Charting The Gators: Where Are They Now (A Year Later)



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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida and Florida State renew their rivalry on Friday night at Doak Campbell Stadium.

While the game lacks the hype of the rivalry’s glory years when Steve Spurrier and Bobby Bowden matched wits, a Gators-Seminoles matchup remains an event, going under the Friday Night Lights for the first time this year.

Florida seeks a fourth consecutive win in the series. The Gators, boosted by reserve quarterback Anthony Richardson in the second half, won their third straight over the Seminoles, 24-21, on a sunny afternoon at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium 12 months ago. Both programs entered last season’s meeting with losing records, a rarity in the series.

A year later, both programs have shown signs of improvement. The No. 16-ranked Seminoles (8-3) have won four in a row in their third season under head coach Mike Norvell. The Gators (6-5) had won back-to-back games until being upset at Vanderbilt last week.

 

While the loss to the Commodores stung, the Gators are in a better place than at the end of last season following the dismissal of head coach Dan Mullen six days before facing FSU. In a tumultuous season, Mullen had fired offensive line coach John Hevesy and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham earlier in the season.

Greg Knoxa longtime Mullen assistant, served as interim coach in the win over FSU. UF became bowl eligible with the victory.

Following Florida’s loss to UCF in the Gasparilla Bowl under Knox, recently hired Billy Napier took over day-to-day operations and has restored some stability in the locker room and on the field.

The Gators became bowl eligible with their 38-6 thumping of South Carolina two weeks ago and can clinch a winning season by beating FSU on Friday night. They will need a strong performance from Richardson in his first season as the Gators’ starting quarterback to do so.

Richardson came off the bench in last season’s win over the Seminoles to complete 5 of 7 passes for 55 yards, including a 5-yard scoring pass to Justin Shorter. Meanwhile, running back Dameon Pierce added 62 yards rushing – and who can forget Pierce churning for the end zone after losing his helmet on a second-half run? – before a fourth-quarter touchdown that gave Florida a 24-7 lead.

Regardless of the circumstances, this game always provides memorable moments. Before we turn our attention to Friday night’s game, let’s take a look at where many of the Gators from last season are today:

 

AS THE GAME TURNS




















COACH/PLAYER 2021 @ UF 2022 NOTABLE
Greg Knox Interim head coach Buffalo Knox is RB/Assistant special-teams coach for 5-5 Bulls
Garrick McGee Quarterbacks coach Purdue McGee coaches receivers for 7-4 Boilermakers, including 1,000-yard WR Charlie Jones
Christian Robinson Linebackers coach Auburn Robinson is linebackers coach at 5-6 Auburn, which faces Alabama next
Tim Brewster TE/Assistant HC Jackson State Joined HC Deion Sanders as TE coach for 11-0 Tigers
Jules Montinar Cornerbacks coach Temple Cornerbacks coach for 3-8 Owls under HC Stan Drayton
David Turner Defensive line coach Georgia Tech Assistant head coach of defense for 5-6 Yellow Jackets
Billy Gonzales Receivers coach Florida Atlantic Receivers coach at 5-6 FAU under HC Willie Taggart
Wesley McGriff Secondary coach Louisville Co-DC, secondary coach for 7-4 Cardinals under HC Scott Satterfield
Michael Sollenne Interim OL coach Ohio State OL graduate assistant for 11-0 Buckeyes under HC Ryan Day
Emory Jones Quarterback Arizona State Has passed for 1,533 yards, 7 TD, 4 INT for 3-8 Sun Devils
Dameon Pierce Running back Houston (NFL) Has rushed for 780 yards, 3 TDs in rookie season
Nick Savage Strength coach Be Miss Strength coach for 8-3 Rebels under Lane Kiffin
Brenton Cox Jr. Linebacker Florida Four sacks a year ago vs. FSU, dismissed from team last month
Mick Hubert Play-by-play voice Sarasota (retired) Living the good life on a beach somewhere
Kemore Gamble Tight end UCF Caught 47-yard TD against FSU; 7 catches, 118 yards, 1 TD for 8-3 Knights
Zach Carter Defensive lineman Cincinnati (NFL) A reserve, Carter has 18 tackles in rookie season





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