Fall Sports

Staff Predictions: Florida vs South Carolina

Florida football will look to put the loss at LSU in the rearview. The Gators still control their own destiny and must win-out to win the SEC East. That starts this weekend in Columbia.

The Gamecocks are coming off the upset of the season, having taken down Georgia on the road.

The following are our staff predictions for the game:

Michael Pfeffer:

The Gators are eager to get back into the win column this week. Kyle Trask had ice in his veins last week before a sellout crowd in Death Valley, so I don’t expect him to be easily rattled by the South Carolina faithful. The Gamecocks may be a little too amped up after their unlikely win in Athens a week ago. The trouble with winning a big game in the SEC is that you usually have to do it again the next week. The Gators are just too much for the Gamecocks to handle and that’s why I’m picking the Gators for the win, 35-21.

Ainslie Lee:

Following their upset win over Georgia, the Gamecocks are pretty high on their horse. I expect a full house in Columbia — only to see a lot of South Carolina fans be disappointed when they realize last week’s win isn’t a sign of the times. Ryan Hilinski is a little beat up following the Georgia game. And while he’s expected to play this weekend, I doubt he’s going to be 100%. And with or without Greenard and Zuniga, I expect the Gators to apply pressure to USC’s lackluster offensive line and consequently get to Hilinski. I really think the Gators’ defense can rebound this game. Between the pressure upfront and a hopefully improved performance on the back half of the field, the Gamecocks should have a tough time finding the endzone. On the offensive side of the football, I anticipate the running game to finally get churning for the Gators. Don’t ask me why — just my gut feeling. Kyle Trask is going to do Kyle Trask things, while we will see more Emory Jones packages. Florida rains on South Carolina’s parade, 35-17.

Brandon Buckman:

Based off of what we saw last year, Dan Mullen gets his guys to respond well after losses, for example, winning five in a row after the Kentucky loss and also putting together a four-game streak including a bowl win over Michigan after two disappointing losses to Georgia and Mizzou in 2018. I expect no different for the Gators this weekend as they head to Columbia, SC to take on the Gamecocks, who just had a huge upset win over 3 Georgia. South Carolina is rolling with a ton of confidence, as for the Gators, they are focus on getting back on track.and I believe they will do so with Kyle Trask leading the way in a 35-31 Florida win.

Mark Stine:

In its 20-17 massive upset of Georgia, South Carolina played flawlessly.

The Gamecocks forced four turnovers (and didn’t turn the ball over once), relinquished only two red zone visits (granted, both were touchdowns) and didn’t allow a single quarterback pressure.

However, USC’s upset performance will not be duplicated against Florida.
First, South Carolina needed luck to get past UGA. It benefitted from passes that went through the hands of receivers and two missed field goals by the normally automatic Rodrigo Blankenship.

Second, there’s no reason to expect a shaky performance from Kyle Trask. The UF quarterback has been the definition of consistent this season, throwing only three interceptions compared to nine touchdowns in his last five games.

And third, Gamecocks quarterback Ryan Hilinski won’t be very comfortable in the pocket, as his offensive line is ranked T-10th in the SEC in sacks allowed (2.17 per game) will line up against the conference’s most productive pass rush. The No. 9 Gators cruise, 31-14.

Brian Fox:

Florida must rebound quickly from last week’s loss to LSU. The Gators still have everything to play for, and a CFP berth is not an impossibility.

Florida must rebound quickly from last week’s loss to LSU. The Gators still have everything to play for, and a CFP berth is not an impossibility.

The Gators will have to stop the run, as USC averages nearly 200 yards per game on the ground (193.5), and force Ryan Hilinski to throw.

Carolina has a solid defense, thanks to the genius of former Florida head coach Will Muschamp. The Gamecocks forced Georgia into four turnovers. The Gators can’t afford turnovers.

It’s also worth noting that there is a 100% chance of rain as a storm will make its way through Columbia on Saturday. Regardless of the weather, Florida is more talented and should come away with a victory. Gators, 31-13.
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Florida and South Carolina are set to kickoff at noon EST. The game will be aired live on ESPN. You can follow @ChompTalkBrian and @ChompTalk for live updates.

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