Florida, Utah exploring possibility of Thursday season opener

UF coming off 6-7 season
Published: Jan. 12, 2023 at 7:01 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -The Gator football team kicks off the 2023 season in Salt Lake City, fulfilling the back end of a home and home series against Utah. But there could be a change of date that’ll alter fans’ viewing or even travel plans.

A UF spokesman confirms an Orlando Sentinel report that the two schools are exploring the possibility of playing the game on Thursday August 31, rather than Saturday September 2. Florida upset the eventual Pac-12 champions in the 2022 season opener, 29-26 and a rematch will be highly anticipated beyond a regional level.

There are benefits to a Thursday kickoff. Both teams would receive all of the eyeballs through a national television spotlight, and the earlier start would enable the Gators to get home quicker. Ultimately, networks have a major say in the matters of scheduling.

There isn’t a firm date on when a decision will be made. But for recent precedent, when the 2019 Florida-Miami season kickoff got moved from Week 1 to Week 0, that announcement came in March.

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