Where USA TODAY Sports sees Florida playing its bowl game after Week 2

Florida football evened up its 2023 regular-season record with a 49-7 win over the Football Championship Subdivision McNeese State Cowboys last weekend in the team’s home opener. The victory represented a bounce back from a lackluster performance in the opening game against the Utah Utes.

While the Orange and Blue were not expected to prevail in Salt Lake City, Billy Napier’s boys looked out of sync in every aspect of the game which gave the media even more reason to cast its bearish opinions on his year’s squad. The win last weekend showed a good deal of improvement but came against an overmatched opponent.

Heading into last weekend, USA TODAY Sports’ bowl projections left the Gators out in its first edition. With the win, Florida is now in line for a postseason game — albeit at an uninspiring venue.

This week, Napier and Co. are expected to play in the Birmingham Bowl against the Southern Methodist Mustangs on Dec. 23. The Orange and Blue have participated in a bowl game there before back in 2014 when interim head coach D.J. Durkin led the team to a win over the East Carolina Pirates after Will Muschamp left the team.

Next up for Florida are the Tennessee Volunteers, who come to Gainesville on Saturday, Sept. 16, for the SEC schedule opener between two historic rivals. The opening kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. EDT and the game can be watched on ESPN.

The full USA TODAY Sports bowl predictions can be found below.

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Story originally appeared on Gators Wire