Following the humiliating loss in Columbia last week, the Gators return home on Saturday with a matchup against Samford.
Both Samford and the Gators sit at 4-5 overall.
Additionally, the Gators have (finally) made several moves with the coaching staff as defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and OL coach John Hevesy have been dismissed. What changes will be made by the interim staff?
The following are our staff’s predictions for the Florida – Samford:
Samford is not a good team and will be drastically overmatched against the Gators, who are spending $525,000 to play the Bulldogs. Samford has a solid run game to go with a capable pass game. Last week against the Citadel, the Bulldogs rushed for more than 250 yards. They also spread the ball to four different receivers that have more than 30 receptions. The Samford defense is atrocious. They allow 35 points per game and Florida should find the end zone frequently. Gators, 45-20.
Florida’s been reeling since the loss to Kentucky with Ls in three of the last four games, including three straight. It got so bad Dan Mullen had to can two of his friends at the beginning of the week. Now, the Gators have a get right game against FCS Samford. Chris Hatcher’s group is struggling too. Their defense is not great but the Bulldogs offense is one of the best in FCS. I expect the Gators to take full advantage of the buy game and maybe get themselves back in a groove before two important games to close out the season. This season’s already about looking ahead so hopefully it gives the Gators an opportunity to showcase some younger talent. And it allows for interim defensive coordinator Christian Robinson and interim offensive line coach Mike Sollenne to serve in their new roles in a not-very-high-stakes contest. Gators win big. Florida, 42-10.
After an embarrassing loss to South Carolina, the call for change could no longer be ignored. Grantham and Hevesy are out – so what happens now? The Gators intend to cut their three-game losing streak against the Samford Bulldogs, and I think they will. Samford, despite toting an identical 4-5 record, hasn’t beat an SEC team since its 1934 win over Ole Miss. The Bulldogs are unranked in the FCS with two losses to ranked opponents, however, following a stunning 17-40 loss against the Gamecocks, Florida must enter the game humbly. Logically speaking, the Gator defense should put up better numbers against the Dogs, but any positive changes won’t be clear until after Missouri and FSU. Offensively, Anthony Richardson’s hotel-dancing injury should be healed up come Saturday and grant his return to the offensive arsenal. All in all, the Gators need to worry about minimizing turnovers, cleaning up a sloppy defense and breaking this losing streak.
Florida and Samford will kick off from the Swamp at 12:00 PM on Saturday. The game will not be broadcast on national tv, but will be streamed through SEC Network + and ESPN +.