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Fired Up Saturday: Florida Struggles Against Utah, Battle of the Carolinas, and the Hokies Faceoff with the Monarchs

The Florida Gators opened up their 2023 college football season against the Utah Utes in Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, Utah on Thursday night and it was not good.  I had high hopes for this game.  With Utah’s starting quarterback Cam Rising still recovering from his ACL injury from the Rose Bowl game, I was hoping the Gators could take advantage of that. 

After the 70-yard touchdown bomb that Utah’s backup QB Bryson Barnes threw in the opening drive, however, pretty much extinguished any hope of Florida winning this game.  At this point, I was praying it would be close matchup, but even that was not answered.

Utah was firing on all cylinders.  Florida, though, couldn’t catch a pass, block a defender, or even keep track of player’s jerseys.  The Gators looked lost and it showed.

Execution. That’s the word; that’s the theme. That’s what I need to see from myself; I need to hold myself accountable to that, and I need to see that across the board. I am going to push the guys every day. We just have to execute.

Florida Gators Head Football Coach Billy Napier

Execution indeed.  They could not execute anything, it seemed. It was bad, really bad.

Dropped passes, missed blocks, sacks, lack of protection, and penalties killed any hopes of getting back in the game. 

There were few good things.

Starting Gator QB Graham Mertz threw for 333 yards and a touchdown and showed signs of pose and accuracy, if the offensive line could just give him a few more seconds of protection. 

This is only one game.  There is a lot of football left to right this ship, but with Coach Napier on his second season, the pressure will be on.

Thank God football is back, but my Gators will need some divine intervention to have any hopes of having a productive year. 


This Fired Up Saturday brings a few games I’ll be watching tonight, mainly the Battle of the Carolinas and Virginia Tech against ODU.  Why the Gamecock versus Tar Heel matchup is not a yearly thing is beyond me, but I like it! 

Other games I’ll be watching are the Tennessee and Virginia game and Ohio State versus Indiana. 

College football is back and I’m all about it! 

Time to get fired up!! 

Sources: CBS Sports | | AP College Football