The Athletic projects Florida to play in this bowl game

The Athletic’s Scott Dochterman and Stewart Mandel have released their latest bowl projections. They have the Gators playing in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida on Friday, Dec. 30 against Notre Dame.

Notre Dame shares one big similarity with the Florida Gators. Marcus Freeman is in his first year as head coach of the Irish, just like Billy Napier is in his first year as head coach for the Gators. Freeman was promoted from defensive coordinator to head coach after Brian Kelly left for LSU last season.

He served as head coach in the team’s Fiesta Bowl loss to Oklahoma State last season, then started the 2022 season 0-2 after losses against Ohio State and Marshall. The Irish bounced back after their slow start and sit at 5-3, with games against Clemson, Navy, Boston College, and USC remaining.

The Gators are coming off a 42-20 defeat to the Georgia Bulldogs, putting their record at 4-4. They have one home game remaining, against South Carolina, so they’ll need to produce on the road if they want to achieve bowl eligibility. Their biggest test remaining is a road game against Florida State. The special Black Friday matchup will serve as the Gators’ regular-season finale.

The Irish will host Clemson this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. EDT and the game will be broadcast on NBC Sports. The Gators will travel to College Station to take on Texas A&M with kickoff scheduled for noon EDT and will be broadcast on ESPN.

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Story originally appeared on Gators Wire