5 Predictions: Florida edition

For the second year, over the course of the season, I will be making five predictions for each of the South Carolina football games. Some may be bold, some may be safe, some may be right on target. This week we take a look at the critical match-up at Florida.

1. Defensive line responds

South Carolina gave up more yardage on the ground against LSU than they had given up in more than a year. Now they take on a Florida team that is one of the best in the conference in rushing. The South Carolina defensive line and linebackers will get back on track this season, limiting Florida to a season-low in rushing. Florida rushed for 142 yards against Texas A&M earlier this season. Florida will rush for less than that Saturday.

2. Shaw gets back on track

Last week's performance against LSU was probably the worst in the career of quarterback Connor Shaw. Shaw was a respectable 19-of-34 for 177 yards and two scores, but was intercepted twice and rushed for -1 yard. Shaw may not throw as much this week as Carolina hopes to get its running game back on track. Shaw will be much more effective this week and will certainly run for more yards than he did last week. Look for him to top 150 yards, one score, and rush for 50+ yards.

3. Lattimore scores twice

Marcus Lattimore may not start Saturday, but he will play. Assuming he remains healthy, he will play a lot. Lattimore had the biggest game of his career two years ago in the Swamp. He has battled a hip injury all week and did not practice much, but at this point in his career he doesn't need to. Lattimore will have a much better game than his 35-yard performance last weekend and will get to the end zone to keep his streak of rushing touchdowns in every game intact.

4. Driskel makes critical mistake

In games that are close the team that loses usually makes a crucial mistake. For Carolina last week it was Shaw's interception that allowed LSU to take the lead. Driskel is not a bad passer, but Florida just doesn't have a go-to receiver. Driskel has topped 200 yards just twice and hasn't even got close to 100 yards the last two weeks. If Florida has to throw the ball 25+ times they are in trouble. If Carolina can shut down the run game, which is their goal, they can force Driskel to make mistakes.

5. Clowney gets two, defense gets five

Jadeveon Clowney did not have a Clowney-like performance against LSU. He was solid with six tackles and two pass deflections, but for just the second time this season he failed to record a sack and had just 0.5 tackles for loss. If there is one thing that Driskel has failed to do is avoid sacks. Driskel's been sacked 18 times in six games, including eight against Texas A&M and five against LSU. Even Kentucky recorded three sacks. Look for Clowney to get back on track this week and get to Driskel twice while the defense will get five after getting just one sack last week.


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