USA TODAY Sports has Florida playing in this December bowl game




According to USA TODAY Sports' Erick Smith, the Florida Gators are projected to play in the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 17, against the Washington Huskies.

Washington shares one big similarity with the Gators. Kalen DeBoer is in his first year as head coach of the Huskies, just like Billy Napier is in his first year as head coach for the Gators. DeBoer comes to Washington after a successful two-year stint as Fresno State head coach. He went 12-6 in his time there. Paired with his time as head coach of Division II Sioux Falls, he held a 79-9 career record as a head coach prior to his hiring at Washington.

The Huskies are currently 4-1 and are coming off their lone loss of the season against UCLA. Transfer quarterback Michael Penix Jr. is having a resurgent season, coming off an injury in his time at Indiana. Their hot start is a stark contrast to the 4-8 record they had last season.

The Gators' first season with Napier at the helm has been up and down so far. The season started with an upset victory over the defending Pac-12 champion Utah Utes. They then lost to Kentucky at home to open up SEC play and snuck out a win against an inferior USF team to get to 2-1. They then lost to Tennessee in a game that saw Anthony Richardson throw for over 500 yards.

Last week, the Gators beat Eastern Washington in a game that was moved to Sunday due to the impact of Hurricane Ian. The Gators will continue their SEC schedule this Saturday when they take on the Missouri Tigers in their Homecoming game. Kickoff is scheduled for noon EDT. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.

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