Scouting South Carolina Offense

The Gators will try and go 10-0 for the third time in school history when they visit the South Carolina Gamecocks Saturday afternoon in Columbia. Carolina is having what has become a typically mediocre season under Steve Spurrier with a 6-4 record, 3-4 in the SEC. As had been their recent history, Carolina won five of its first six games but has dropped three of four since.

The two teams have played five common opponents with the Gators winning all five by an average score of 31-12. Carolina won three of the five games, but has been outscored 26-22. Florida has performed on average 23 points better than the Gamecocks against common opponents and posted the better score in all five such games.

Offensively this isn't the Head Ball Coach of old by any means. Carolina moves the ball well enough (368 yards/g) but they don't score much (21.3 points/g). They have really struggled lately, averaging just under 12 points a game in their last four outings, three of them losses.

QB Stephen Garcia is an improving player, but still not great. He completes 57 percent for 242 yards a game with 13 TD and 6 INT. His biggest improvement can be found in those TD/INT numbers (13/6) compared to last year (6/8).He's pretty mobile, but that mobility causes him as many problems as it solves. He can turn bad plays into positive ones with his legs, but he often makes poor decisions when he throws on the run.

The running game is just ok, gaining 122 yards a game. Like Vandy they rely on freshman runners Kenny Miles (488) and Jarvis Giles (277) combining for almost 80 yards a game but just one TD each. They use a bigger TB Brian Maddox on the goal line and he has 3 TD. Garcia actually leads the team with four rushing TD. FB Patrick DiMarco rarely carries the football (8-24)) but they will throw to him (13, 6.0, 1).

The best unit on the team is the collection of receivers that Spurrier and his staff has accumulated. Carolina has a superb freshman WR 1 Alshon Jeffrey (33, 18.6, 6) who teams with Moe Brown (29, 14.9, 3) to give them a very good one-two punch. Tori Gurley is a solid third receiver (26, 14.5, 1) and underutilized TE Weslye Saunders (23, 12.5) adds another dimension.

Despite solid skill talent the offense has been disappointing because the guys up front are not consistent at all. Between injuries and lack of production Carolina has only started the same line in back to back games on time. The only player to start every game at the same spot is RG T.J. Johnson. The line is young but that doesn't justify/explain them getting worse game by game.

Overall this is a dangerous offensive team because of the skill players and the guy running the show. Florida's secondary will have to be on its toes, but they should be up to the challenge. That challenge becomes a lot less daunting if the Gators dominate in the trenches as they should.


Fightin Gators Top Stories