Danielson is popular among Gators for one after his empowering speech on why Florida should play for the 2006 BCS National Championship following a terrific conference season and hard fought contest against Arkansas in the SEC Championship game. Danielson had the entire country's eyes on him shortly after the game with Arkansas as he built a case for Florida over Michigan who had already been defeated by Ohio State in the regular season.
Danielson is quite frankly one of, if not the best college analyst on television and so his remarks count. He talked earlier this week about the matchup between Florida and South Carolina. South Carolina will have to regroup, but they have been in this situation before and get it that they are still in the fight.
"Players in this league understand that this is now the norm of the SEC," Danielson said about the close loss to LSU last week. "When you go on the road and play tough teams, you give it your best game. You fight it out. There are no guaranteed rollovers. You're not going to win them all. And, you have to think about the long view, like an NFL view of the regular-season grind."
The Gators and Gamecocks have two of the premier rushers in the league, but Danielson believes the team that wins on Saturday will be the one that produces through the air.
"Even though both of these teams want to run the ball and are hanging their hat on running the ball, the team that throws it the best this week is going to win," he said. "I don't think either side is going to have enough run game (alone) to win. Florida has thrown the ball for less than 100 yards the last two games. I don't think they can beat South Carolina with that type of one-way football."
He thinks the offense will have to step up big because both defenses are stellar and maybe more against the pass than the run.
"Both front sevens are about the same," Danielson said. "These teams rely on their front seven dominating. But both secondaries have playmakers, NFL-caliber players. That is why the passing game is going to be important. Because of the excellence of the front seven, they're not likely to run over the other football team. And, because of the challenge throwing the ball, the team that has the best passing game is going to win it."
Danielson believes special teams could be big. South Carolina return specialist Ace Sanders has made big plays in almost every game. Florida has had excellent coverage against some of the game's best. It is another good matchup to watch on Saturday.
"The wildcard in this game is Ace Sanders," Danielson said. "He has really turned the tables for South Carolina when they've won. Florida punts the ball extremely well. They cover punts extremely well. Florida cannot let Sanders beat them."