The Florida Gators held off the No. 7 Utah Utes 29-26 in the first game of the season Saturday. The team was backed by 90,799 fans in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium — the most ever for a UF season opener, 10th most in program history and 2,251 more than the listed capacity.
As the lights dimmed in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center, the ground shook with students rising from their seats and introductory music reverberating through mega speakers attached to the ceiling. From the stage, a white fluorescent streak of light emerged through the smoke, crossing to point into the crowd. Then, from the wings, the long-awaited star of the night emerged. “Oh man, University of Florida, what’s poppin’?” Joey Bada$$ yelled into his microphone, kicking off his set for the night as well as the start of the Fall semester. Joey Bada$$ and Jean Deaux took to the stage to play a UF student-only concert at the O’Connell Center Wednesday night.