The Gators host South Carolina in its 2020 home opener on Saturday. Florida is off to a 1-0 start after a 51-35 schalacking of Ole Miss last weekend. South Carolina, however, is 0-1 after suffering a 31-27 defeat to Tennessee.
Here are our staff’s predictions for the Gators’ 2020 home opener:
Will Muschamp wasn’t shy about how he felt in regards to facing this year’s Gators roster. Offensively, Florida presents nothing but matchup issues for South Carolina — and that doesn’t just mean Kyle Pitts, either. Not to mention, two notable Gamecock defenders have been listed as day-to-day, with another out for four to six weeks with a hip fracture. And if UF’s opener at Ole Miss proved anything, it’s that they will have its way with a young defense. On the other side of the ball, expect Florida to be firing on all cylinders. Everyone seemed unhappy with Florida’s defensive performance, including the Gator defense, itself. They’ll be ready to shake the criticism against an unproven USC offense. Florida wins big here. 49-13, Gators.
Florida will face another high level quarterback this week in South Carolina’s Collin Hill. Hill, a transfer from Colorado State, threw for 290 yards and a score against Tennessee in his FBS debut last week. Hill’s favorite target, WR Shi Smith, went off for 140 yards on 10 catches. Just a week after the Gators’ secondary struggled mightily against Matt Corral and Elijah Moore, they will need to avoid a similar showing against the Gamecocks. UF, however, has too much talent to lose this one. Gators, 31-17
I think the Gators get off to a hot start early. I also think we see better defensive play after last week. Defensive line gets at least 4 sacks this game if not more. This game gets nasty for South Carolina. Gators cover, Florida 52 – South Carolina 20.
Florida will be facing South Carolina quarterback, Collin Hill for the second time in his career. The first outing was a forgettable one for Hill, who played back up to K.J. Carta-Samuels in a 48-10 loss in which Hill went 2/8 for 23 total yards. However, Hill is surrounded by much better talent than he was at Colorado State. The Gators will win this game simply because their offensive firepower will be too much for the Gamecocks to overcome. But if they can get more production out of the defense, they could win this one, decisively. With many of last week’s missing players returning on Saturday, that’s exactly what I expect to see. Especially since several of Florida’s defensive players were angered and embarrassed by the performance they turned in last week. I like the Gators to win their home opener. Gators 49-28.
Florida and South Carolina are set for a noon (ET) kickoff from The Swamp.
What is your score prediction for Saturday’s game?