Florida at South Carolina: Prediction

Result of the Georgia-Auburn game Saturday afternoon could obviously have an effect on the South Carolina mindset in this contest but feel redemption for last season's 44-11 humiliation in Gainesville is the overriding motivational factor here.

Florida at South Carolina
Odds: South Carolina -13.5 (-110) and 42 (-110)
Time-change to 07:00pm EST
Florida - QB-Skyler Mornhinweg-Probable
Florida - QB-Tyler Murphy-Doubtful
Florida - QB-Jeff Driskel-OUT
South Carolina - RB-Mike Davis-Probable TV: ESPN 2, DTV: 209
MOSTLY CLOUDY, EAST WIND 0-5mph
KICKOFF TEMP 63

Result of the Georgia-Auburn game Saturday afternoon could obviously have an effect on the South Carolina mindset in this contest but feel redemption for last season's 44-11 humiliation in Gainesville is the overriding motivational factor here.

Schedule and fate are extremely kind to the Gamecocks right now as they play all of their remaining games at home, and tonight's opponent limps in with either a sore shouldered starting quarterback in Tyler Murphy or a redshirt freshman making his first ever college start. A rowdy, 80,000+ seat SEC venue like Williams-Brice Stadium is not exactly the place where third string QB Skyler Mornhinwheg figures to revive Florida from the offensive flat line they've been in all season.

Attrition across the offensive line (six different starting combinations through last week) and at running back led to five sacks for -59 yards, a 2.88 true rush per carry average and four turnovers vs. Vanderbilt a week ago. The fundamental matchup of Florida's non-explosive offense against the South Carolina defense which has allowed just three touchdowns of 25+ yards all season is a hand in glove fit for the Gamecocks.

Devastating injuries continue on the defensive side as well for Florida which has now lost starting MLB & leading tackler Antonio Morrison for the season. The Gamecocks pounding ground attack led by RB Mike Davis is likely to exploit the void and enhance QB Connor Shaw's play action passing. Florida's defense has been their anchor all season (#5 nationally in total defense) but some wear could begin to show up here. While the vast majority of on field components in this contest suggest a fairly easy South Carolina win, it's important to note that of their seven victories only three have been by 13 points or more.

They are only 2-2 as a double digit favorite and are averaging just 32.1 points per game against a schedule that has included one opponent inside the top 30 in total defense (Central Florida). My handicapping power ratings show South Carolina to be -8.5 point favorites which indicates the price tag is inflated by four full points due to the UF QB situation. Florida will be playing for their post season lives in this one and coupled with last week's embarrassing loss, expect a fully focused effort from them.

However, the combination of the bye week to get ready, strong revenge motive and far better health are all advantages significant enough to make the Gamecocks worth a small play no matter who starts at QB for Florida.

Projection: South Carolina 29 Florida 13


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