Koehne and Gators Bracing for Challenge

The Gators haven't lost back-to-back matchups to the Gamecocks since 1936 and '39, and they're hoping to keep it that way when they head into Columbia this weekend. Florida offensive lineman Kyle Koehne understands that the Gators will have to play well against a very talented, yet wounded opponent in order to get a win.

Both teams are planning on starting quarterbacks that were knocked out of their last game. John Brantley should be back under center for the Gators after leaving Florida's 26-21 victory over Vanderbilt last week with an arm injury. Gamecock quarterback Connor Shaw left South Carolina's loss to Arkansas last week with a concussion after being sacked five times.

The banged-up South Carolina offense will also be without star running back Marcus Lattimore, who is out for the season with a leg injury. In last year's 36-14 loss to the Gamecocks in the Swamp, Lattimore ran all over the Florida defense, rushing for 212 yards and three touchdowns on a career-high 40 attempts.

The Gamecocks didn't seem to suffer too much without Lattimore against Tennessee, they still rushed for 231 yards in a 14-3 victory, but had a season low 79 rushing yards in their 44-28 loss to Arkansas. Last week, Florida managed to hold Vanderbilt to 80 yards on the ground.

The Gators were also able to clean up the penalties against Vanderbilt – an area they really struggled during their 4 game skid in the October they'd all like to forget. Against Vanderbilt, they were penalized just three times for 17 yards.

"We were real happy with that," said offensive tackle Kyle Koehne about the Gators lack of penalties.

"We played as a unit, we were much more cohesive, everybody did their job and held on to their blocks. It was about that time, a four game losing streak, we were hungry, we all played our hardest and played our best."

"There's always room for improvement, we (have to) fix all the mental mistakes that we had."

On defense, South Carolina brings one of the toughest lines in the conference, anchored by playmaker Melvin Ingram. So far this season, Ingram has recorded 34 tackles (9.5 for a loss), 5.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery and 3 defensive touchdowns.

Koehne says the Gamecocks will bring one of the best defensive lines they'll see all season.

"They're great athletes, they remind us of Alabama or LSU, just good defensive linemen that we'll have to play our best to compete with," Koehne said. "They're good size, you can tell they're well coached, they have good pass rush moves, you can tell they're good athletes, they'll bring it."

For many Florida fans, the South Carolina game has a bit more significance with Steve Spurrier as head coach. For Koehne, it's just another game against a well-coached team.

"I don't think it's as big as it was a couple years ago, but everybody knows Spurrier was a big deal here, he's a good coach, he'll be good to play against," he said.

"We're hungry for another victory, an SEC victory, we want to win out."

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