Home / College Football / Preview: Gator Football looks for third straight SEC win as South Carolina comes to Gainesville

Preview: Gator Football looks for third straight SEC win as South Carolina comes to Gainesville

After the Florida Gator (5-3, 4-3 SEC) football team was embarrassed by Missouri at home four weeks ago, it seemed its SEC East hopes were a long shot, especially with Georgia up next on the schedule. However, following a bye week, the Gators found new life after literally running the Bulldogs out of Jacksonville en route to a 38-20 upset stunner. They followed up that performance with a 24 point victory on the road over Vanderbilt to now reemerge themselves back in the SEC East picture.On the other hand, South Carolina (4-5, 2-5 SEC) is coming off a bye week, following back-to-back losses to conference opponents Auburn (42-35) and Tennessee (45-42, OT). The Gamecocks will need to try and salvage a win in Gainesville — something they haven’t done since 2010 — to try and become bowl eligible.

South Carolina has blown leads in the fourth quarter in three of their SEC losses. Head coach Steve Spurrier voiced his aggravation with losing games with a late lead.

“We’ve lost our fair share of the close ones, one or two close ones earlier. Anytime you lose some close ones and one play determines a game it is frustrating for coaches. That’s just the way we are right now, but hopefully it’s going to improve soon.”

Despite being ranked last in the league in total defense, the Gamecocks are fifth in the SEC in total offense, including second in passing offense. Florida head coach Will Muschamp says they feature a high-powered attack.

“Offensively, they’ve been outstanding this year. They’re the best offense we’ve faced in my opinion to date this season. Dylan Thompson is playing very well. He has 22 touchdown passes. Really throwing the ball well. They’re a talented group outside. They’ve got Pharoh Cooper who does it all. He lines up and plays wildcat, quarterback, speed sweeps. They run it with him or they throw it to him. He is a talented football player.”

The Gamecocks also have a solid backfield led by junior tailback Mike Davis, who leads the team in rushing with 819 yards. UF defensive coordinator, D.J. Durkin, gives praise to their efficiency in the run game.

“They run it really well. They do a great job up front of getting a hat on a hat. There’s not many missed assignments in their run game. They block up the box and they got good backs, back there, carrying the ball.”

The Gators also boast a formidable rushing attack, which they relied on heavily against Georgia. But, the passing game was put on display against Vanderbilt last weekend. Freshman quarterback Treon Harris threw for a career high 215 yards and 49 rushing yards to go along with two touchdowns on the ground.

“He does have a calm demeanor,” UF offensive coordinator Kurt Roper said. “He does a good job with his vision and buying a little time and moving in the pocket. And just making plays.”

Speaking of Harris, Gamecocks’ play-by-play announcer, Todd Ellis, thinks one of the keys to victory for USC will be limiting Harris in the passing game.

“They have to win the time of possession by 10 minutes over the Gators. We have to get a defensive score or a special teams score. Or a free play that we’ve rarely gotten, and get some benefit from the Gators. And Treon Harris has got to be less than or right at 50 percent completing passes.”

The last two games in The Swamp have not been pretty for the home team. The last one being a blowout loss to Missouri 42-13. UF hasn’t won a home game since Sep. 13 when they beat Kentucky 36-30 in a triple overtime thriller.

“Our fans do deserve something to cheer for at The Swamp,” center Max Garcia said. “We gotta defend it. The Swamp is a place where other teams should fear coming into. Gators only get out alive. We gotta make that happen again.”

South Carolina has only beaten Florida ONCE in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in the history of the series. Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Roderick Johnson hopes to keep it that way.

“Now being able to come back and play a big game in The Swamp. We want to come out with the ‘W’ and just get it back, reclaim it.”

Kickoff for Florida’s SEC finale against the Gamecocks is set for noon on Saturday, with pregame coverage starting at 8 a.m. on ESPN 850 WRUF.

