Florida Gators vs. South Carolina Gamecocks Preview

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Florida Gators Preview
November 4, 2017. Quarterback Feleipe Franks of the Florida Gators passes against the Missouri Tigers at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

After an embarrassing 45-16 loss to the Missouri Tigers, the Florida Gators will travel to Columbia to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks. The past few weeks for Florida has been some of the weirdest in the program’s long history. There are a lot of things happening on and off the field which led to the weak and inexcusable performance against the Tigers. Somehow, the Gators need to rally around each other before they take on the Gamecocks and pull off an upset against former Florida head coach Will Muschamp. Will the Gators actually play with some heart and give South Carolina a good game, or will they go through the motions and get throttled?

Florida Gators

The Florida Gators need to do some soul searching before they go up against South Carolina. Even with a quarterback change, the Florida Gators continue to struggle on offense. While Malik Zaire and Feleipe Franks did not play horribly, the players around them and the play-calling was terrible. The running game was not the best, but that was mostly because the Florida offensive line was beat badly. Lamical Perine was one of the few players who actually seemed to care, which is why he scored Florida’s only touchdown. Dre Massey was another player that performed with some heart as he and Perine were Florida’s top two playmakers on offense. Florida offensive coordinator, Doug Nussmeier, must come up with some type of creative to get the ball in their hands. Massey played very well, and he deserves more touches than some of the other players.

On the other side of the ball, the defense was flat out atrocious. The defensive line did not apply any pressure on the quarterback. The linebackers played with heart but it just was not enough. The secondary was picked apart by Drew Lock mostly due to him having plenty of time in the pocket. This defense must come out with some type of energy and urgency if they expect to slow down the South Carolina offense. Jake Bentley is a skilled quarterback who will make smart decisions and could possibly beat the Florida defense if he has time in the pocket. The Florida defense will need to take the field firing on all cylinders and get to the quarterback quickly either for a sack or a bad pass. If not, South Carolina could hang 35 on the Florida defense and continue to embarrass to the Florida brand.

South Carolina Gamecocks

The South Carolina Gamecocks are coming to a tough 24-10 loss to the #1 ranked Georgia Bulldogs. This game will be crucial for their head coach, Will Muschamp. With the Gators down, don’t be surprised if Muschamp throws the kitchen sink at his former team. Sophomore QB Jake Bentley has had a decent season but without Deebo Samuel, South Carolina would likely lean on the running game. The sophomore A.J. Turner will look to carry most of the load as he is one of their lead rusher. If the Gamecocks can protect Bentley, he will have enough time to hit some of his tops targets like Hayden Hurst and Bryan Edwards.

The South Carolina defense should have a big game as they go up against one of the worst offenses in the SEC. The two biggest keys for the Gamecock defense is to stop Lamical Perine and keep Malik Zaire in the pocket. They will need to force the Gators to air out against them since that is Florida’s biggest weakness on offense. Players like Chris Lammons and Skai Moore will need to come up big and make big plays for the Gamecocks. Will Muschamp will put out his best game plan and do a good job of disguising coverages to confuse the weak Florida offense.

5 Players to Watch: Florida Gators

  1. RB Lamical Perine
  2. LB David Reese
  3. DT Taven Bryan
  4. P Johnny Townsend
  5. WR Dre Massey

5 Players to Watch: South Carolina Gamecocks

  1. QB Jake Bentley
  2. LB Skai Moore
  3. CB Chris Lammons
  4. WR Bryan Edwards
  5. DL D.J. Wonnum

5 Predictions:

  1. David Reese has 10+ tackles.
  2. South Carolina D holds Florida to under 125 rushing yards.
  3. Malik Zaire has over 200 yards of total offense.
  4. Jake Brentley throws 2 TDs.
  5. South Carolina beats Florida 27-13.

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