Andreu's answers: UF contained stars
Published: Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, November 17, 2013 at 12:13 a.m.
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Before every game, veteran Sun college football beat writer Robbie Andreu comes up with five pertinent questions and then answers them after the game. Here’s Week 10:
1. Will the faltering Florida defense get gutted in the ground game by Mike Davis, a former UF commitment and the SEC’s leading rusher?
Davis, a 1,000-yard rusher this season, did not gut the Gators, but some guy named Shon Carson did. The third-team tailback made the biggest run of the night for the Gamecocks, exploding through a giant hole up the middle for a 58-yard run in the fourth quarter when USC was facing a first-and-15 from its own 5-yard line. The burst led to the Gamecocks’ game-winning field goal with only 6:43 to play.
2. Will All-America defensive end Jadeveon Clowney have his biggest game of the season against UF’s struggling offensive line?
Clowney had two tackles for losses that ignited the crowd, but that was about it for his overall performance. The Gators did what most teams have done to try and neutralize Clowney. They ran at him some, they ran away from him, and they did not put quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg in harm’s way by having him drop in the pocket in obvious passing situations. They ran the ball in those situations instead.
3. Can the Gators avoid the kind of game-changing turnovers that killed them in last week’s loss to Vanderbilt?
With a new and inexperienced quarterback starting the game, the Gators did not take many chances. With a more conservative approach, UF managed to avoid turnovers until the final two minutes of the game. With the Gators trying to rally, Skyler Mornhinweg was chased from the pocket and threw an ill-advised pass that was intercepted, ending UF’s hopes of a late comeback.
4. Will it be another rough day for beleaguered UF quarterback Tyler Murphy?
It was a really rough day because his sprained right shoulder knocked him out of the game. He made the trip to Columbia, but after failing to practice all week, he did not dress out, putting the game in the hands of redshirt freshman Skyler Mornhinweg, who put the game in the hands of tailbacks Kelvin Taylor and Mack Brown. The big question now is: how long will Murphy be out?
5. Will the Gators get off to their usual slow start and never lead in the game?
It looked like Florida was headed in that direction when the Gamecocks opened the game with a long drive fueled by two big plays that led to a field goal and an early 3-0 lead. But the Gators answered that drive with a 67-yard TD drive that ended with Kelvin Taylor scoring on a 20-yard run on a third-and-14 play. When USC kicked another field goal early in the second quarter, the Gators answered again with a touchdown drive, again with Taylor getting the score, this time on a 29-yard run. So, there was no slow start on this night. It was a great start, one that had the Gators playing with the lead for the first time since the first quarter of the Oct. 12 LSU game.
Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or email@example.com. Also check out Andreu's blog at Gatorsports.com.