After suffering its first loss of the season against Syracuse, No. 13 Florida (8-1) can’t afford to take its next opponent lightly.
The Gators will face Richmond this Saturday in the second game of the Orange Bowl Classic in Sunrise. Though Richmond is not as strong or as deep as No. 5 Syracuse, the Spiders (7-2) have already pulled off some significant early-season upsets.
One of those upsets came against a Southeastern Conference school. Last month, Richmond beat Mississippi State 63-62 in the semifinals of the South Padre Island Invitational in South Padre Island, Texas.
“They will ugly it up on you,” Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury said. “They play that Princeton style (offense) and are a tough defensive team. But Florida should be fine.”
Stansbury said that the Bulldogs blew a five-point lead in the final two minutes and that starting forward Kodi Augustus was in his first game back from a knee injury and wasn’t 100 percent. Also, starting Mississippi State center Jarvis Varnado was in foul trouble and managed just eight points, six rebounds and a blocked shot in 23 minutes.
Richmond has also knocked off Missouri earlier this season and is giving up just 58.9 points per game.