Kickoff for Florida football’s season-opening game against the Utah Utes in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium is merely hours away. The Gator Nation and the rest of the country anxiously prepare for Week 1 action as the doldrums of summer finally come to a close to give way to autumn gridiron action.
Florida’s first opponent is a tough one that enters the ring with a top-10 spot in both major polls along with high expectations following a Pac-12 championship in 2021. The bookmarkers’ spread for the game is both modest and consistent across the board, with a majority predicting a win for the visitors but a vocal minority also calling for a home team upset.
Among the many in the media projecting their outcomes is CBS Sports’ Shehan Jeyarajah, who opined in his publication’s Week 1 college football picks article, picking Utah to prevail by three points.
The Utes head into a culmination year right as the Gators enter Year 1 of a rebuild, and the stakes have never been higher for the visitors. While there’s a major recruiting gap between these two programs, Utah has not shied away from recruiting stars in the past. In the Rose Bowl, it took Ohio State to the limit. The Utes also crushed Oregon twice to ruin the Ducks’ College Football Playoff case. Chalk this one up as a historic victory for the program.
That three-point margin is consistent with a vast amount of the odds out there, which gives the prediction a bit of a cheap, lazy feeling to it. Jeyarajah seems to feel strongly in favor of the Utes but is reluctant to give them a substantial margin. Perhaps the Gators are more concerning than they are made out to be?
The answer will come starting at 7 p.m. EDT on Saturday night in the Swamp.
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