Florida Football: USA TODAY Sports predicts UF season opener vs Utah – Gators Wire

Get ready, Gator fans, the return of the gridiron giants is just around the corner! While college football got an early start last weekend in its Week 0 action the first Saturday of September represents the full unveiling of the 2022 season.
Florida is facing its toughest opponent to start the season in recent memory, having avoided underdog status in every home opener in the Swamp dating back to 1978. However, the Utah Utes arrive in Gainesville this year ranked among the top teams in the country in both major polls while the Gators are unranked. This marks the first time the visitor was favored since 1969 when the Gators beat the No. 7-ranked Houston Cougars en route to a 9-1-1 season.
As such, the oddsmakers have been bearish on the Orange and Blue’s chances at Florida Field, albeit favoring the visitors by a narrow margin. Many among the media have also put their bets on Utah, though not necessarily everyone is a believer.
USA TODAY Sports published its Week 1 in college football picks and one writer, Jace Evans, took the bold approach and called for an upset for the Gators against the Utes. Here is how he justified his opinion.
Florida will pull off the first major upset of the 2022 season in taking down No. 8 Utah. Little is expected of the Gators this year – too little, in my opinion. This is still Florida, and there’s still plenty of talent here for Billy Napier to work with in his first season. Quarterback Anthony Richardson could become a star in the SEC, and this game may serve as his breakout. Plus, Florida will have a major home-field advantage – “The Swamp” in early September just sounds unpleasant.
Evans was not the only one who favors Florida in this matchup. Columnist Dan Wolken also picked the Gators to prevail, though their four other peers picked the Utes. We will all find out soon enough how this plays out when the foot meets the ball at 7 p.m. EDT on September 3.
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Here are five things to watch for this weekend as Florida hosts Kentucky in week two of the college football season.
Here’s ESPN’s breakdown of Florida’s next matchup.
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