Florida Gators football is back, baby!
The Gators are set to kickoff their 10-game, SEC-only 2020 schedule today in Oxford, Miss., against the Ole Miss Rebels and new head coach Lane Kiffin. Just over six months following the sports world shutdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, we've finally made it to football, seemingly, safely.
Now, each team will be tested following an extended offseason that did not include a spring camp. That factor hurts both squads, but continuity on Florida's staff could provide a major advantage as Kiffin received little-to-no time to install his schemes and system before the pandemic.
We'll be providing live updates throughout the Florida vs. Mississippi game today here on our weekly live blog. Scores, big plays, injuries, highlights: If you're looking for information and to constantly be kept in the loop on Gators vs. Rebels, this is the place to be today.
This story will be updated regularly.
LIVE BLOG AND UPDATES
3:35 P.M.: FINAL: Gators 51, Ole Miss 35.
3:26 P.M.: RB Snoop Conner punches it in from one yard out.
Gators 51, Ole Miss 36 after the failed two-point conversion. 0:58 left in regulation.
3:11 P.M.: Touchdown No. 6 for Kyle Trask, touchdown No. 4 for Kyle Pitts.
Trask ties former LSU QB Joe Burrow's record for most touchdown passes in a conference opener in SEC history. Pitts also ties Florida's single-game record with four touchdown catches.
Gators 51, Ole Miss 29. 5:14 left in 4Q.
2:53 P.M.: Ole Miss tight end Kenny Yeboah had three catches for 73 yards on that drive, scoring from eight yards out.
Gators 44, Rebels 29 after the two point conversion.
2:46 P.M.: Gators extend their lead once again, now 44-21 over Ole Miss, after a third field goal from Evan McPherson. This one from 23 yards out.
2:34 P.M.: To start the next drive, Kyle Trask is back at QB for the Gators.
2:30 P.M.: Evan McPherson hits another field goal, this time from 37 yards out. WE"VE HIT THE OVER! (set at 59.5 before the game, per OddsShark).
Gators 41, Rebels 21. 5:06 left in 3Q.
2:27 P.M.: Emory Jones re-enters the game at QB, and starts with two big plays. 22 yard rush on first down followed by a 30-yard pass to Trevon Grimes.
2:24 P.M.: A holding penalty negates an Elijah Moore touchdown, and the Gators hold Ole Miss to seven yards on 3rd and 18.
Rebels kicker Luke Logan misses from 42 yards out and the Gators take over at the 25-yard line, up 38-21 with 7:21 left in the third quarter.
2:17 P.M.: Evan McPherson nails his first kick of the 2020 season, from 55 yards out.
Gators 38, Rebels 21. 9:30 left in 3Q.
2:08 P.M.: RB Jerrion Ealy with an impressive scamper for 18 yards, scoring an Ole Miss touchdown. Ealy has 13 carries for 66 yards and a score, along with a reception for 45 yards.
Gators 35, Ole Miss 21. 13:43 left in 3Q.
2:03 P.M.: You just can't stop a unicorn like Kyle Pitts.
Six catches, 146 yards, three touchdowns. The best TE in America scores again as the Gators extend their lead over Ole Miss, 35-14. 14:19 left in 3Q.
2:00 P.M.: And the second half is underway. the Gators have the ball back.
1:35 P.M.: TOUCHDOWN, GATORS!
Trask finds Pitts for their second touchdown connection of the day!
It's now halftime, the Gators lead Ole Miss by a score of 28-14.
1:20 P.M.: TOUCHDOWN, GATORS!
Kyle Trask throws his third touchdown to as many receivers, this time a 16-yard throw to Kadarius Toney in the endzone!
Florida 21, Ole Miss 14, 3:10 until halftime. Trask has gone 13-18 for 161 yards and three touchdowns so far, completing passes to seven different receivers.
1:10 P.M.: Ventrell Miller came to play. Starting at middle linebacker in place of recently graduated three-year starter David Reese II, Miller just made a huge third-down stop to force an Ole Miss punt with 7:29 left in the second half.
Miller has eight tackles, a sack, and a tackle for loss so far today.
12:57 P.M.: Touchdown, Ole Miss.
Corral connects with Drummond once again, this time on a PA rollout right, throwing to the middle of the field. Drummond avoided defenders and made his way into the endzone for six.
