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Florida faces UCF Thursday evening in the Gasparilla Bowl, and the depth chart provided in the bowl guide won’t be exactly the same as what’s on the field.
A number of Florida’s typical players are missing the final game of the year for various reasons. The offense will be without leading receiver Jacob Copeland and backup left tackle Gerald Mincey. Justin Shorter will take over as the No. 1 receiver on the team with Xzavier Henderson and Ja’Markis Weston behind him. Rick Wells and Trent Whittemore are unaffected in the slot.
Mincey played in ten games for Florida this season before transferring to Tennessee, providing some valuable depth on the offensive line. If all of the starters are healed up, his absence shouldn’t hurt the team too bad. There is the looming threat of UCF’s star defensive lineman Big kat Bryant, though.
The other big story on offense is Emory Jones starting what should be his final game as a Gator before entering the transfer portal. Anthony Richardson is listed as out with a knee injury so Carlos Del Rio-Wilson should be the backup in Tampa. Running back Dameon Pierce will also be playing after there was some speculation that he could miss the game.
Defensive lineman Zachary Carter will be missing the game as he prepares for the upcoming NFL draft. Brenton Cox Jr. was outstanding this year on the opposite side of the line as Carter, but now UCF will get to focus solely on him. Jeremiah Moon and sophomore Princely Umanmielen are candidates to get some of Carter’s snaps with Khris Bogle transferring to Michigan State and junior edge rusher Dante Zanders entering the portal as well. If there’s one area of concern for Florida it’s up front on defense.
The front seven will also be without leading tackler Mohamoud Diabate, who stepped in as the positional leader of the team after Ventrell Miller went down with an injury early in the year. He too is in the transfer portal and isn’t risking things against UCF.