Take Five Breakdown: No. 25 Florida-Charlotte Preview

Charlotte Preview

by Chris Will
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Please Read: Welcome to the new-look Inside the Gators

The Florida Gators are fresh off a win over the previously No. 11 Tennessee Volunteers. They now turn their attention to the Charlotte 49ers and will try to avoid a major letdown in front of yet another sold-out crowd in The Swamp. Inside the Gators spoke with Hunter Bailey of the Charlotte Observer to get a better look at the 49ers.

Five Charlotte 49ers to Know

Trexler Ivey, Quarterback, Redshirt Sophomore

  • Ivey threw for over 250 yards in a 41-25 loss to Georgia State. One touchdown and one interception wrapped up his day, but that was the most action he’s seen this year. “He’s more of a pocket passer,” Bailey said, “He really struggled with the break of the pocket, dealing with any kind of blitz and pressure, which I know Florida watched.”

Jalon Jones, Quarterback, Senior

  • The former Gator, which we will discuss later, has primarily shown off his legs this year. He leads the 49ers in rushing with nearly 200 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. “Ball security has been an issue for him,” Bailey said, “He’s thrown three picks and had a fumble through four games, and they’ve all been in super untimely spots.”

Durell Robinson, Running Back, Freshman

  • Robinson is the only running back over 100 yards this season. The true freshman is a former four-star recruit out of powerhouse Saint Frances Academy in Maryland. “If he gets the ball in his hands, he can go the distance,” Bailey said, “Get your best player the ball type of player.”

Jack Hestera, Wide Receiver, Redshirt Sophomore

  • A Colorado transfer whom Bailey said was in the video when Deion Sanders said, “We got a few positions already taken care of because I’m bringing my own luggage with me and it’s Louis, OK?” He leads the team with 14 catches for 194 yards and a touchdown. Bailey said he’s more of a slot guy, but the lack of height at the position has seen him in out wide.

Eyabi Okie-Anoma, Defensive Line, Graduate Student

  • With two offensive line starters out for the first half against the 49ers, Bailey said Okie is the player that can take advantage of the hole. He was a former five-star prospect who started his career at Alabama in 2018. He was named an SEC All-Freshman team member but did not play in 2019 and sat out in 2020 as a transfer to UT-Martin and eventually ended up at Michigan last season.

Five Fast Facts

  • Week 4 marks the first-ever meeting between Florida and Charlotte on the gridiron.
  • Charlotte will be the 63rd opponent that UF has faced just once. Among games with unique opponents (one meeting), Florida has a record of 52-9-1.
  • Florida enters the Week 4 matchup ranked in the AP Top 25 Poll for the first time since the week of Sept. 18, 2022.
  • A win over Charlotte would give Florida its first winning streak of three games or more since rattling off six-straight SEC victories from Oct. 31 – Dec. 5, 2020 (def. Missouri, Georgia, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Tennessee).
  • In year one under DC Austin Armstrong, Florida ranks first in the SEC, sixth in the Power Five, and 10th in the FBS in total defense with 256.3 yards allowed per game. Through three games last year, UF had allowed 373.3 yards per game.

Five GameDay Storylines

Jones Returns

  • Jalon Jones makes his return to The Swamp. He originally signed and enrolled at UF in 2019 but was later accused of sexual battery with no charges officially filed. He has since transferred and the media hasn’t had a chance to ask him about his return to Gainesville.

Poggi Style

  • Biff Poggi is quite the character. We’ve likely all seen the photos of the cutoff sleeves on the sideline. Now we get to see what the former associate head coach of the Michigan Wolverines brings to Gainesville. “He does not care what anyone thinks,” Bailey said, “He’s going to wear the cutoff. He’s going to smoke a cigar while he does his thing.”

Swamp Showcase

  • Florida has hosted McNeese State and Tennessee this season. Two vastly different caliber teams. Charlotte finds themselves somewhere in between. Nonetheless, the SEC stage is set for players to showcase in front of a sold-out crowd in Florida. “Obviously a huge opportunity,” Bailey said, “The biggest thing that they need to do in this game is just not beat themselves.”

Regression Toward the Mean

  • This is a tale of two teams undergoing reconstructions of their defenses. Florida has seen success up to this point in the season under first-year DC Austin Armstrong. Bailey said the 49ers are going back in the wrong direction. “Maryland rushed for well over 250 yards,” he said, “Georgia State’s quarterback looked basically elite. His two best passing games in his career both came against Charlotte.”

Matching Style

  • It’s no secret that Florida is a ‘Run first, ask questions later’ type of team. They showcased their brand of football against Tennessee and controlled the time of possession. Bailey said that’s exactly what Charlotte would like to do. “The you look at Florida, 21st best run defense in the nation, fourth or fifth best time of possession in the nation,” he said, “It’s like that’s the game that Charlotte wants to play against Florida. They just do it on an SEC level.”


  • Chris Will – 42-10 Florida
  • Hunter Bailey – 52-10 Florida

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