Main menu


Florida vs. Utah score, points: Anthony Richardson as Gators upset No. 7 Utes in Billy Napier's debut

featured image

One of college football’s Marquee Week 1 matchups will be played on Saturday as Florida defeats Utah No. 7 29-26 in the Swamp and begins Gators coach Billy Napier’s term with a win over the incumbent Pac-12 champions. I met the bill for the night. Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson made a two-yard touchdown run with 1:25 remaining before linebacker Amari Burney intercepted star Utah QB Cameron Rising in the endzone with 17 seconds remaining. led the Gators in .

Richardson stood out as the star of the back-and-forth all-night clutch play with arms and legs. In his first career in his hometown of Gainesville, Florida, his sophomore season saw him reach 168 yards on 17 of 24 passes, and rushed for 103 yards and a career-high 3-0. Added his 3 landing touchdowns. In addition to his two-minute lead at the end, Richardson’s breakaway 45 yards in the second quarter and his touchdown his skipper put Florida ahead with his 14–13 going into halftime.

Rising produced an impressive outing of his own, but was unable to lead Uté to a game-tying field goal or a potential game-winning touchdown on the final drive. He threw a near interception early in the final possession before Barney grabbed a Rising pass from inside the 6-yard line on the penultimate play of the game.

Florida runback Montrell Johnson Jr. tallied 77 yards rushing in his 12-man career and scored himself for a touchdown in the fourth quarter after a costly fumble on the Gators’ first drive of the game. has been redeemed. The freshman’s RB his Trevor Etienne, in his first career his game, he ran for 64 yards on five carries. Richardson also caught four passes for 67 yards with the help of Arizona State wide receiver Ricky Pearsall, leading all gator pass catchers.

Utah entered the season with college football playoff ambitions, but as the Napier era kicked off, a hungry team that seemed poised to make last season’s 6-7 record a thing of the past. They were compromised early on at the hands of the Florida team. Napier became the first coach to lead the Gators to victory over a ranked opponent in the first game as Florida won its 33rd straight home opener, continuing the nation’s longest active winning streak. .

What did we learn from the Gators’ dramatic win over the Utes? Let’s break down three takeaways from Saturday night’s game.

Richardson is a star

Johnson and Etienne made substantial contributions on the ground, Pearsall shone in his debut, but Richardson was clearly Florida’s MVP. After battling Arizona State-transferred Emory Jones for the starting job last season, Richardson looked like one of the potential breakout stars of the 2022 season. No wonder some expect him to be a first-round pick.

His three touchdown runs, especially his 45-yard streak to the left sideline, stood out, but Richardson’s two-point conversion pass with 12:48 remaining could have been the star of the game. Richardson fended off a pair of pass rushers with a pump fake and bought enough time to find the Jaquabion Fraziers wide open in the corner of the endzone following Johnson’s touchdown run, putting the Gators down to 22. -19 lead.

Without the two-point conversion, a mere field goal might have been enough to put Utah in the lead near the end of the game.

new ceiling in utah

Throughout the offseason, Utah has been anointed with the Pac-12’s best hopes of resolving a CFP drought dating back to 2016. Kyle began his 18th year with the program on Saturday night under his coach Whittingham, one of his most established programs in the country.

A loss in Week 1 doesn’t completely eliminate Utah from CFP contention, but it does make the task particularly difficult as it leaves no room for error. Utes was able to win the Pac-12 last season as he started with a 1-2 loss to BYU and San Diego State, but he finished 11th in the CFP rankings, far from true contenders. I’m out.

With Oregon, USC, and Washington all hiring new head coaches, Utah still has a great chance to repeat as conference champions. There is none. With Utah’s loss, the conference has been 1-8 against SEC teams in Week 1 of the last 11 seasons. The Pac-12 team ranked seven of these eight losses for him.

redemption is sweet

Florida’s defense looks to have improved under new co-coordinators Patrick Toney and Sean Spencer, following a lackluster tenure in the role of Todd Grantham under former coach Dan Mullen. However, Utah was consistently successful in finding tight end Brant Kais, finishing with nine catches for 105 yards and a touchdown. Often his three-time performer in the All-Pac 12, it was he Burney who played against Kuithe. However, the senior linebacker’s performance shortcomings were more than compensated for by his game-saving interception. I guess.

Bernie wasn’t the only one to redeem himself on Saturday. A fumble on the game’s drive ultimately led to Utah’s first touchdown, and Johnson not only held the ball for the rest of the contest, but made the most of the touch. His transfer, which followed Napier from Louisiana to Florida, was the Gators’ leading rusher with 89 total yards and scores for the evening.