UF-USC prediction time


How South Carolina can win:

Steve Spurrier.

I could leave it at that and everyone would understand. He beat his
old school two years ago in a game that cost the Gators the Eastern
Division championship. Last year in The Swamp (which, of course,
Spurrier named back in the early 1990s) he nearly pulled off the upset.
Had it not been for Jarvis Moss blocking Ryan Succop’s 48-yard field
goal attempt on the final play, Spurrier wins that game and denies the
Gators a chance to play for the national championship.

So, here we go again. The Gators have everything to play for and the former ball coach is standing in the way.

Spurrier’s offense has lacked consistency for most of the season, but
it looks like he’s finally settled on his quarterback, senior Blake
Mitchell. Mitchell has a hot hand after throwing for more than 300
yards in each of his last two games (Tennessee and Arkansas), so the
Gamecocks will have a chance to exploit a young Florida secondary that
has been susceptible for most of the year. The UF corners had their
best game of the season in the win over Vanderbilt last Saturday, but
this will be a tougher test because no one knows how to attack a soft
secondary better than Spurrier.

Spurrier’s biggest concern has to be his defense. The strength of the
team for most of the season, the defense was gutted for more than 500
yards rushing a week ago against Arkansas and Heisman candidate Darren
McFadden. And this is a banged-up defense, especially in the secondary.

If the defense rebounds and the offense controls the tempo of the game
(like it has in this game the past two seasons), the Gamecocks can
spoil Florida’s night ” and SEC hopes.

Why Florida will win:

The young defense looks like it’s finally getting better. The offense
appears to be on a roll now that Tim Tebow is staying in the pocket and
finding open receivers. And Percy Harvin is getting all kinds of
touches as a runner and receiver.

The thought here is the defense is now playing well enough to break
USC’s serve a few times. If that happens, the offense will have a
chance to build a little cushion because I don’t see the Gamecocks
consistently slowing down the Gators. There are too many matchup
problems for USC, especially if the Gamecocks try to cover the UF
receivers man-to-man. Florida’s offense has more weapons than USC’s, so
the edge goes to the Gators.

Prediction: Florida 31, South Carolina 28