Florida vs. Charlotte how to watch, live stream, TV channel, prediction, pick, spread, odds, game time

By OnlyGators.com Staff
September 23, 2023
Florida vs. Charlotte how to watch, live stream, TV channel, prediction, pick, spread, odds, game time

Image Credit: Michael Nash

There’s no question the No. 25 Florida Gators are feeling themselves coming off head coach Billy Napier’s first rivalry win since joining the program last week. The question entering Saturday’s tilt against the Charlotte 49ers is whether Florida will ride that surge of momentum or allow success to make it complacent.

Napier was not thrilled with how the Gators practiced at the week’s midway point. That plus a reduced offensive roster — multiple starters out either the entire game or at least for the first half — will create obstacles for Florida as it kicks off against Charlotte.

If the Gators defense is as real as it’s looked across the first few weeks of the season, perhaps that will not matter. Florida should be seeking to win this game going away, but Napier has proven he’s more likely to take his foot off the gas than press down further once getting a big lead. That leaves plenty of questions ahead of the Week 4 tilt before SEC play begins in full in seven days time.

What will go down Saturday night as the Gators host the 49ers? Let’s find out.

Don’t miss our Florida Football Friday Final covering thoughts from Napier and multiple Florida players entering this Week 4 showdown. Plus, take a look at the updated Gators depth chart.

Tale of the tape

No. 25 Florida GatorsCharlotte 49ers
Head coachBilly NapierBiff Poggi

Injuries and absences

Suspended (3 — first half): OL Damieon George Jr., OL Micah Mazzccua, TE Dante Zanders
Out (6): C Kingsley Eguakun (ankle), WR Eugene Wilson III (shoulder), DB Ja’Markis Weston (upper body), TE Keon Zipperer (lower body), TE Tony Livingston (upper body), OL Caden Jones (foot)
Out for season (2): DL Justus Boone (knee), RB Cam Carroll (knee)

Viewing information

Date: Saturday, Sept. 23 | Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium — Gainesville, Florida [88,548]

TV: n/a
Live stream: SEC Network+ / ESPN+ (Clay Matvick, Aaron Murray)
SiriusXM: 104/202 | Radio: WRUF, TuneIn
Live updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

Game notes

» Florida and Charlotte are meeting for the first time. The Gators are 49-19-3 all-time against AAC teams and 16-2 in regular-season nonconference play since 2018.
» UF has won 75.3% of its games in The Swamp all-time, and it holds the second-best home winning percentage in the nation since 1990 at 176-34 (.838).
» The Gators are seeking their first winning streak (3+ games) since late 2020.
» Florida is ranked in the AP Top 25 for the first time in a calendar year (Sept. 18, 2022).
» The Gators entered the season with 35 new scholarship players on the roster, tied for 12th most in the FBS. It also had just 115 combined starts returning, second-fewest in the nation, and only 69 returning players, ninth-fewest in the nation.
» Florida under Napier is 7-0 when leading after the third quarter and 8-2 when rushing for at least 150 yards. However, UF is 2-5 when opponents score first, 0-4 when scoring less than 21 points, 3-7 when allowing 21+ points, 1-8 when tied or trailing after the third quarter and 1-5 when being outrushed.
» Florida is 8-16 against ranked opponents (2-5 vs. top five teams, 5-7 vs. top 10 teams) and 33-10 against unranked opponents since 2018. UF is 2-6 against AP Top 25 teams under Napier.
» The Gators have scored in 439 consecutive games, an NCAA record.

Prediction and analysis

Spread: Florida -28.5 | O/U: 48.5

This spread and total project a 38-10 score on Saturday night. This after the Gators two weeks ago deployed an almost run-only attack in beating McNeese 49-7 with the lone touchdown allowed coming late in the fourth quarter on a short field after a fumble by the third-string offense. Still, Charlotte is a far better team than McNeese, and Florida will be down three starting offensive linemen in the first half (one for the game) as well as three of its four main tight ends (two for the game). The Gators were also out for blood two weeks ago whereas, this week, they are feeling themselves coming off the Tennessee win.

What we also know, historically, is that Napier is not the type of coach to step on an opponent’s neck. He likes to go up by three of four scores and coast in games like this. That’s assuming Florida is even able to get up that many scores at any point in this contest.

In other words, do not expect Week 4 to be like Week 2.

The Gators have been immensely difficult to predict week to week over the lat few seasons, including last year under Napier. They should win this game with relative ease despite their absences, but covering four touchdowns plus against a prideful FBS opponent is tough, so the 49ers should show some might with a backdoor, late second-half cover. And if that’s going to be the case, the total should go over.

2023 records: ATS picks 1-2 | O/U picks 2-1 | Underdog SU picks 1-0

Odds and ends

» Uniforms: Florida will wear blue jerseys, white pants and orange helmets. (Fun fact: UF will not wear orange jerseys or pants at all this season.) Fans are being told to wear orange for some reason.

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