GAINESVILLE (CBSMiami) – The South Carolina Gamecocks defense couldn’t muster enough strength to keep the LSU Tigers down last week, but in the SEC, there’s no time to lick your wounds. The Gamecocks now have to travel to The Swamp to try and take out their frustration on second ranked Florida.
The Gators are 6-0 on the season and undefeated in conference play. Florida came in second in the nation in the initial BCS standings released last Sunday. South Carolina is ranked ninth and can still get to the SEC championship game if it can knock off UF.
The winner of Saturday’s game doesn’t clinch the SEC East, but it will give the winner the inside track on a bid to Atlanta to face either Alabama or LSU. It’s a position Spurrier grew accustomed to at UF, but is trying to instill as a tradition as USC.
“If we’re going to win our division, which we hope to do, this is a crucial game,” Spurrier said. “We all know that. I don’t know how else to say it, except we’ll go down there and be ready to give it our best shot and hopefully play with a little bit more energy from a lot of our guys than the last game we played.”
If you’re hoping for a dizzying display of offense, then this is probably not going to be your game. Florida and South Carolina are tied for second in the conference in scoring defense, both allowing just 12.3 points per game.
Florida’s defense has an almost no-name feel to it, while South Carolina’s is led by a defensive line that is second-to-none in the SEC and led by sophomore Jadaveon Clowney. In total defense, South Carolina allows just 296.3 yards per game, while Florida allows 297.2 yards per game, per cfbstats.com.
South Carolina is facing its third straight Top 10 SEC showdown this week. The Gamecocks moved to number three in the country after completely dismantling Georgia, 35-7 two weeks ago. South Carolina then dropped to ninth after losing to LSU last week.
But, South Carolina’s defense, which was initially stout against the run, was gouged by LSU for 258 yards in last week’s loss. Gamecock defenders blamed missed tackles, but the team will also likely be without defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles.
Florida will bring with it an offense of ramming the ball down South Carolina’s throat. The Gators are averaging 233.33 yards per game on the ground and average 45 attempts per game.