Gators 14, Rebels 14. 12:04 left until halftime.
12:50 P.M.: Video of Kyle Pitts' first touchdown of the 2020 season!
12:44 P.M.: A wonderful throw from Kyle Trask to Trevon Grimes in the front corner of the endzone. Contested catch there too. Beautiful play.
Gators 14, Ole Miss 7. 0:50 left in 1Q.
12:40 P.M.: A whirlwind: Emory Jones throws an ugly interception on his first passing attempt, Ole Miss takes over and runs a double-pass trick play to push into the redzone.
Brenton Cox then batted a Matt Corral pass that was intercepted by freshman Gervon Dexter. A fantastic start for those two defenders today, and the Gators get the ball back.
12:32 P.M.: Touchdown, Ole Miss.
Quarterback Matt Corral connects on a deep pass in the middle if the field with wide receiver Dontario Drummond. Looks like he beat safety Donovan Stiner deep. Cornerback Kaiir Elam was in the area as well.
Gators and Rebels tied at 7, 3:43 left in 1Q.
12:30 P.M.: The Gators and Rebels took a kneel at kickoff today, taking a stand against social injustices in America.
12:26 P.M.: Touchdown, Gators!
Quarterback Kyle Trask connects with tight end Kyle Pitts in the flats on play action. Easy pitch and catch for Florida's first touchdown of the 2020 season.
Florida 7, Ole Miss 0. 5:48 left in 1Q.
12:15 P.M.: Brenton Cox Jr. records a sack on fourth down, Gators take over at their own 23. His first sack for Florida.
12:15 P.M.: Safety Shawn Davis has been ejected on the opening drive for targeting. Freshman Rashad Torrence II will step in.
12:11 P.M.: Gervon Dexter recorded his first career tackle for loss on Ole Miss running back Jerrion Ealy a few plays back.
12:10 P.M.: On Ole Miss' opening drive, quarterback Matt Corral has targeted quarterback John Rhys Plumlee on consecutive passes, the first was incomplete a bit downfield and the second was caught and turned into a short gain. Talk about getting creative.
12:02 P.M.: Officially, the Gators will play without defensive tackle Kyree Campbell, safety Brad Stewart, defensive end Dante Lang, BUCK rush end Jeremiah Moon, and safety Quincy Lenton, offensive lineman Ethan White, cornerback Ethan Pouncey, wide receiver Jordan Pouncey, returner Fenley Graham, defensive tackle Lamar Goods, defensive lineman Lucas Alonso, athlete Joshua Tse, and athlete Kevin Johnson.
11:55 A.M.: ESPN's College Gameday Picks! The latest line is 14 and the latest over/under is 58.8, per ESPN.
Desmond Howard: Florida
David Pollack: Florida
Kirk Herbstreit: Florida
Lee Corso: Florida
Guest picker Jon "Stugotz" Weiner: Florida "by three touchdowns".
It's a sweep!
11:50 A.M.: Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin expects his offense to be "exciting" and "ready to play", he said on ESPN College Gameday.
11:45 A.M.: Kickoff is in 15 minutes. In case you missed it, check out our staff predictions and takes for Florida vs. Ole Miss! Click here.
11:29 A.M.: Florida Gators head coach Dan Mullen just spoke pre-game in Oxford about the warm reception he received from the Ole Miss fans today:
11:00 A.M.: Nick de la Torre of GatorTerritory reports from Oxford that Kyree Campbell, Brad Stewart, linebacker Derek Wingo and BUCK starting rush end Jeremiah Moon are not on the field currently in pre-game warm-ups.
10:10 A.M.: Defensive tackle Kyree Campbell and safety Brad Stewart, both seniors, have been added to Florida's depth chart this morning, according to Nate Gabler of SI's The Grove Report. Both players were left off of Monday's two-deep, however, head coach Dan Mullen said that both would be available when asked by media on Wednesday.
Campbell is listed as the No. 2 nose tackle, behind T.J. Slaton. Stewart is the No. 2 STAR nickel cornerback, behind C.J. McWilliams.
Friday, 9:30 P.M.: Ole Miss has reportedly named Matt Corral its starting quarterback, over John Rhys Plumlee. Expect both players to see significant action against the Gators, however.