Gators excited for rare night game at The Swamp
It has been quite awhile since Florida played under the lights at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, so understandably Gators players are excited about Saturday night's 7 p.m. kickoff against Arkansas.
It is the first night game for the Gators at the Swamp since a 21-7 loss to Florida State on Nov. 26, 2011.
For sophomore DT Dante Fowler, Jr., it's the first home night game of his career.
"I'm pretty pumped for that to me my first night game in the Swamp," he said. "I used to come watch, when I was in high school, watch the night games, and they're crazy live and stuff like that. It looks fun. It's going to be a fun experience. I can't wait."
Senior CB Jaylen Watkins has a different perspective. He knows the kind of atmosphere night games can generate, and is just thankful to be able to experience at least once more in his career.
“It means a lot, especially because it's my last year," Watkins said. "Last year we didn't get a game at night in the Swamp. I'm happy I'm able to get one in my final year.”
Florida coach Will Muschamp said he believes the Swamp is one of the toughest venues to play in - regardless of the time of day.
"Amazing," he said. "We gotta give them a reason to cheer. My first year, we didn't give them too many, that's for sure. But the atmosphere last year with LSU and South Carolina and (this year) with Tennessee was pretty amazing. . . When we first started playing here as a visitor, they'd put the Florida fans behind our bench. We don't do that anymore for some reason. We need to get that changed up. I'll talk to Jeremy (Foley, Florida AD) about that. But they had their fans sitting behind their bench, so that was always interesting. But coming into our atmosphere here, the Gator fans are the best. The Gator Walk (after the Miami game) was probably as good as I've been around, especially coming off a tough defeat here in-state to our rival. You get in here, it really is a good feeling. The closeness of the stadium, the tight sidelines, they're on top of you, they're into the game, they're well educated fans as far as knowing when it's good and when it's bad, and it's a great place to play."