The 2022 college football season is getting closer as spring practice draws to a close.
Utah will play Florida at “The Swamp” on September 3, 2022, marking the first time the Utes have faced an SEC opponent since beating Alabama in the 2009 Sugar Bowl. The Utes’ last regular-season game against an SEC opponent was a road defeat to Tennessee in 1984.
Utah might be rated in the Top 10 heading into the season opening after winning the Pac-12 title. Florida had a 6-7 record last season and has a new coach in Billy Napier, but a victory over an SEC opponent on the road could boost Utah’s credentials significantly, particularly if the Gators have a solid season.
One of the most anticipated early-season games, according to ESPN college football writers, is Utah vs. Florida, with Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson vs. the Utes’ defense being one of the most anticipated “player-opponent” matchups.
“Sign me up every time the SEC and Pac-12 meet on someone’s campus.” “There’s simply something about a school and its supporters traveling across the nation to play another school with a distinct culture and fan base,” Chris Low wrote.
“It’s a chance for a Utah team rated in the top 10 of some early season polls to win an SEC opponent on the road, which would help the Utes’ College Football Playoff resume if they can repeat as Pac-12 champions.” Furthermore, former Florida linebacker Mohamoud Diabate, who was second on the team in tackles last season, has transferred to Utah and will face his former colleagues.”
Gainesville seldom hosts a Power Five nonconference game, according to Andrea Adelson.
“This will be the first time the Gators have faced a Pac-12 opponent since 1989, Emmitt Smith’s last season on the Gator squad!” “Games like this one in Gainesville give a rare treat since Florida has been so opposed to arranging home-and-home games against Power 5 opponents who aren’t called Florida State in the past,” Adelson wrote.
Richardson is the anticipated starter for Florida after throwing for 529 yards, six touchdowns, and five interceptions with a 59.4 percent completion rate on 64 attempts as the No. 2 quarterback last season before needing knee surgery at the conclusion of the season.
“What will be most interesting to see is how Anthony Richardson, as the anticipated starting quarterback, takes command of the attack against one of the finest defenses in the nation. On that side of the ball, Utah has a lot of holes to fill, beginning with linebacker Devin Lloyd. “However, linebacker Mohamoud Diabate moved from Florida to Utah in the winter and provides an experienced presence to the Utes’ bunch,” Adelson wrote.
Utah vs. USC, with new coach Lincoln Riley, is also a “in-conference must-see,” according to Adam Rittenberg. On Oct. 15, Utah will face USC.