Ridaught: Thursday night football

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

The annual Orange & Blue football game is this week.

However, the game will not be on Saturday as it has always traditionally been in the past. It was previously scheduled for this Saturday, but it was moved up a couple of days.

Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday night. The game is free and open to the public.

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The game will feature four quarters, a 15-minute halftime and a running clock with the exception of the last four minutes of each half. The clock will also stop for penalties, change of possession and scores.

If you are planning on attending, here are some things you need to know.

Unfortunately, I won’t be attending, as I will be working on Thursday.

I’ll be covering the city showdown in high school baseball as Gainesville plays at Buchholz.

The annual spring game was a great way to reunite with friends and family who didn’t live in Gainesville but would make the trip and spend an entire day, or maybe even a weekend.

It was also a great way in years past to take in other Gator sporting events that dayeither a Florida baseball game or UF softball game. However, the baseball team (at Vanderbilt) and the softball team (at Ole Miss) are both on the road this weekend.

I’m biased when it comes to these types of things, which is why I am also not fan of Florida & FSU playing on a Friday night this season, the day after Thanksgiving nonetheless.

I’ve never been an advocate of going head-to-head with high school sports.

I get it that one of the reasons why the Orange & Blue game was moved was to help with recruiting, since there are six SEC spring football games this Saturday.

“We’re going to have some of the best recruits in the entire country here to show them what the University of Florida and Gator Nation are all about,” new head coach Billy Napier said in a press release.

It’s also about the UF students.

“This is going to create an opportunity for us to engage the student body for the first time,” Napier said. “We are going to be able to get them here prior to Easter break.”

The first 1,000 UF students can pick up an Orange or Blue Florida Gators bucket hat courtesy of Cabana Beach and a free popcorn voucher upon entry. UF students also have a chance to win a brand new Scooter.

As for the scrimmage itself, all eyes will be on starting quarterback Anthony Richardson and his potential back-up.

The QB position has been inconsistent during the spring, which has been a reflection of other positions too.

The defense is also a focal point, as Florida will have a new defensive coordinator this season.

Florida coaches want to install a defense ‘that poses problems’ for opposing quarterbacks.

There are a few players who could emerge as playmakers on defense.

We’re still five months away from the start of the college football season. 

The Gators will host Utah, Kentucky and South Florida in consecutive weeks in September, including six of their first seven games at home.

I’ll look forward to my ‘Saturdays’ in the fall, but if you’re going on Thursday, enjoy the game.

 

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