Florida Gators spring game: 2019 Orange & Blue Debut primer, time, channel, live stream

By Adam Silverstein
April 13, 2019
Florida Gators spring game: 2019 Orange & Blue Debut primer, time, channel, live stream

Image Credit: Graphic by Michael Nash

The Florida Gators will take the field Saturday afternoon for the 2019 Orange & Blue Debut, a spring football game that head coach Dan Mullen hopes will further propel his team forward after a solid first season that included 10 wins and two dominant victories to close the year. Whether the Gators will be able to build upon that success remains to be seen, but the first step was spring practice and this scrimmage.

Here’s what you need to know ahead of the Orange & Blue Debut.

Viewing information

Date: Saturday, April 13 | Time: 1 p.m. ET
Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium — Gainesville, Florida [Capacity: 88,548]

TV: SEC Network Alternate (Kevin Negandhi, Chris Doering, Dawn Davennport)
Streaming: WatchESPN.com, WatchESPN app
SiriusXM: 84 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]

SEC Network will rebroadcast the game on its normal channel at the following dates and times: Monday (1 p.m.), Wednesday (9 p.m.), Friday (5 a.m.).

Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter


Florida released its rosters on Friday, and for the second straight year, this will not be a traditional first-team vs. second-team game. Check out the top 20 notable on each roster below.

Team Orange: RB Lamical Perine, DB Marco Wilson, ATH Kadarius Toney, LB David Reese, DB CJ Henderson, DB Brian Edwards, WR Trevon Grimes, WR Van Jefferson, DB CJ McWilliams, QB Feleipe Franks, WR Jacob Copeland, QB Jalon Jones, RB Dameon Pierce, DB Jeawon Taylor, LB David Reese II, OL Tedarrell Slaton, LB Jonathan Greenard, DL Jabari Zuniga, DL Elijah Conliffe, DL Luke Ancrum

Team Blue: DB Brad Stewart Jr., QB Emory Jones, LB Jeremiah Moon, WR Josh Hammond, QB Kyle Trask, WR Freddie Swain, DL Zachary Carter, K Evan McPherson, RB Malik Davis, DB Trey Dean III, DB Chris Steele, RB Iverson Clement, DB Quincy Lenton, ATH Amari Burney, LB James Houston IV, LB Mohamoud Diabate, DL Kyree Campbell, OL Brett Heggie, TE Kyle Pitts, WR Tyrie Cleveland

Questions to be answered

Who will be the Gators’ starting quarterback? OK, we probably know the answer here. The way redshirt junior Feleipe Franks ended the 2018 season gives him the benefit of the doubt and the nod entering 2019. The question really is … is redshirt freshman Emory Jones poised to overtake Franks? We saw just last year two prominent national championship-winning coaches pull capable starting quarterbacks for more talented freshmen with higher ceilings. It will be interesting to see what progress Jones has made this spring and whether is on par with Franks or has perhaps surpassed him in terms of his ability to play the position and lead Florida football.

Which new players will step up? Mullen is not shy about playing first-year players, and the Gators historically have seen major contributions from the youngest personnel on their roster. Potential major impact first-year players in 2019 include defensive back Chris Steele and tight end Kyle Pitts. The former may not show up as much as the latter on Saturday due to less aggressive defense being played in this scrimmage, but it will still be interesting to see how both look publicly for the first time in orange and blue. There is also graduate transfer defensive lineman Jonathan Greenard to consider. Greenard was a more-than-capable starter at Louisville and moves to Florida where he should fill in nicely for Jachai Polite. How much of an impact will he make off the bat?

Will the returning playmakers shine? There were a number of NFL Draft declarations for UF at the end of the season, but Mullen’s playmakers largely remained in town. Wide receivers Tyrie Cleveland and Van Jefferson returned for their senior seasons, as did running back Lamical Perine. That’s not to mention WRs Josh Hammond and Freddie Swain entering their senior years and junior WR Trevon Grimes is poised for a breakout. Oh, and among those who did not have the opportunity to leave, Florida has redshirt freshman WR Jacob Copeland back, along with junior athlete Kadarius Toney, redshirt sophomore RB Malik Davis, sophomore RB Dameon Pierce and redshirt freshman RB Iverson Clement. This offense should be explosive in 2019, and though Mullen will be vanilla in his playcalling on Saturday, we should at least get a glimpse.

Will the offensive line be completely fixed? Finally?

Odds and ends

» Two boosters will serve as celebrity coaches for the game. They will have an opportunity to call the type of plays, while the assistants on each team will actually decide the specific plays.

» The game should last exactly two hours and end at 3 p.m., which is great news for any golf fans that want to tune into Masters coverage on CBS.

» OnlyGators.com attempted to inquire — at the time that the viewing information was released for the game — why Florida is the only SEC team not playing on a regular ESPN channel but rather an “alternate” that should be in most households that get SEC Network but may not be. We never received a legitimate answer. It is curious that one of the league’s top teams has been relegated to this spot.


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