The Athletic’s SEC first impressions has Florida ranked last

Florida football stumbled out of the gates against the Utah Utes to open the 2023 schedule on Thursday, unleashing an avalanche of pessimism among both fans and the media. The Gators simply looked flat and under-coached, and while the game was expected to be a tough one, simply gave no reason for optimism.

Among the many to cast their opinions now that Week 1 of the college football campaign is all but in the books is The Athletic’s Seth Emerson, who published his SEC football first impressions on Monday. In his article, Emerson ranked Florida last in the conference, scolding the team for its miscues.

“On its surface, going almost across the country to face the 14th-ranked team and losing by only 13 is respectable,” Emerson admitted. “But Utah was using its backup quarterback, the score was deceiving, and it was how the Gators looked that was the issue. How does a team have two players with the same jersey number on punt coverage?”

However, there is a chance that the humiliating defeat will be a learning experience the program can grow from.

“Maybe Billy Napier’s group rebounds and it’s the reverse of last year when beating Utah at home didn’t prove the right indicator of the season to come. But based on what we saw in this year’s opener, there’s a long way to go.”

The Gators have an opportunity to even up their record against the McNeese Cowboys, who travel to Gainesville to face them on Saturday, Sept. 9, inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium with a kickoff time slated for 7:30 p.m. EDT.

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Story originally appeared on Gators Wire