Florida Gators football schedule predictions and early game-by-game preview for 2016. Projecting how the Gators will do this year.
How will the Florida Gators football perform this season? After coming through with a stunning SEC East title in Jim McElwain’s first season, the Gators have to deal with a tougher division and a few other big landmines along the way. What’s going to happen?
Sept. 3 Massachusetts
This is how you start out the season. Let Auburn play Clemson. Watch Georgia push itself against North Carolina. You always start a college football season with a tune-up. Always.
Preseason Prediction: Florida 52, Massachusetts 6
Sept. 10 Kentucky
You probably weren’t born the last time Kentucky beat Florida. Never, ever, ever mess with a streak. The Wildcats will be fine, but they won’t have jelled yet. It’s not going to be a thing of beauty.
Preseason Prediction: Florida 27, Kentucky 17
Sept. 17 North Texas
Call your shot, Gators. If the team isn’t in gear after the first two games, this is the last time it’ll be able to work out the issues. This is when the depth gets developed with no drama.
Preseason Prediction: Florida 45, North Texas 6
Sept. 24 at Tennessee
The Vols will figure out how to come up with a fourth down stop this time around. It’s not going to be a true cathartic win for Tennessee after losing 11 in a row dating back to the 2004 season, but it’ll be a key moment in the SEC East race. The Gators won’t be able to come through in the fourth quarter.
Preseason Prediction: Tennessee 27, Florida 16
Oct. 1 at Vanderbilt
After coming oh-so-close to a disastrous loss last season, the Gators actually have a kicker this time around. Even so, it’ll be another ugly defensive slugfest. Florida’s defense is better.
Preseason Prediction: Florida 20, Vanderbilt 10
Oct. 8 LSU
Last year, LSU put an end to Florida’s undefeated start last year in a 35-28 victory. The Gators will return the favor this time around. In a frenzied atmosphere against the best team in the country and the eventual national champion, the Gator defense will overcome a good day from Leonard Fournette to pull out a late thriller.
Preseason Prediction: Florida 23, LSU 20
Oct. 15 Missouri
First team to score wins? The Gators won a 21-3 clunker last year to make up for the 42-13 loss in the 2014 that might have been the weirdest blowout of all-time. The Florida defense will come through, but this will be a grind.
Preseason Prediction: Florida 20, Missouri 13
Oct. 29 Georgia (in Jacksonville)
After winning two straight in the series, the Gators will have issues against the newfound Georgia balance – the Bulldog running back situation will be solid by this point. Kirby Smart’s defense will stuff a Florida offense that won’t go anywhere.
Preseason Prediction: Georgia 24, Florida 9
Nov. 5 at Arkansas
The absolute last thing Florida will want to deal with after facing Georgia is a pounding Arkansas offense looking to make a statement with LSU coming up next. The biggest problem? The Hogs get a week off to rest up and prepare.
Preseason Prediction: Arkansas 26, Florida 20
Nov. 12 South Carolina
It’s gut-check time. With a relative week off coming up, and with this being the end of the SEC season – and with the East title hopes gone – can the Gators find a way to get up for the return of Will Muschamp? Not really, but the Gamecocks won’t have enough offensive punch to pull off the upset.
Preseason Prediction: Florida 23, South Carolina 16
Nov. 19 Presbyterian
It’s a desperately-needed bye week coming at the right time. The Blue Hose won’t get 100 yards of total offense as the Gator starters rest up for the upcoming showdown.
Preseason Prediction: Florida 34, Presbyterian 0
Nov. 26 at Florida State
Florida owes you and your family an evening of fine entertainment after the total dog of an offense performance in last year’s 27-2 loss to the Seminoles. You’re not going to get it in a fifth loss in six seasons.
Preseason Prediction: Florida State 31, Florida 13
2016 Prediction: 8-4
2016 SEC Prediction: 5-3