Florida vs. Eastern Washington: Prediction, pick, odds, spread, football game time, watch live stream, TV channel

By OnlyGators.com Staff
October 2, 2022
Florida vs. Eastern Washington: Prediction, pick, odds, spread, football game time, watch live stream, TV channel

Image Credit: Graphic by Michael Nash

Off schedule by 24 hours due to travel issues caused by Hurricane Ian, the Florida Gators will finally play their Week 5 game on Sunday afternoon as they welcome the Eastern Washington Eagles. It will be the first time the Eagles out of the Big Sky will face an SEC opponent, while the Gators will look to get back to their dominant ways over FCS teams.

Florida’s goal in this game are simple: cut down errors, play efficiently in all three phases and go home unharmed. The Gators will be kicking off their second straight three-game homestand on Sunday, and given a quick turnaround is ahead with Missouri coming to town for homecoming next week, UF must focus on getting itself right before a hellacious conclusion to its season from a scheduling standpoint.

What will go down Sunday when Florida hosts the Eastern Washington? Let’s find out.

Tale of the tape

Florida GatorsEastern Washington Eagles
Head coachBilly NapierAaron Best
ConferenceSECBig Sky

Injuries and absences

Active (1): CB Jaydon Hill (knee)
Questionable (1): QB Jack Miller III (thumb)
Out (3): S Trey Dean III (lower body), RT Michael Tarquin (lower body), LS Marco Ortiz (upper body)
TBA (2): TE Arlis Boardingham (shoulder) and OL David Conner (thumb) have been listed as out through the first four weeks of the season; however, neither appears on this week’s injury report in any capacity.

Viewing information

Date: Sunday, Oct. 2 | Time: 12 p.m. ET
Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium — Gainesville, Florida [88,548]

TV: ESPN+ / SEC Network+ (Drew Carter, Aaron Murray, Monica Uber)
Live stream: ESPN+ | SiriusXM: 84 | Radio: WRUF, TuneIn
Live updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

Game notes

» Florida and Eastern Washington are meeting on the gridiron for the first time.
» The Gators are 67-17-4 all-time against FCS programs with six straight wins and victories in 21 of the last 22 such meetings. The Eagles have never played an SEC team.
» UF is 2-0 all-time against Big Sky teams; it has outscored those opponents 132-10.
» This is the first time Florida will play on a Sunday since the 1977 Sun Bowl. It does not appear as if the Gators have ever played a regular-season game on Sunday.
» Florida has won 14 straight regular-season nonconference games, the sixth-longest active streak in the nation.
» The Gators’ next win will be the 750th in program history.
» Florida has scored 24+ points in only five of its last 10 games.
» UF is 2-0 this season when rushing for 150+ yards.
» The Gators are 7-12 against ranked opponents (2-4 vs. top five teams, 5-7 vs. top 10 teams) and 28-8 against unranked opponents since 2018.
» Florida is the only team in the nation to play three top-20 opponents in the first four weeks of the season.
» The Gators are 171-33 in The Swamp since 1990, boasting the second-best home winning percentage (.838) in the nation across that span.
» Florida is one of two FBS teams nationally (Alabama) that has not yet lost to an opponent that finished the season with a losing record since 2004.
» The Gators have scored in 427 consecutive games, an NCAA record.

Prediction and analysis

Spread: Florida -31.5 | O/U: 71.5

The Gators have been as unreliable as a team can be over the last two seasons whether they are heavy favorites or slight underdogs. As we always say in this space, picking FBS vs. FCS games is not advisable given FBS coaches — those of Power Five programs in particular — all have their own plans as to when they wish to pull starters, play reserves and perhaps take their foot off the gas.

There’s every chance Florida head coach Billy Napier might want his team to exorcise some offensive demons and run up and down the field on Eastern Washington. More likely is Napier using this as an opportunity to give redshirt freshman backup quarterback Jalen Kitna some live work given sophomore Jack Miller III is listed as questionable still working his way back from a thumb injury.

So, the lean here is the Gators going up big in the first half, taking their collective foot off the gas and working on things like Kitna’s play and defensive communication in the second half. The way Florida covers is likely with defensive scores and a shutout performance, which cannot be counted on and also leads to an under lean.

2022 records: ATS picks 1-3 | O/U picks 2-2

Odds and ends

» Uniforms: Florida will wear blue jerseys, white pants and orange helmets for the fourth straight home game and fourth of six times overall this season.

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