With about 2.5 months left in college football’s offseason, teams are beginning to set their depth charts and prepare for their games. Expectations are mixed in Gainesville as people aren’t quite sure what new head coach Billy Napier can do in an offseason.
Here are 5 bold predictions for Florida football this year.
The Gators win 9 games this season
Expectations for the Gators are everywhere, but the general consensus is that they’ll win 6-7 games, maybe even 8. But when you look at the lineup and schedule, there’s not much reason UF can’t have at least 9 wins reach.
The only true street games this year are Tennessee, A&M, Vandy and FSU, the toughest of which appear to be in College Station. While UT is on the rise, the Gators handled them easily at home and should be preferred again this year.
With the roads not too difficult and The Swamp’s home court field advantage being very reliable all season, the Gators should be competitive in almost every game and have a good shot to win them.
Anthony Richardson is a Heisman finalist
Now that it’s time for AR to be the lead QB for Florida, you can expect him to bring that to the country’s attention. There is no aspect of his physical abilities that can be questioned. He can run, throw, hurdle, turn, everything.
The only real question mark is his decision making but with a full spring training session and no road test through week 4 he will have plenty of time to settle in and improve his ability to take good readings.
If Richardson sums it all up, there aren’t many QBs who can do what he can.
Marcus Burke becomes a top 5 SEC receiver
This might be the boldest of the boldest versions on this list, but it’s not impossible. Burke has a great distance at 6’4”-187.
He didn’t have much to offer last year, his only appearance being Florida’s blowout loss to South Carolina. In that game, he had 2 catches for 73 yards, one of which was a 61-yard gain.
Burke has all the physical tools needed to be a great receiver. With more reps and goals, he will quickly establish himself as an elite pass catcher.
The defense is top 15 in the country
UF fans aren’t used to seeing poor defense in The Swamp, but that’s what they’ve gotten over the last two years. It ranked 51st in overall defense last season and 74th in 2020.
This is partly due to the previous coaching staff. Players who are still with the team have spoken about how much more energy the new team has and how previous coaches had sent in the season and didn’t have great chemistry.
Defense is brimming with talent, with guys like Gervon Dexter and Brenton Cox on the D-line, Ventrell Miller returning from injury at LB, and Jason Marshall Jr. paired with Trey Dean in the secondary.
Alligators win 2 between Utah-UGA-A&M
Florida is a name you expect to play and win big games. This standard will return this season. With Utah in opening week in Gainesville, a revenge game in College Station and the eternal rivalry in Jacksonville, the Gators are in a great place to wreak havoc this year.
If I had to guess, Florida is beating Utah and the Aggies. Only time will tell how capable the Gators are of winning these big games.
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