The Florida Gators 2023 schedule is out. (Photo credit: Neil Shulman, In All Kinds Of Weather)
Never mind the 2022 season that’s only a quarter of the way through. The Florida Gators 2023 schedule is out, and the road that Billy Napier’s Gators will have to navigate is not an easy one.
Some of what was revealed, we already knew. For example, we already knew that Florida would open against Utah on the road. We also knew that Florida would host McNeese in week two, and Charlotte in week four. And as is customary, Florida will play Georgia in Jacksonville on Halloween weekend, and host FSU in Gainesville on Thanksgiving Saturday.
Now, though, we have the rest of the puzzle.
Following the road trip to Utah and the home opener against McNeese, Florida will open SEC play at home against Tennessee before playing host to Charlotte. That means that for the second year in a row, the Gators will get three home games in a row in September. The difference is that this year, the season opener against Utah will be on the road.
This is one of those years where the calendar falls in such a way that the Gators play five games in September. The fifth and final of these is at Kentucky, on September 30. The Wildcats have beaten Florida twice in a row for the first time since the 1970’s, and will be looking to make it three.
Because September has five games, October only has three. The first of these is a home game against Vanderbilt, which at this way-too-early stage feels like a good option for a homecoming game. That matchup is slated for October 7.
Next up is a trip to South Carolina, a venue that Florida sports a 2-4 record at in their last six trips. The Gamecocks are the Gators’ third of four consecutive SEC East opponents. Thankfully, Florida gets a bye before their next one.
Then comes the featured game on the Florida Gators 2023 schedule: Georgia in Jacksonville. We already knew that this game was slated for this date in 2023, although there’s no telling if the SEC’s new TV deal with ESPN might change that in future years (it probably won’t, but who knows?). For now, the Halloween tradition remains alive in Jacksonville for at least another year.
Instead of getting a post-Georgia breather, the schedule simply gets harder. Florida hosts Arkansas the week after Georgia in Gainesville, a program that former Georgia offensive line coach Sam Pittman has done a tremendous job with. Barring the obvious caveat of not knowing what the injury situation will be like late next season, this does not look like it will be an easy game.
It doesn’t get any easier after that, either. Florida then hops on a plane and travels west to the Bayou for their rivalry showdown with LSU. This might be the last time the Gators and Tigers meet in Death Valley for the foreseeable future, as there’s no way to know what the SEC schedule will look like with Oklahoma and Texas joining the fray. Maybe Florida-LSU will remain an annual series, or maybe the SEC will make sure every school plays every other school twice every four years the way the ACC is doing starting next year. But without that information in hand, we simply have to enjoy the rivalry while we know we’ve got it, before it becomes an unknown.
Florida then hops right back onto another plane to face another set of Tigers, making the semi-cross-continental journey to Columbia, MO. As is the case with LSU, it could be the last time Florida visits CoMo for awhile, as the SEC is not particularly likely to set Florida and Missouri as regular opponents in a soon-to-be sixteen-team league.
Last but not least, as we all know, Florida will finish the 2023 season at home against FSU. This time, the game will not be held on Black Friday, but on Saturday as is usual.
So, with all that said, here’s a look at the Florida Gators 2023 schedule all put together:
September 2: @ Utah
September 9: McNeese
September 16: Tennessee
September 23: Charlotte
September 30: @ Kentucky
October 7: Vanderbilt
October 14: @ South Carolina
October 28: vs. Georgia (Jax)
November 4: Arkansas
November 11: @ LSU
November 18: @ Missouri
November 25: FSU