Four plays from Florida Football that have saved Billy Napier from getting fired

With some better fortune, Florida would have had a winning record the past two seasons. But just as easily, four plays the other way could have had Billy Napier already out the door.
Florida v South Carolina
Florida v South Carolina / Jacob Kupferman/GettyImages
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Ricky Pearsall's Game Winning Catch Against South Carolina

Between his Superman catch and his performance in Columbia, Ricky Pearsall was one of the bright spots for the Gators in 2023.

And as much as we can muse about the botched field goal against Arkansas and 4th and 17 against Missouri from 2023, and point to how close Florida was to a decent season last year, the point of this list is that plays like Pearsall's game winning catch against South Carolina could have just as easily gone the other way too, further sinking the Gators.

Down 10 points with 10 minutes to play, Florida seemed dead in the water in this one but managed to get a touchdown with 4:40 left. After a three and out, Florida drove back down and made it to the 21 yard line with less than a minute to play.

Graham Mertz and Persall then teamed up for the highlight of the season to stun the crowd in South Carolina.

If this play doesn't happen, Florida was still in range for a field goal to potentially send the game to OT. But as we saw against Arkansas, getting on the field during crunch time for a field goal wasn't a strength for the Gators in 2023.