Whitley at The Half: The Gators are making people sick

David Whitley
Gator Sports
Florida quarterback Emory Jones throws a pass during the first half of the team's NCAA college football game against South Carolina on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

Dan Mullen told the SEC Network that 20-30 players missed practice time this week because of the flu. Emory Jones must still have symptoms, since he was given fluids from an IV bag before the game.

The way things look, the entire team must not have practiced since the Georgia game.

Florida, a 20-point favorite, is down by 20.

This against a team with one SEC win – a one-point victory over Vanderbilt.

South Carolina is starting its third-string quarterback. Jason Brown has a 169 passing.

One of least productive offensive lines in America is blasting holes in Florida’s front line.

In a Georgia mini-déjà vu, the Gamecocks in a last-minute fumble that was returned for a TD.

Medical Update: UF’s season is officially in critical condition.

•One of the game’s subplots is the clash between two of the most embattled coordinators in the SEC. South Carolina fans are down on offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield, and with good reason. The Gamecocks came in ranked 115th in scoring, averaging 20.9 points a game. Todd Grantham can relate. The erratic play of Florida’s defense has made him Gator Nation’s favorite punching bag.

This looked like it would be a battle between South Carolina’s irresistible force and Florida’s moveable objects. So far, the objects are moving but the force is all but irresistible.

The Gamecocks, who came in averaging 117 yards rushing, had almost that many in the first quarter. They finished the half with 316 yards total offense.

The way things are going, Grantham might be fired at halftime.

• Two-thirds of the way through the season and Florida’s kicking roulette is still spinning. Chris Howard and Jace Christmann started the year splitting extra-point duties as UF didn’t attempt a field goal in its first two games.

Christmann eased into the full-time role. It was hardly a busy one, since he tried only six field goals heading into tonight’s game. He missed a 51-yarder and a 23-yarder last week against Georgia, so Howard’s back in the mix. He made a 30-yarder in the first quarter, so apparently the job is now his to lose.

Gainesville Sun sports columnist David Whitley provides first-half analysis of Saturday's Florida vs. South Carolina game at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C.: