Gators reveal jersey combo for season opener vs FAU

The No. 13 ranked Florida Gators open their 2021 season at home against the in-state Florida Atlantic Owls on Saturday. The Gators welcome a packed crowd of fans for the first time since the 2019 season, with the 2020 season having restrictions to fans and prospects attending games. The Gators are 29-9 under Coach Mullen since he took over the program. The Gators are coming off an 8-4 season in 2020, where the team played an all SEC schedule during a year things were changed up a bit due to COVID-19. This match up will kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET in The Swamp and will broadcast on SEC Network.

The Gators also revealed their jersey combination on Tuesday evening for their game this weekend. The Gators will wear white away jerseys along with white pants with their traditional orange helmets. This is the first time since 2001 that the Gators have worn white jerseys at home. The last time the Gators brought out white jerseys in The Swamp was for their home game against Louisiana Monroe, where the Gators won big by a score of 55-6.

Below are the game notes for the game provided by the University of Florida.

- Florida opens its 12-game regular season with their first meeting vs. FAU since 2015 and fourth matchup all-time.

- The Gators are 3-0 all-time against the Owls: 2015: W, 20-14 [OT] | 2011: W, 41-3 | 2007: W, 59-20

- Florida has out-scored FAU by a combined 120-37 margin while out-gaining the Owls, 1,221 yards to 820 yards.

- Dan Mullen and FAU’s Head Football Coach Willie Taggart meet for the third time as head coaches. Mullen won both of the previous meetings - 40-17 in 2019 and 41-14 in 2018 - when Taggart was the head coach at Florida State.

- UF owns the longest-active home-opener winning streak in the FBS with 31-straight wins (last loss, 1989: 24-19 vs. Ole Miss), losing just one season opener (2017) since 1990.

- Florida boasts a 345-110-13 (.751) all-time record at TheSwamp, boasting the second-highest home winning percentage in the nation since 1990 with a 164-31 (.841) record. UF has outscored opponents 37.8-15.8 on average (+22.0) since 1990.

- No.13 Florida is ranked inside the top13 of the AP preseason poll for the third-straight season and has been ranked inside the preseason top 25 in five out of the last six years.

- Florida’s 35.9 points per game since the start of the 2018 season ranks seventh among Power Five programs and 12th in the FBS. From 2015-17, UF ranked 110th nationally and averaged just 23.1 points per game.

>> 2020: 39.8 ppg (best since 2008, seventh-highest all-time)|2019: 33.2 ppg|2018: 35.0ppg--all tops since 2008.

- The Gators have scored 40-plus points 13 times under Mullen (UF had 12 40-point outings in 101 games from 2010-17).

- The Gators have 14 games of 500-plus total yards in Mullen’s 38 games as head coach, equaling its total from the 115 games comprising the 2009-17 seasons. UF has nine games of 500-plus total yards against SEC teams under Mullen, two more than it had from 2008-17.

- Florida has improved its total offense (ypg) in every season under Mullen, averaging more than 426.7 ypg each year and culminating with 509.8 ypg in 2020 -- the top program mark since 2001 and ninth-best in the nation last season.

>> 2020: 509.8 ypg|2019: 430.5ypg|2018: 426.7ypg|2015-17: 338.0 ppg|2010-14:339.6 ypg

- Florida has averaged 399+ ypg in SEC play in each of Mullen’s three seasons, while the program’s best such mark from 2010-17 was 354.9 ypg in 2016.

>> 2020: 513.5 ypg (highest since 2001) | 2019: 414.0 ypg | 399.6 ypg

- Each of the last three years, UF eclipsed its combined totals from 2016 and 2017 for 30-plus-yard touchdowns.

>> 2020: 10 pass, 0 run | 2019: 7 pass, 5 run | 2018: 9 pass, 6 run | 2016-17: 5 pass, 2 run

- Florida’s passing offense improved by more than 77.0 ypg from both 2018-19 (+87.3) and 2019-20 (+77.8).

- The Gators had four representatives on the Media and Coaches Preseason All-SEC Team: defensive lineman Zachary Carter (first team), defensive back Kaiir Elam (first), linebacker Ventrell Miller (second) and wide receiver Jacob Copeland (third). Elam was also named a second-team Preseason All-American by AP, CBS Sports & 247Sports.

- After ranking 74th in the FBS in points allowed per game (30.8), 83rd in total defense (428 ypg), and 96th in pass efficiency defense (148.0) in 2020, the Florida defense welcomes grad transfers Daquan Newkirk (Auburn) and Antonio Valentino (Penn State) to an experienced front seven.

- Newkirk and Valentino join preseason honorees Zachary Carter (first-team All-SEC), Kaiir Elam (first-team All- SEC), and Ventrell Miller (second-team All-SEC) in a revamped 2021 Gators defense.

- Florida returns three of the team’s top-four leading tacklers in 2020 in Miller (88), Mohamoud Diabate (69), and Amari Burney (52), -- as well as nine of the top 15 tacklers and 15 of the top 22 from last season.

- Valentino earned Honorable Mention All-Big Ten honors in 2020, starting all nine games with 14 tackles (five solo), 4.5 TFLs, 3.5 sacks, one forced fumble, two QB hurries, and one pass breakup.

- Newkirk tallied 40 tackles, 5.0 TFLs, and 2.5 sacks and one forced fumble across 30 career games at Auburn, including 28 tackles (eight solo), 3.0 TFLs, and 1.5 sacks in 2020.