One of the frustrating things watching the 2022 edition of Florida football was the Jekyll and Hyde nature of the team from week to week. One week, they would pull off a huge upset or have a cathartic beatdown in The Swamp. The next week, they would lay an egg so large you would think Billy Napier was raising a chicken farm.
Now that the 2023 edition of the Florida Gators has won its first signature game of the season, what comes next will go a long way in telling their story and showcasing whether they have learned anything.
Florida Football: Stringing wins together
Here is a fun but also depressing fact: Florida football hasn’t won three games in a row since 2020. The Gators had a shot last season after it beat Texas A&M and South Carolina, only to collapse against Vanderbilt.
Florida should get the job done this Saturday against UNC Charlotte, but the 49ers aren’t the bar on this season. Kentucky and South Carolina follow and are the two games that will ultimately set the floor for how Florida’s season will turn out.
Following the win over Tennessee, Napier told the team in the locker room that they have to do a better job this season at handling success:
"“What do know from out expierence here last year? We would win and have momentum, then struggle, We couldn’t keep our ego in check. We didn’t work the same when we showed up the next day. We got to looking in the mirror a little too much. We got to keep that humility and keep that edge.”"
Florida is talented enough that it should be able to win its next four games and head into their buy week 6-1.
But as Napier continues to build the foundation for the Gators, the next step in that process is winning the games they are supposed to win.
That comes from growth and leadership within the team.
We’ll see over the month if the team has, in fact, learned anything since this time last year.