Our 2013 NCAA Football schedule continues tonight as South Carolina hosts Florida. We’ll have complete coverage beginning at 6:30 PM Eastern on our WestwoodOne affiliates coast-to-coast and streaming live right here on WestwoodOneSports.com!
To get you ready for the game, our analyst Chris Doering, who will call the game, filed this preview:
Florida Scouting Report:
The Gators limp into Columbia having lost four straight, including an embarrassing home setback against Vanderbilt last week. Florida has been decimated by injuries and will go on the road dressing less than 60 scholarship players. The season-ending injuries continued this week as linebacker Antonio Morrison underwent knee surgery and quarterback Tyler Murphy is doubtful with a shoulder injury. Redshirt freshman Skyler Mornhinweg has gotten the starter’s reps in practice this week at the quarterback position, but has yet to play a down of college football at this point in his career. Facing Jadeveon Clowney, Kelcy Quarles and Chaz Sutton with a banged up offensive line may not be the ideal way to get acclimated to SEC play.
South Carolina Scouting Report:
The Gamecocks have enjoyed a nice home-field advantage at Williams-Brice Stadium, winning the last 15 games in a row, and they look to win back-to-back home games against the Gators for the first time since 1936 and 1939. South Carolina is led by possibly the most underrated quarterback in the conference in Connor Shaw, who is 23-5 as a starter throughout his career. Joining Shaw in the backfield is running back Mike Davis, who leads the SEC with 117 yards per game on the ground. Everyone knows how good defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is, but this Gamecock defense is loaded with talent and they all know how to chase down the football as they average more than seven tackles for loss per game.
Florida Wins If…:
The Gators gave up 34 points last week to Vanderbilt, but the defense only allowed 183 total yards as the Commodores took advantage of four Tyler Murphy turnovers that gave them possessions starting at the UF 10, 4, 22 and 10-yard lines. Florida can match up with the Gamecocks defensively, but the Gators must protect the football on offense and not give up any short-field situations for the USC offense. This Gamecock defense is built to rush the passer, so the Gators must stay out of third and long, where Clowney and company can pin their ears back and go. Look for the Gators to run right at a defense that some believe is more finesse than physical in an effort to minimize negative plays.
South Carolina Wins If…:
South Carolina is a more talented, healthy team than the Gators at this point in the season. UF was able to jump out to a 21-3 lead last year with three touchdown drives of less than 30 yards thanks to multiple Gamecock turnovers. As long as South Carolina doesn’t find themselves in a giving mood again this year, they win this football game. Mike Davis should find running room against a Gator defense that has given up 100 more rushing yards per game during the four-game losing skid than they did in the first five games of the year.
– Chris Doering