Both teams are coming off of complete opposite results. South Carolina was able to stun the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens last week, their first win against UGA since 2014 and the first in Athens since 2007. Florida, meanwhile, lost a hard fought battle to the arch rival LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge on Saturday night. So certainly, there’s a different feel for each team as they head into this collision with each other.
This game is suddenly pivotal now in the SEC East standings, though. Florida is 3-1 in conference play, which currently is good for second-best in the SEC East behind the Missouri Tigers. South Carolina, though, is 2-2 with that aforementioned win over Georgia. Should the Gamecocks win, they will then own wins against two of the top dogs in the division. If Florida were to win, they would sink South Carolina down to 2-3 and put them at a minimum of two games back of the division lead. So this is a high stakes matchup, no doubt about it.
The positive news for Florida is that they won’t be facing LSU’s offense this week. The Gamecocks’ offense is far more pedestrian than the Tigers’, who of course own the top mark in PPG this season. South Carolina ranks 72nd in the nation in points per game (28.8), total yards per game (409.8) and yards per play (5.8). Florida’s offense has been far better on the year, and lately under quarterback Kyle Trask. UF is tied for 28th in the nation in yards/play (6.4), 50th in total offense (429.3) and 53rd in points per games (31.8). They aren’t setting the world on fire, but they’ve definitely been better than their incoming adversary.
Florida hasn’t given up too many points per game this year, and they’ve been improving a bit after a tough start to the year. After allowing at least 7.0 yards per play in three of their first five games of the year, they’ve rebounded with outings of 5.5 against the Auburn Tigers and 5.4 against the LSU Tigers. They could stand to see that number decrease still, but improvements are improvements nonetheless.
The Gamecocks, meanwhile, have been on an upward progression since their dreadful performance against the Alabama Crimson Tide. They’ve allowed YPP of 4.8, 3.4 and 4.9 in their last three games. They gave up 468 yards to Georgia, but it took the Bulldogs 95 plays to reach that mark. This came after a rather poised showing against the Kentucky Wildcats, in which they allowed just 3.4 yards per play on 62 plays. Javon Kinlaw has been beasting this year, as he’s up to five sacks in six games played so far. He’s likely to be an impact player tomorrow, as Trask will have to try and avoid him as much as possible.
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Spread: Florida -4.5
Records ATS: Florida (3-2-2) | South Carolina (4-2)