Florida Gators 2022 College Football Preview
Created August 9, 2022
ATS – 3-9-1
CHOMP CHOMP rolled into their week three match-up with ROLL TIDE and came really close to pulling off a major upset (L 31-29). They were a disappointing and disjointed bunch the rest of the way and finished the regular season with a record of 6-6. UCF handled the Gators with relative ease in the Gasparilla Bowl (W 29-17) and that meant a third losing season over the L9Y in Gainesville.
Let’s see what new HC Billy Napier has to work with heading into 2022.
Florida Gators 2022 Outlook
CHOMP CHOMP did a decent job picking up yardage LY (463 YPG, #4 SEC) but didn’t SCORE the FOOTBALL as much as the yardage would suggest (30.7 PPG, #7 SEC). The big problem was inconsistency and turnovers at the QB position as Emory Jones and Anthony Richardson combined for a heinous 25-18 TD to INT ratio. Richardson has all the talent in the world, is a dangerous runner, and looks great coming off the bus, but he’s gotta get a lot better as a passer. Only two of the Gators’ top-seven pass catchers are back for battle so it’ll be up to WR Justin Shorter to take the next step (550, 13.4, 3 TD) and maybe Arizona St transfer Ricky Pearsall can blossom into a legit dood? There’s bad news at RB with the departure of their reliable and productive 1-2 punch of Dameon Pierce and Malik Davis who combined for over 1,000 yards and 18 (!) TDs on the ground in 2021. The Gators are fortunate to have landed RB Montrell Johnson from Louisiana (838, 12 TD LY) and he’s definitely got the size and ability to be a #1 SEC workhorse. We also like the small handful of RBs with high upside that surround Johnson. The rushing attack should be just fine running behind an experienced OL and recall that the Gators allowed just 14 sacks in 2021. This has the look of an above-average SEC offense, but one that could be lacking in THROW GAME explosiveness. Time will tell!
The Gators were pretty average across the board LY and the first order of business has to be shoring up a run defense that has allowed 160+ YPG three times in the L4Y. Who can forget LSU (321) and South CACKALACKY (284) just ripping them to shreds without mercy? Those were good times. Seven starters return on defense and the Gators have a lot of highly-recruited players that should be able to make things easier for the new defensive coaching staff. The DL is probably the biggest question mark on defense but they have a lot of size and several young guys with fantastic pedigree. They might be better than advertised up front. Florida will be solid at the mid-level of the defense as they are led by star LB Brenton Cox (8.5 sacks, 12 QBH) and friends, and we expect better performance out of a secondary that returns three starters including #1 tackler safety Trey Dean. They should be able to deal with the loss of a #1 NFL DC at CB (Kaiir Elam, Bills). This looks like an average bunch with a LOT of upside IF the coaches can get these guys playing as a TOIT unit sooner, rather than later.
They’ll need to find a new PK and a replacement for KR Malik Davis, but at least they get back punter Jeremy Crawshaw (40.0). Keep your eye on highly-touted freshman PK Trey SMACK.
Overall – The Gators start off with three home games but two of those are tough ones (Utah, Kentucky). In fact, they only play one (!) true road game before November rolls around. Florida misses ROLL TIDE but have to travel to College Station to take on Texas A&M.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – September 17 – South Florida
This will be their 3rd consecutive home game and it’s a tricky SEC sandwich spot (Kentucky, at Tennessee).
Season Win Total
per BetOnline Aug 9
Over 7 -130
Under 7 +100
That looks about right. There’s way more upside than downside with this squad, but we’ll just have to assess these guys on a week-to-week basis.
New HC Billy Napier made it a priority to protect the home field whilst with the Cajuns (20-3, .870).
The Gators have done well in the Orange Bowl (4-0) and Gator Bowl (7-2), but no so much when competing in the Citrus Bowl (2-4) or Sugar Bowl (3-6).
This is clearly one of the more interesting programs in the country. They boast a potential superstar at QB and one of the most promising young head coaches in the nation. The Gators could be a very dangerous team if a lot of the young talent blossoms all at once. Unlikely, but not impossible. Potential SEC SURPRISE PACKAGE.
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