The contest was part of the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic.
The Gators opened up a 39-27 halftime advantage by making Toledo a one-man team.
Guard Jonathan Amos scored 16 of his game-high 22 points in the first half to keep his team within range, but was held to six points in the final 20 minutes.
UF swingman Nick Calathes scored 16 points with four rebounds and six assists.
Center Alex Tyus scored 11, and guard Walter Hodge 10 for the Gators (1-0), who rose to 18-0 in season openers dating back to 1990.
They rose to 51-6 in November under Coach Billy Donovan.
Guard-forward Tyrone Kent scored 13 points with four rebounds, while center Justin Anyijong added 11 points and six rebounds for the Rockets (0-1), whose record was just 11-19 last season.