Florida Football: USA TODAY Sports has Gators among Week 1 winners – Gators Wire

It was a magical night in the Swamp on Saturday as a sell-out crowd gathered to witness one of Florida football’s biggest victories ever to open a season against the Utah Utes.
A mild underdog according to the bookmakers, the home team came in unranked while the visitors arrived ranked in the top 10 of both major polls. The Beehive State boys carried high expectations into the season, especially after winning the Pac-12 crown in 2021.
Meanwhile in Gainesville, the program saw some significant changes in the offseason and presented something of an enigma with an unproven new head coach at the helm. Billy Napier offered a lot of promise but had yet to walk the walk.
Among those impressed with the Gators’ performance on Saturday night was USA TODAY Sports’ Paul Myerberg, who offered the following take in his Week 1 college football winners and losers article.
And for good measure, one last first-year head coach hit the ground running in a major way: Florida’s Billy Napier led the Gators to a 29-26 upset of No. 8 Utah behind a Heisman-level show from quarterback Anthony Richardson — 168 yards passing, 104 rushing and three scores — and a bend-but-don’t-break defense that gave up 446 yards of offense but delivered the game-clinching interception with less than a minute left. If you’re doing the math at home: Utah, the preseason favorite in the Pac-12 and a playoff contender, lost to a team picked to finish fourth in the SEC East. Fourth! In the weaker of the league’s two divisions!
That about sums it up. However, Myerberg does undersell Florida a bit, but that attitude will not last very long. The next game against the Kentucky Wildcats at home will better define who these Gators are, but for the time being, this team is looking pretty darn good.
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