Now that the Florida Gators won’t be playing for a championship this season, the new goal is to win the final two games and earn a berth in one of the New Year’s Six bowl games.
The Gators have positioned themselves to possibly make it happen. They are ranked 13th in the latest College Football Playoff standings. If they win out and make it into the top 12, they’re in.
“It would be huge,” UF coach Dan Mullen said Wednesday. “There’s an awful lot of football to be played. All we can do is try to take care of our business this week and next. Then it’s kind of out of our hands at that point.
“That’s a huge honor. Everybody wants to be in the top four to get to the playoff. If you’re not going to make that, you want to have an opportunity to go to one of the New Year’s Six bowls.
“It’s the next-best thing. It signifies a great season. To be right there on the edge, we’ve got to find a way to win over the next two weeks and keep that a possibility for us.”
Freshman wide receiver Jacob Copeland, one of the highest-rated prospects in the 2018 recruiting class, is expected to make his much-anticipated debut in Saturday’s game against Idaho.
Copeland injured his knee before the start of preseason camp. He returned to full speed a few weeks ago. With the new redshirt rule, he can play in the Gators’ final three games and still redshirt this season.
“He’s going to have an opportunity to get in the game,” Mullen said. “He’s still learning. The injury that he had coming into training camp set him way back in learning the offensive system.
“He’s been back now for two or three weeks. He didn’t to rep (the offense) in spring practice or fall camp. It’s tough to learn.
“He’ll have the opportunity, hopefully, to get on the field. We’re putting him in. He’s continued to develop and grow. As he learns the offense, we’d love to put him on the field.”
Former player dies
Former walk-on wide receiver Kyle Morgan, who played at UF from 2002-05, has been found dead in Tampa, according to reports. Morgan, 35, had been missing since last week.
“It is so sad,” said Mullen, who coached Morgan in 2005. “I remember him when we first got here. As a walk-on, he’s a guy who worked his tail off to find a way to get on special teams. As a coach, you have so much respect for guys that do that.
“Obviously, we keep his family in our prayers. It’s a tragedy when those things happen.”