For audio of the above quotes, click below:

Spurrier on the frustration of losing close games

Muschamp on South Carolina’s offense

Durkin on the Gamecocks’ run game

Roper on Harris

Todd Ellis on the key to the Gamecocks winning

Johnson on wanting to win to reclaim The Swamp

 

 

About Jeremy Rogers

Check Also

LIVE THREAD: National Signing Day

Here’s an updated thread of all the recruits who picked the Gator hat today! RB …

AFC Divisional Round Preview: Pittsburgh Steelers

During last weekend’s NFL Wild Card round, the Steelers made a statement by handing the Dolphins a …

Houston Looking For an Upset in Foxborough

The saying has always been “it’s hard to beat a good team twice,” and in …

Blue Jackets vs. Lightning Tonight

The Columbus Blue Jackets and the Tampa Bay Lightning will be facing each other once …

Possible Additions to McElwain’s Recruiting Class Visiting this Weekend

With National Signing Day less than three weeks away, the Gators are hosting several talented …

Florida Gymnastics Prepares for Season Opener

GAINESVILLE, FL – The Florida Gator gymnastics team will kick off their season this Sunday …

Surprised Gators Promote Randy Shannon To Defensive Coordinator? You Shouldn’t Be

Florida’s head coach, Jim McElwain, announced Friday morning that Randy Shannon would be making the …

Quarterbacks in Spotlight for NFL Wild Card Weekend

The NFL Wild Card kicks off Saturday and the quarterback situations could not be any more different. On …

College Football Playoff Shakes Up Schedule

The College Football Playoff was a success in its first year. Yet, that doesn’t stop …

Michael Jordan Speaks out about Shootings, Police Officers

NBA great Michael Jordan opened up about his thoughts about shootings of African-Americans and the …

Treon Harris to Transfer

With the college football season approaching, the Florida Gators have announced that former starting QB …

USA Basketball Wins Second Exhibition Game

Just a few short days after their big win over Argentina, team USA won its …

Charlotte Is No Longer The Home Of The 2017 NBA All-Star Game

The House Bill 2 came between Charlotte, North Carolina and the 2017 All-Star Game. The …

Tampa Bay Rays Continue Series Against Oakland

The Tampa Bay Rays are continuing their three-game winning streak. The Rays defeated the Oakland …

MLB Preview Tonight

It’s summer time—the best time to go to a baseball game and experience the atmosphere. …

Braves Begin Series With Rockies

The Atlanta Braves (33-62) open up a four-game road series with the Rockies (43-51) tonight …

Marlins To Close Out Series With The Phillies

The Miami Marlins are in the middle of a crucial ten game span against NL East …

Rays Crush Rockies 11-3, Face A’s Next

In the midst of a terrible season that has seen the Tampa Bay Rays (37-57) …

American League Second Half Outlook

The second half of the baseball season is in full swing which translates to? Pennant races. Teams …

National League Evening Preview

Tonight is a busy night for the National League in the MLB. Starting with the …

Big 12 Looks To Expand

Following a Tuesday meeting between Big 12 presidents, Oklahoma president David Boren announced that the …

LSU Looks To Capitalize On Its Opportunity

The Louisiana State University Tigers will enter the 2016 college football season with high expectations, …

Muschamp Helps Close Out SEC Media Days 2016

It wasn’t Will Muschamps first SEC Media Days experience, but 2016 marked the first time …

Phil Mickelson Leads British Open After First Day

The 145th annual 2016 British Open is underway at Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland. The …

Missouri’s Football Crisis: Rebuilding A Program

On the final day of SEC Media Days, Barry Odom took the stand as Missouri’s head …

Second Half Of MLB Season Begins

The All-Star Break is a good time for teams to rest up and reform themselves …

British Open Underway

The 145th Open Championship is already underway at the Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland. Welcome …

Miami Dolphins’ Quarterback Battle Intensifying

The Miami Dolphins hosted the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3 of the NFL Preseason Thursday …