Chomp: Florida offense rebounds in 2nd scrimmage before Utah prep begins

FILE (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) (Jonathan Bachman, 2018 Jonathan Bachman)

This story first appeared in Chomp, our Gators football newsletter. Subscribe here.

Hey, Gators fans!

We only have a little over a week until the first Florida football game of the season. Can you believe it?!

And congratulations to Gators Breakdown and host David Waters for hitting 5 million plays!

🏈 Offense taking better care of the ball

Head coach Billy Napier said he was pleased with what the Gators put on tape in the second scrimmage.

Part of that progression is the offense taking better care of the ball.

“We were much improved offensively, in particular. Now, it’s twofold, right? Because you want your defensive to create things,” Napier said at a news conference on Sunday. “We didn’t turn it over on offense until the last play of the scrimmage.”

In the latest episode of Gators Breakdown, David is joined by Will Miles as the two discuss the offensive rebound, injuries, and the good and the bad from the second fall scrimmage.

📚 Final day of fall came in the books with Utah prep up next

Following the second scrimmage, the Gators finished up their final day of fall camp on Tuesday.

It was a good sign that junior wide receiver Ricky Pearsall, the transfer from Arizona State who reportedly suffered bone bruises on his foot during fall camp, was back at practice on Tuesday — as was and junior offensive lineman Ethan White.

Up next: Gators’ preparation for the season opener against Utah will start Thursday.

“We’ll just try to do those nuts and bolts days relative to a game week,” Napier said at a news conference on Wednesday. “We want to have a little bit of a trial run for all the new people in the building.”

And it appears Florida fans are gearing up for the season opener on Sept. 3, too, as the Gators Ticket Office announced single-game tickets for the game are sold out.

🗓️ Must-win games on Florida’s schedule?

In the most recent Gators Breakdown episode, David and Will also take another look at Florida’s schedule before the season starts.

The schedule includes four teams ranked in the Associated Press preseason college football poll — three of which are in the top 10 (No. 3 Georgia, No. 6 Texas A&M, No. 7 Utah and No. 20 Kentucky). Plus, the Gators’ games against the Utes and the Wildcats are back to back (the first time since 1982 that Florida starts with back-to-back ranked opponents) — just like the matchups against the Bulldogs and the Aggies. And we’re not even mentioning the traditional Southeastern Conference games that include Tennessee and LSU.

No Florida coach since Charley Pell in 1979 has lost his debut game. Napier, however, is the first to start with a ranked opponent.

With a tough slate of opponents, David believes the Gators will need finish the season 3-0, with wins over South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Florida State.

The Gators are coming off a 6-7 season last year. The over/under on Florida’s win total in 2022 is 7, according to FanDuel Sports.

RELATED: New coach, new facility have Florida eyeing better results

You can hear more of David’s and Will’s thoughts on the schedule on the podcast episode.

🏆 5 Gators earn preseason conference honors

Five Gators were named to the Preseason Coaches All-SEC teams.

Offensive lineman O’Cyrus Torrence, a transfer from Louisiana who followed Napier to Gainesville, made the first-team offense. Redshirt junior linebacker outside Brenton Cox Jr. and sophomore defensive lineman Gervon Dexter Sr. joined the second-team defense. And senior safety Trey Dean III and redshirt senior linebacker Ventrell Miller were tabbed to the third-team defense.

View all of the teams here.

All five Florida players were also selected to the Preseason Media Days All-SEC teams.

🐊 Gators add freshman forward

The Florida basketball team added freshman Aleks Szymczyk to its incoming class.

The addition of the 6-foot-10 forward rounds of the Gators’ roster for the 2022-23 season and adds to the team’s frontcourt depth.

“We are really excited to add Aleks to our program for the upcoming season,” said head coach Todd Golden. “Aleks brings great size, physicality, and basketball acumen to our program. He can bang with bigs in the paint and also has the ability to stretch the floor with his three-point shooting ability. He’s a dual-threat big that will fit great within our program.”

The Frankfurt, Germany, native graduated from Gymnasium München-Nord while competing with International Basketball Academy Munich.

The Gators open their first season under Golden on Nov. 7 against Stony Brook.

🏀 Johnson announces transfer destination

Former Florida forward Keyontae Johnson, who collapsed during a game in December 2020 and hasn’t played since, is heading to Kansas State to resume his college career.

Johnson made the announcement on social media. He will have one year of eligibility remaining, although he could petition the NCAA for another.

FULL STORY: Former UF forward Keyontae Johnson resuming college hoops career at K-State

The 23-year-old Norfolk, Virginia, native graduated from Florida in late April and announced plans to transfer days later.

✉️ Send us your Gators thoughts & questions

David and I want to hear from you. Do you have any thoughts or questions about the Gators football program? Agree or disagree with something we’ve said? Let us know here, and we’ll share our responses to your questions.

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About the Author:

Jacksonville native and proud University of Florida graduate who joined News4JAX in 2016.