“This game is good for the state.”

If ever there was a bowl game ripe for a “didn’t show up” effort, buddy, you’d have to think it was this one:

The Florida Gators are in a bowl game this year — barely.

Florida (6-6) will play in-state rival UCF (8-4) in the Gasparilla Bowl on Thursday in Tampa.

… The current Gators squad has some issues, though. Defensive end Zachary Carter, who led the team with eight sacks, declared for the NFL Draft and will skip the bowl game. He was a team leader and Florida’s most physical player.

Quarterback Anthony Richardson, a Gators fan favorite, will not play due to a knee injury. Quarterback Emory Jones will play, but he has announced he will enter the transfer portal after the game.

Pregame scuttlebutt makes it sound like the Gators are a bunch raring to go.

As time grows nearer to the game on Thursday, there’s simply been no indication from anyone not definitively in only a position of “positive spin only” or risk being fired or reprimanded, i.e. Florida coaches that have commented about the Florida players prior to the game.

In short, it’s been quiet. Too quiet. Experience should tell people that many of the Gators on the current roster may not be 100% invested in this game.

Some of the players are still trying to figure out when they will know their new position coach (may not happen until some point in January for many of them), or if they might transfer. That’s not a positive situation with a football game to be played in four days.

It’s not just the players, either.

Malzahn said preparing for the Gators is difficult due to Florida’s coaching situation. Running backs coach/special teams coordinator Greg Knox will run the Gators on an interim basis, but what that means in regards to schemes could be difficult to decipher.

“We will do our best trying to predict who is going to coach,” Malzahn said, “but we know they have excellent players.”

As far as UCF goes, “We’re expecting our full team.”

The irony here being that Gus himself was on the losing end of a team not showing up to play Central Florida.  Should be fun!

22 Comments

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22 responses to ““This game is good for the state.”

  1. gastr1

    UCF has seen an SEC team not show up against them a few times, yeah. I predict 10-6.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. SlobberKnocker

    Have no fear, gators. I’m sure Benton Cox is ready to pick up the mantle of leadership. He’ll lean on his long history of demonstrated work ethic and entire team will follow.

    Liked by 6 people

    • It’s funny reading the Gator message boards and seeing just how done they are with Mr. Cox. To me, the play from the WLOCP in which he bails on pursuing Stetson before he’s even turned the corner and gives up a 20-yard scamper is the defining play of his career.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. armydawg

    In short: Who gives a damn?

    Like

  4. If UCF shows up, the Handbags are in trouble. At least, they will all be home for Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. dawgleg

    I am doing the honors here:
    FTMF

    Liked by 2 people

  6. practicaldawg

    These are also currently the best teams in the state of Florida

    Like

    • That’s really the story here. College football in Florida has fallen off a cliff. You could make an argument that Miami at 7-5 is better than Florida although the Hurricanes lost to FSU. There are 47 blue chips in the state (including the IMG guys like Bear Alexander) and only 15 signed with an in-state school. I would love to read the thoughts from commenters who live down there what you think is going on. FSU is still reeling from the Willie Taggart era and has fallen way behind on facilities. Florida (Georgia) and Miami (Clemson) seem to be behind the programs they are trying to catch in facilities. Florida made an awful hire from a talent standpoint in MuLLLLet, and Miami has been a revolving door of coaches.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Holiday Inn Bagman

    I’ve never understood having your new coach on campus but yet they sit in the suite for the bowl game.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Russ

    If UCF was a little better, Florida would be in serious trouble. As it is, I think they will still beat the Gators and I’ll enjoy it for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Harold Miller

      Don’t underestimate the Gators ability to bring dishonor upon the entire conference. This one looks like they could drop a big streamer at Raymond James.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. W Cobb Dawg

    Would I love to see UCF run up the score and thoroughly embarrass fu? Then have Gus run his mouth in a post game presser? Yes. Yes I would.

    Like

  10. jdawg108

    Slightly off topic, but I was watching the Saints Bucs game, and they had the segment where each player introduces themselves and (usually) tells what college they are from. One guy repped his elementary school. So I looked it up.

    He’s a Volunteer. Can’t say I blame him.

    Like

  11. Two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar!
    All for the gators stand up and holler!
    Crickets

    Like

  12. Whiskey Dawg

    Emphasis on GASParilla Gators.

    Like

  13. PTC DAWG

    Regarding Zachery Carter, the word is quit, not skip…

    Like