The Gators are heading to Columbia, SC for a matchup with the Gamecocks Saturday.
Florida dominated USC a year ago, earning a 38-6 victory. SC QB Spencer Rattler threw for just 145 yards and was sacked three times while the Gators pounded the ball down the field with 374 rushing yards.
The following are our staff’s predictions for Florida vs South Carolina:
Carson Euverard – Billy Napier has made changes this week to the travel schedule and put an emphasis on sleep to better prepare for road games. Williams-Brice Stadium is one of the tougher road tests in the SEC and the Gamecocks will be looking to avenge last year’s blowout in the Swamp.
South Carolina’s defense is ranked 118th nationally and is allowing 443 YPG. Trevor Etienne is healthy and in the lineup this week and he should be able to find holes against a weaker Gamecock defense. Graham Mertz has done everything Napier has asked him to do and shown that he can run the offense. He is second in the country with an 80% completion percentage. Napier hinted in his press conference that they might start throwing the ball down the field more after Steve Spurrier’s comments.
Despite South Carolina’s defensive struggles I think Williams-Brice will be a difficult atmosphere and the Gamecocks win a close one 28-24.
Alyssa Britton-Harr – After Florida’s fourth win at home, the Gators look to take their first victory away against South Carolina. Despite Florida’s 4-2 record vs. South Carolina’s 2-3 record which features losses to both Georgia and Tennessee. The Gators have struggled on the road before, but I believe this game to be different due to the explosive momentum that has been carried on throughout the past couple of games. Florida however, does have an unpromising list of injured players including Trevor Etienne who is listed as questionable for Saturday. Offensively the Gators have struggled, but with Florida’s sparked defense it can be promised they will find success on the field. I believe Florida will take the win, 30-17.
Hugh Green – After a promising showing last week against Vanderbilt in the Swamp, Florida is looking to carry the momentum into Columbia against South Carolina. The Gators have struggled mightily away from home since Billy Napier became the head coach last season. In Napier’s tenure, Florida is just 1-5 in games not played at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. He will have to fire up his team if he doesn’t want to suffer another road loss.
The Gator run game will be the focal point of their offense against the Gamecocks. South Carolina has given up 141.6 rushing yards per game this season while Florida has averaged 153 yards per game on the ground. This is a formula for success for the Gator rushing attack.
If Trevor Etienne, who returns to the lineup after being sidelined with an injury last week, and Montrell Johnson Jr. can be their usual selves in the run game, and the Florida defense can be as affective as it has been so far this year, the Gators should be able to take this one in Columbia. Florida, 24-20.
Regan Roberts – Last year, the Gators ran for 374 yards in their 38-6 beatdown of the Gamecocks in the Swamp. This year, the run game will be essential again for the Gators to pull out the win. The Gamecocks are coming off a bye-week, and a loss against Tennessee the week before. They will be hungry for a win and revenge against the Gators. Last week the offense put up 280 pass yards and 215 rush yards, so if Mertz and the rest of the offense shows up to play, the Gators should have nothing to worry about. Florida, 21-7.
Brian Fox – Alright, if we learned anything last week, it’s that “Vegas Knows,” right? There was no indication leading into last week that the Gators should have been 18-point favorites, yet Florida covered the spread.
UF enters this week as a 2-point underdog, which is about as much as home field advantage is worth in the world of sports betting, making this almost a pick ’em otherwise.
But why is this game a “pick ’em”? On the season, the Gators are the better offensive team and the better defensive team, and it’s really not close.
We are going to learn from last week’s mistake and assume “Vegas Knows.” South Carolina, 21-20.
Florida and South Carolina kickoff from Williams-Brice Stadium at 3:30 PM. The game will be aired live on SEC Network.