The Southeastern Conference unveiled its 2022 football schedule Tuesday, and Florida’s slate finally fell into place.
The Swamp will play host to the orange and blue’s first three games of the 2022 season and six of the Gators’ first seven contests to begin the year.
Utah comes to Gainesville first on Sept. 3 in the beginning of a home-and-home series between Florida and the Utes. Utah is 1-2 so far in 2021, but the program is two years removed from an 11-1 regular season which saw them in the heart of the playoff race until a loss to Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship. The series between the two teams will conclude when the Gators travel to Utah in 2023.
UF gets an early start on conference play, too, with the following game against Kentucky on Sept. 10. Florida leads the all-time series against the Wildcats 53-18 and won 33 of their previous 34 matchups, including the comeback debut of quarterback Kyle Trask in 2019. However, the last time Florida played Kentucky in front of a full home crowd, the Wildcats pulled off a 27-16 upset in 2018 to snap a 31-year losing streak.
Florida then sets up for a rematch with South Florida, whom it beat 42-20 two weeks ago, on Sept. 17, before its first away game in Knoxville, Tennessee, to take on the Volunteers on Sept. 24. In the current season, the Gators seek their 16th win against Tennessee in 17 years this Saturday.
Head coach Dan Mullen and his team then return home for a three-game stand, challenging Eastern Washington on Oct. 1, Missouri on Oct. 8 and Louisiana State on Oct. 15. The trip will mark Florida’s first ever game against Eastern Washington and a home rematch with the Tigers after Marco Wilson’s infamous shoe throw a year ago.
After a homely first two months of the year, Florida hits the road for four of its final five games in 2022, including what may be it’s most formidable stretch — Georgia in Jacksonville on Oct. 29 before a road trip to Texas A&M on Nov. 5.
Mullen earned his first win over Georgia last season, but the Bulldogs have won six of the past 10 meetings dating back to 2011. Georgia won 36 games from 2017-19 and sits squarely in the national championship hunt at No. 2 in the current AP Poll.
The Gators visit College Station, Texas, for the second time in three years to battle the Aggies again. Texas A&M finished last season No. 4 in the final AP Poll with only one loss to eventual national champion Alabama and currently owns an 11-game win streak under head coach Jimbo Fisher, dating back to last year’s victory over Florida.
South Carolina then comes to Gainesville in a brief home respite for UF on Nov. 12 before Mullen and his team close the season with road trips to Vanderbilt and Florida State on Nov. 19 and Nov. 26, respectively.
The 2021 season continues Saturday with Florida hosting Tennessee at 7 p.m.
Contact Ryan Haley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @ryan_dhaley.
Ryan Haley is a second-year journalism major with a sports & media specialization from Jacksonville, Florida. He grew up playing a bunch of different sports before settling on golf, following Rory McIlroy and all Philadelphia sports teams. He also loves all things fiction, reading, watching shows and movies and talking about whatever current story or character is in his head.