2023 Florida Gators Season Review - Bet on College Football

2023 Florida Gators Season Review

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Second-year Florida Gators head coach Billy Napier again failed to produce a bowl berth. And the natives, who are always restless in Gainesville, are about to bail. Napier was hired to improve recruiting and facilities. Florida had fallen behind other SEC schools as far as staffing and equipment. Napier moved fast to fix it and got the financial support to do so. But so far, that investment is not translating into on-field success.

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2023 Florida Gators Season Review

Last game, the Florida Gators lost 24-15 against the Florida State Seminoles as 6.5-point home dogs. The game went under the total of 49. Florida has a record of 5-7 straight up, 4-8 against the spread, and 7-4 over/under the total. Florida ranks 50th for total offense, 46th for passing, 75th for rushing and 59th for scoring. Defensively, they rank 69th overall, 67th against the pass, 78th against the rush, and 81st for points allowed. Also, Florida ranks 83rd for fewest turnovers lost and 133rd for takeaways.

Trey Benson tied a career high with three rushing touchdowns to lead Florida State to a victory over Florida.

Benson went for 95 yards on 19 carries as the Seminoles leaned on their running game and defense after losing starting quarterback Jordan Travis to a season-ending leg injury last week.

The Gators, who also lost their starting quarterback last week when Graham Mertz suffered a collarbone fracture, came up short of clinching bowl eligibility for the first time since going 4-7 in 2017.

Benson's third score -- a 26-yard touchdown run with 2:48 left in the fourth quarter -- sealed the outcome for Florida State.

Jared Verse recorded 2.5 sacks, and Patrick Payton had two to lead Florida State's defense, which had six sacks.

But getting the win wasn't easy for the Seminoles and Tate Rodemaker, who made his first start this season and completed 12 of 25 passes for 134 yards. Rodemaker did not throw a touchdown pass, but he did not throw an interception, either.

Rodemaker didn't get into much of a rhythm until the final drive of the first half, as the Gators sacked him three times for the game and brought constant pressure early on. A blitz resulted in a sack of Rodemaker in the end zone for a safety with 5:08 left in the first half and a 12-0 Florida lead.

The Gators' Max Brown completed 9 of 16 passes for 86 yards. But it was Florida's running game that helped the Gators start strong. Montrell Johnson Jr. finished with 107 yards on 18 carries and put the Gators ahead early on with a 5-yard touchdown run.

But Rodemaker later hit his stride and led a 10-play, 90-yard drive that was capped with a 1-yard touchdown run by Benson with 26 seconds left in the first half. A 36-yard touchdown run by Benson put the Seminoles ahead 14-12 with 12:31 left in the third quarter before Florida answered with a 37-yard field goal by Trey Smack to go back up at 15-14.

Keon Coleman's 34-yard punt return to Florida State's 43 sparked a go-ahead scoring drive, which put the Seminoles ahead 17-15 with 7:17 left thanks to Ryan Fitzgerald's 19-yard field goal.

Billy Napier has one final chance in 2024 to change the narrative.

2023 Florida Gators Football Schedule

Aug 31 at Utah L 11-24 0-1
Sep 9 vs. McNeese State W 49-7 1-1
Sep 16 vs. Tennessee W 29-16 2-1
Sep 23 vs. Charlotte W 22-7 3-1
Sep 30 at Kentucky L 14-33 3-2
Oct 7 vs. Vanderbilt W 38-14 4-2
Oct 14 at South Carolina W 41-39 5-2
Oct 28 vs. Georgia L 20-43 5-3
Nov 4 vs. Arkansas L 36-39 5-4
Nov 11 at LSU L 35-52 5-5
Nov 18 at Missouri L 31-33 5-6
Nov 25 vs. Florida State L 15-24 5-7

The Florida Gators are not a traditional power but a recent one. Florida has three national championships (1996, 2006, 2008) and eight conference titles, all of which came in 1991 or after. Steve Spurrier is the greatest Gator who ever lived. Spurrier won the 1966 Heisman Trophy as quarterback and placekicker. Subsequently, he returned to lead Florida to the 1996 national championship and six SEC titles.

Another legendary head coach at Florida was Urban Meyer. Meyer led the Gators to two national titles with Heisman Trophy winning QB Tim Tebow. Other famed Gator players include Emmitt Smith, Danny Wuerffel, Jack Youngblood, and Wilber Marshall.

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2023 College Football Schedule

Alabama Crimson Tide Auburn Tigers Baylor Bears
Clemson Tigers Colorado Buffaloes Florida Gators
Florida State Seminoles Georgia Bulldogs Illinois Fighting Illini
Iowa Hawkeyes Kansas State Wildcats LSU Tigers
Miami-FL Hurricanes Michigan Wolverines Mississippi Rebels
North Carolina State Wolfpack North Carolina Tar Heels Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Ohio State Buckeyes Oklahoma Sooners Oklahoma State Cowboys
Oregon Ducks Oregon State Beavers Penn State Nittany Lions
South Carolina Gamecocks TCU Horned Frogs Tennessee Volunteers
Texas Longhorns Texas A&M Aggies Texas Tech Red Raiders
Tulane Green Wave UCLA Bruins USC Trojans
Utah Utes Washington Huskies Wisconsin Badgers

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