Grading the Gators: Florida defense deserves a gold star for effort against South Carolina

David Whitley
Gator Sports

Here are the Gators' grades after Saturday's big win against South Carolina in The Swamp:

Offense: B plus

It looked like an A-plus night as the Gators raced to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. The ensuing let-up was more pronounced than Billy Napier would have liked, especially in the third quarter.

Turnovers gave UF possession inside Carolina’s 30 three times, but the Gators managed only one TD. Anthony Richardson didn’t have a crisp passing night, but it hardly mattered. He almost had a 100-yard rushing game, while Montrell Johnson and Trevor Etienne did.

Even with the flaws, any game with 515 yards of total offense is a good one.

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Defense: A

Six straight shutout quarters? Call Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

Other than one drive that died at UF’s 17-yard line, the Gamecocks’ offense never came close to scoring. South Carolina averaged 1.9 yards on 23 rushing attempts.

UF also forced three quick turnovers to start the second half,

The Gamecocks have been offensively challenged all season and were missing top rusher Marshawn Lloyd, but UF’s defense has looked bad against bad teams this season. There’s nothing wrong with looking good against a bad team.

Special Teams: D minus

Other than a 67-yard punt that was downed at the 4-yard line, ugh.

Jeremy Crawshaw’s only other punt was returned 37 yards and included a facemask penalty.

The Gamecocks blocked one field goal attempt. Another one was derailed by a fumbled snap. The only points South Carolina managed came on a fake punt that turned into a 48-yard touchdown pass.

UF could easily afford the mistakes against a team like Carolina. That won’t be the case against a team like FSU.