Entering the week in their highest AP Poll position in eight years, the #3 Florida Gators (1-0) play their first game of the year in Gainesville Saturday afternoon, hosting the South Carolina Gamecocks (0-1)
HOW TO WATCH
Time: Noon ET
Spread: Florida -17.5
Florida: Led by Kyle Trask’s six touchdown performance, Florida rolled to a 51-35 victory over Ole Miss.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks took a hard-fought 31-27 loss to Tennessee.
Go To Hill
Colorado State transfer Collin Hill got the start at quarterback last week for the Gamecocks after an offseason full of speculation, and looked pretty good in the defeat. Hill completed 25 of 39 passes, including ten to Shi Smith, who finished the day with 140 receiving yards (and an unfortunate drop that led to a Tennessee pick six). Hill looked particularly good and comfortable leading the Gamecocks back to tie the game after they fell behind 21-7. It will be fascinating to see what Hill is able to do against a Gators defense that has a ton of talent, but allowed 400+ passing yards to Ole Miss last week.
House of Horrors?
In honor of October, the spookiest month, South Carolina returns to Ben Hill Griffith Stadium, a place that was a House of Horrors during their last visit. After extending their lead to 31-14 with five minutes to play in the third quarter, the Gamecocks allowed 21 unanswered points, giving Florida a 35-31 victory and getting the Gators back on track after losing two games in a row coming into the day.
Too Many Kyles
It takes a lot to make a stew.
A great QB and a tight end too.
They’re both named Kyle, that’s Kyle twice.
Florida’s offense sure looks nice. They don’t have
Too Many Kyles (Too Many Kyles).
Florida quarterback Kyle Trask opened his senior season with a bang last week, tying a school record with six touchdown passes and joining Joe Burrow as the only quarterback to ever throw six touchdowns in an SEC opener. Trask was on point virtually the entire game, but his connection with tight end Kyle Pitts was the big story. Of Trask’s 30 completions, eight went to the tight end, along with four touchdowns and 170 yards, all career highs. For a Florida team that lost a lot of firepower on offense, Trask and Pitts being in sync was going to be a big part of this season, and they showed they’re more than up to the challenge.
It’s not that Florida’s defense was “bad” last week, but allowing 600+ total yards is never a good thing, even if a chunk of them come in garbage time. Perhaps some of it can be chalked up to the extremely long offseason leading to the first time the defense is getting actual reps, or some of it could be chalked up to Lane Kiffin discovering what works with an Ole Miss team that has talent on offense, but either way, look for Florida’s defense to cut down on some of those errors and yardage.
Then again, if you’re going to score 50 points and record six touchdowns every week, it doesn’t really matter how your defense looks.
Prediction: Florida 42, South Carolina 17