seen him more comfortable. 3 Touchdowns, 106 yards on just 11 rush attempts, he made it look easy with his athleticism. We knew his ability on the ground, the real question was in the air department. 17/24 in the air and 168 yards, despite not having a TD, the potential was still there. A great game for the young QB, now the only question Gator fans should have, is can he do this on a consistent basis.
Florida showed they have weapons at their disposal.
- Ricky Pearsall – The Arizona State transfer had 67 yards on just 4 receptions
- Xzavier Henderson- The athletic sophomore had 41 yards on 6 receptions
- Montrell Johnson- The sophomore transfer that came with Napier, had 75 yards on the ground on 12 touches with a TD
- Trevor Etienne- The explosive freshman, had 64 yards on only 5 carries
What this game Meant for Florida
A big test early for Napier in his first year is exactly what they needed to set the tone. Showing the new additions and improvements they have made is what this fan-base wanted after the Dan Mullen era. Napier who has expressed the importance of in state recruiting, had reportedly over 40 recruits show for this game. Important game in more ways than one, and no doubt Gator fans have plenty to look forward too.