Florida mistakes help lead to loss

by Gary Shelton on September 1, 2023

in general

Friday, 4 a.m.

Before the Florida Gators can beat anyone else, they first must stop beating the Florida Gators.

The stumbling, bumbling Gators contributed to their own demise Thursday night in a 24-11 loss to 14th-ranked Utah. The Gators, entering their second season under coach Billy Napier, couldn’t get out of their own way.

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Among other things, the Gators:

— Gave up a 70-yard touchdown pass on Utah’s first play of the game.

— Were one-for-13 on third down.

— Had a false start penalty on fourth-and-one at the Utah 9.

— Missed a 42-yard field goal that would have closed the deficit to one point.

— Had a 21-yard punt.

— Had an illegal procedure on third-and-one.

— Gave up an interception that led to Utah’s 24th point.

— Fielded two punts inside the five.

— Gave up five sacks.

The Gators, 6-7, were facing a Utah team without its starting quarterback (Cam Rising( and seven other starters, but never quite seemed in synch. Utah seemed quicker, more efficient.

New Florida quarterback Graham Mertz threw for 333 yards and one touchdown.

The Gators  play at home against McNeese State on Sept. 9.

The predictions:

LSU 17; FSU 16.

Western Kentucky 28, USF 21.

TCU 23, Colorado 16

North Carolina 30, South Carolina 13

Ohio State 40, Indiana 3

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