Two weeks ago, the Florida Gators faced the LSU Tigers in what was being billed as the game of the year for Florida; but now the number two Gators take on the number seven Gamecocks on Saturday in a game that may mean even more.
The game is featured on the popular ESPN pregame show College Gameday, with the set already being set up on the north side of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. And on the field, the winner takes first place in the SEC East, and has the inside track to Atlanta and the conference championship game. South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier says it’s going to be tough to deal with the pressure in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
At the same time, Gator head coach Will Muschamp says he feels good about his team’s play.
One key to this game and getting on top of the East will be the running game for both squads. Florida sports running back Mike Gillislee, the leading rusher in the SEC with over 100 yards per game. He is on pace for over 1,000 rushing yards, the first Gator to hit that milestone since Ciatrick Fason in 2004.
Meanwhile, the Gamecocks hope to hand the ball off to running back RB Marcus Lattimore, and Muschamp says it’s going to be tough to stop the junior back.
But Lattimore is listed as questionable on the injury report with a hip injury. Play-by-play man for the Gamecocks Todd Ellis says it’s not looking good for the Gamecocks backfield.
Ellis goes on to say it isn’t just the running back who’s not coming into the game at 100%.
On the defensive side of the ball, sophomore defensive end Jadeveon Clowney looks to provide a lot of pressure for South Carolina. Muschamp says that Clowney is a guy with lethal speed and instincts, and that he’ll move around to try and disrupt the Florida offense.
But the Old Ball Coach says he’s also proud of how linebacker Shaq Wilson, the senior out of Jacksonville, has played.
For the Gator offense that has struggled at times blocking up front, South Carolina looks to provide a challenge. But Gator offensive coordinator Brent Pease says that his guys have been getting ready in practice for a battle in the trenches.
You can catch all the action with the First and Ten pregame show at 12:30 and kickoff at 3:30 right here on ESPN Radio 850/900.