In Week 4, Florida and Charlotte will meet on the gridiron for the first time ever. This game holds special significance as it marks the second-annual Tom Petty Day in The Swamp, where the Gators pay tribute to the legendary music icon and Gainesville native.
Florida enters the Week 4 matchup with a ranking in the AP Top 25 Poll, a feat they haven’t achieved since the week of September 18, 2022. Last season, the Gators had a three-week streak of being ranked inside the AP Top 20 from Weeks 2 to 4.
A victory over Charlotte would give Florida their first winning streak of three games or more since their impressive run of six consecutive SEC victories from October 31 to December 5, 2020, where they defeated Missouri, Georgia, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
This game against Charlotte will be the 63rd opponent that UF has faced only once. In games with unique opponents, Florida has an impressive record of 52 wins, 9 losses, and 1 tie. Florida’s last game against an AAC opponent came in the form of a 31-28 win over USF last season on Sept. 17, 2022.
The Gators are coming off a significant victory in the Billy Napier era, defeating No. 11 Tennessee with a score of 29-16. Quarterback, Graham Mertz, has been impressive, completing 70% or more of his passes in all three starts this season.
Under the guidance of defensive coordinator Austin Armstrong, Florida’s defense has been outstanding. The Gators currently rank first in the SEC, sixth in the Power Five, and 10th in the FBS in total defense, allowing only 256.3 yards per game. This is a remarkable improvement compared to last year when the Gators were allowing 373.3 yards per game through three games.
Not only has the defense been stingy in terms of yards allowed, but they have also limited opponents to an average of 15.7 points per game. This is a significant improvement of 13.2 points compared to last season’s average of 28.9 points allowed.
In terms of passing defense, Florida ranks 16th in the Power Five and second in the SEC, allowing only 172.7 passing yards per game.
As a part of the Southeastern Conference’s agreement with ESPN, select SEC football games are available on ESPN+ and SEC Network+ this fall, including Florida’s non-conference matchup against Charlotte at 7 p.m. ET Saturday in The Swamp.
The game can be accessed through SEC Network+, which is complementary to SEC Network and accessible with your TV provider credentials. It can also be accessed through the ESPN App on smartphones, tablets, connected steaming devices or via espn.com/watch.
The game can also be accessed via ESPN+. ESPN+ is a standalone streaming service that requires a subscription separate from your TV provider credentials. It is available to stream through the ESPN App on your connected streaming device and on ESPN.com.
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
Channel: SEC Network+
Radio: ESPN Gainesville – WRUF | The Varsity Network | SiriusXM 136 or 201 | SiriusXM App
Mobile: ESPN App
On the call
Play-by-Play: Clay Matvick
Analyst: Aaron Murray
BET AT MYBOOKIE: Use the promo code “GATORS” when making a deposit of $50 or more to receive up to $200 in cash instantly added to your MyBookie account.
- FLORIDA VS CHARLOTTE PREVIEW | YOUTH MOVEMENT ON DEFENSE
- PRINCELY UMANMIELEN: DEFENSIVE TURNAROUND FUELED BY ARMSTRONG’S TRUST IN PLAYERS
- YOUTH MOVEMENT PAYING OFF FOR FLORIDA GATORS DEFENSE
- BILLY NAPIER WANTS TO SEE MORE CONSISTENCY IN BUILDING WINNING MINDSET
- SCHEMIN’ WITH SETH: WRINKLES THAT LED FLORIDA TO A VICTORY OVER TENNESSEE
Photo credit: Mallory Peak, UAA Communications