The last time Will Muschamp walked off the field in The Swamp, many were wondering if he’d ever have the chance to coach here again. After the humiliating homecoming loss to Missouri, there was a great deal of speculation that UF Athletics Director Jeremy Foley might go ahead and pull the plug on the Muschamp era the following day.
But Foley stuck with Muschamp, giving him the chance to try and turn things around in the second half of the season.
Well, a month after that devastating loss to Missouri, Muschamp returns to The Swamp with a chance to secure his job at UF. A change at quarterback, an open date and a big upset win over Georgia have changed everything for Muschamp and the Gators.
If they beat South Carolina to move to 6-3 on the season, Muschamp likely will have a chance to continue his UF career beyond this season. Of course, if the Gators fall again at home (for the third time in a row this season), Muschamp will be right back on the hot seat and many will be calling for him to be fired.
So, this is a big, big game in The Swamp.
UF and USC seem headed in different directions. The Gamecocks have lost four SEC games in a row and are struggling to become bowl eligible. The Gators have won two in a row and are playing with great confidence behind new starting quarterback Treon Harris, who has provided the spark UF was searching for to turn things around.
Steve Spurrier’s offense is very potent and will cause some problems for a Florida secondary without starting safety Keanu Neal. But USC’s defense has been awful and unable to hold leads. In a game like this, I think you go with the team with the best defense, and that would be Florida in a big way.
The Swamp should be rocking again Saturday. And the Gators are going to feed off the emotion and the great confidence they come into the game with.
A month ago, things looked dire for Muschamp and this team as they left The Swamp. On Saturday, they will have a chance to celebrate on their field.
Prediction: Florida 31, South Carolina 28.