Florida vs. South Florida: Pick, prediction, spread, odds, football game time, watch live stream, TV channel

By OnlyGators.com Staff
September 17, 2022
Florida vs. South Florida: Pick, prediction, spread, odds, football game time, watch live stream, TV channel

Image Credit: Graphic by Michael Nash

No team in the nation has had a higher high and lower low through two weeks of the 2022 college football season than the No. 18 Florida Gators, which also enter Saturday as the only program in the nation to play AP Top 25 opponents in consecutive games to start the campaign. If head coach Billy Napier wanted his program to get experienced succeeding and failing, well, mission accomplished.

Napier this week focused on getting Florida to confront its truths — not only looking at ways in which the team has improved, but more importantly, all the areas in which it is nowhere near ready to compete at a national championship level. Those were obvious last week when a tough Kentucky team visited Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and exposed a UF team still under construction.

The Gators now have an opportunity to prove to Napier that those lessons taught this week have been learned. No player better personifies this than sophomore quarterback Anthony Richardson, who put together a horrendous performance in his second home start just one week after looking like a potential Heisman Trophy contender. Richardson has yet to throw a touchdown through two full games, and all three of his rushing scores came in Week 1 against Utah.

As we wrote this preseason, Florida will only go so far as Richardson takes it this season. Performances like the one he put together last week will not lead the Gators to victory, and he must put together a better effort in a potential get-right performance against a Bulls team that has lost by an average of 23 points per game across two meetings in this series. UF will be down a couple starters, but its talent level and homefield advantage should be more than enough to get the job done.

What will go down Saturday when Florida hosts South Florida do battle? Let’s find out.

Tale of the tape

No. 18 Florida GatorsSouth Florida Bulls
Head coachBilly NapierJeff Scott

Injuries and absences

Questionable (1): CB Jaydon Hill (knee)
Out (6): LB Ventrell Miller (lower body), RT Michael Tarquin (lower body), QB Jack Miller III (thumb), TE Arlis Boardingham (shoulder), OL David Conner (thumb), LS Marco Ortiz (upper body)

Viewing information

Date: Saturday, Sept. 17 | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium — Gainesville, Florida [88,548]

TV: SEC Network (Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers, Cole Cubelic)
Live stream: WatchESPN | SiriusXM: 158/192 | Radio: WRUF, TuneIn
Live updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

Game notes

» Florida is 2-0 all-time against South Florida (1-0 in The Swamp) with an average victory margin of 23 points.
» The Gators have won 13 straight regular-season nonconference games since 2018.
» Napier and Scott are facing off for the first time after coaching together at Clemson from 2008-10.
» Napier saw a streak of 13 straight victories snap with last week’s loss to Kentucky.
» UF is 170-33 in The Swamp since 1990, boasting the second-best home winning percentage (.837) in the nation across that span.
» The Gators are 7-11 against ranked opponents (2-4 vs. top five teams, 5-7 vs. top 10 teams) and 28-8 against unranked opponents since 2018. UF is the only team in the nation to play ranked opponents in its first two games this season.
» Florida has scored 24+ points in only three of its last eight games.
» UF is one of two FBS teams nationally (Alabama) that has not yet lost to an opponent that finished the season with a losing record since 2004.
» The Gators have scored in 425 consecutive games, an NCAA record.

Prediction and analysis

Spread: Florida -22 | O/U: 58

Florida led this game 35-3 at halftime a year ago before replacing its starters and taking its foot off the gas in the second half in what was ultimately a 22-point win (same as today’s spread). While questions remain about the Gators offense, there’s no doubt this is a get-right opportunity for Richardson. The Bulls did improve in the offseason by welcoming numerous key transfers that enhanced their overall talent level, but Florida is playing sound defense this season and gets this game at home in The Swamp. That’s tough for the most experienced programs to handle, let alone a growing team like USF. This should be far more of a one-sided affair than it was last year, which the Gators should cover with the total staying under.

2022 records: ATS picks 0-2 | O/U picks 1-1

Odds and ends

» Uniforms: Florida will wear blue jerseys, white pants and orange helmets for the third of six games this year and third straight contest.

» Game night: The Gators have enhanced their night game experience. Expect to see fireworks from atop the stadium along with flame towers, lights and smoke on the field during the team’s entrance.

» Honorary Mr. Two Bits: National championship men’s tennis player Ben Shelton will lead the faithful in Week 3.

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