Florida Gators vs Utah Utes Prediction

Florida Gators vs Utah Utes

The Gators open up year 2 of the Billy Napier era against Utah for the second time. Last season, former Florida Gator quarterback and top-4 pick Anthony Richardson lead the Gators to a win. However, Richardson is gone and Graham Mertz is in.

Mertz comes over by way of the transfer portal from Wisconsin. Unlike Richardson, Mertz isn’t as athletic. Wisconsin isn’t known for having duel threat quarterbacks. Needless to say, Napier is going to want Mertz to lead like or even better than Richardson.

The Utah Utes finished last year as the two-time defending Pac-12 Champions. Although the Pac-12 is dissolving right before our eyes, Utah still holds the crown. The Utes have a formidable defense and an explosive offense.

However, Utah might or might not have their star quarterback from last year starting the season opener. Cameron Rising is listed as questionable due to a knee injury. Rising is ever bit of a dog on the field as any player in the country.

A slimmer and slightly faster version of Florida’s legend Tim Tebow. Utah hasn’t stated if Rising will play or not, but that’s the beauty of week 1.

So, what can we expect from Florida in week 1?

Mertz Is A Game Manager

As nice as it is to have a veteran quarterback, Mertz was probably not the guy Florida rushed to sign. The Florida Gators will realize that Mertz is a game manager and not a game changer. When you come from having Kyle Trask and Anthony Richardson, it can be a little humbling to have a game manager.

Nevertheless, this realization could be a good thing for the Gators. Having a game manger under center will allow the other offensive positions to develop. Receivers will run better routes knowing their quarterback won’t scramble. Additionally, the running backs will most likely get more carriers because the offense will be called more traditionally.

Ultimately, this Utah matchup will do wonders for Florida and their offense overall.

The Gators Are Running Team

The 2023 Florida Gators season will be labeled a running year. The Gators will have to run the ball if they hope to have a successful game. Utah doesn’t have the biggest front seven, so the Gators should be able to get a push on the line.

Last season, the Gators managed to rush for 283 and 4 touchdowns on the ground. Granted, Richardson counted for majority of those yards and 3 of the touchdowns. I expect this year to be a little different since the offense will have to be balanced.

Florida vs Utah Final

Although Florida won in 2022, the Gators won’t have an elite talent under center. Unless Mertz steps his game up, we shouldn’t expect much. But, Florida does have a few players that were key players in this game last year as freshman. The experience in game 1 vs game 2 will play a big factor.

Florida’s secondary will need to be better against Utah compared to 2022. Tight end Brant Kuithe is back this year. Kuithe had 9 catches for 105 yards and 1 touchdown in last years game.

Leave a Reply