Florida Football: Will Gators do to South Carolina what Georgia couldn’t?

Florida football is back with an interesting matchup against South Carolina. The Gators are looking to bounce back while the Gamecocks are riding high.

The Gators come in after falling just short against the LSU Tigers. It was a back and forth affair that the Gators led early in the third quarter, but were unable to stop LSU.

After the Tigers regained the lead 35-28, Florida quarterback Kyle Trask threw an interception in the back of the end zone in the fourth quarter to Derek Stingley, and from there LSU went on to win 42-28.

South Carolina had their biggest win of the season, and a win that may have saved head coach Will Muschamp’s job. They were able to go into Georgia and completely shut down the Bulldog offense, forcing three interceptions and one returned for a touchdown, all by Israel Mukuamu. In a game where Ryan Hilinski was injured, it is the biggest upset of the season to date.

So now these teams come together in a way we didn’t expect, with South Carolina viewed as the hot team. Their win may have turned some heads, but it becomes do or die now for the Gators, and I left that LSU game more impressed with their lineup, especially on offense, than I was thinking they were overrated. This can be a great opportunity to win some money with the line skewed toward the Gamecocks after their first big win.

Here’s how to watch:

Date: Saturday, Oct. 19
Time: 12 p.m. ET
Location: Columbia, S.C.
Venue: Williams-Brice Stadium
TV: ESPN
Live Stream: WatchESPN

Keys to Victory

For Florida, the name of the game is simple: take care of the ball. South Carolina was able to dominate Jake Fromm, one of the best quarterbacks in the country at taking care of the ball. But Florida’s offense is more catered to beating South Carolina. If they can spread the field and get Lamical Perine going on the ground, their will be a lot of space for Trask to operate over the middle of the field, similarly to how they did against LSU.

Georgia was able to have a lot of success still on the intermediate throws, and Kyle Pitts and Van Jefferson are suited to that sort of game. Take care of the ball, find your play makers, and the Gators should win.

For South Carolina, their game plan is going to be very similar to last weeks game plan, in that they want to win the turnover battle, take advantage of short fields and hope  the Gators beat themselves in this one.

Hilinski was cleared to play in this one, and they’ll have to keep him standing. There’s no telling what percent he’ll be playing at, and if the Gators get a couple hits on him, he could be replaced early.

Prediction

Florida is one of the top defenses in college football, and will be looking to bounce back in a big way.

I don’t think the Gamecocks win the turnover battle in this one, as the Gators lead the nation in interceptions and total takeaways. With a week to prepare for no Jabari Zuniga and Jonathan Greenard (Both game time decisions, but I’m not getting my hopes up), I think Florida makes the necessary adjustments and is able to generate pressure at the line of scrimmage.

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Florida wins the turnover battle, and then likely wins the game. I think they’ll bounce back in a big way and win, as they look to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Final Score: Florida 34 South Carolina 14