Florida’s total defense is ranked fourth-best in the SEC, only allowing 334.0 yards per game. South Carolina will face defensive back Vernon Hargreaves, III and the Gators’ backfield will try and limit receivers and opportunities throughout the game to stop the Gamecocks from putting points on the board.
“He is pretty talented,” said wide receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr. “He moves well, he’s quick, strong, you have to try to find out where he is and if you can get away from him, get away from him a little bit. They have a good defense, strong defensive line. We will pick our spots with him but we think we have a pretty good plan. He can’t cover everybody, hopefully.”
The ‘O’-line will also have to keep their eyes peeled for junior defensive lineman Dante Fowler, Jr. who has 43 total tackles and 3.5 sacks.
“Fowler’s a great football player,” said offensive line coach Elliott. “He has great technique, hustle guy. He gets after it. He was one of the best defensive ends in our league. They are going to move him inside, outside, they are going to move him all around, we have to account for him wherever he is.”
The Gamecocks will rely heavily on Steve Spurrier’s prolific offense to put points up on the board and take a ‘W’ back up to Columbia.
Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward knows that the defense has seen its trouble this year, and Gator quarterback Treon Harris is not going to make it any easier.
“He makes plays with his feet when he has to,” said Ward of Harris. “He throws the ball well. They do a good job of getting him out of the pocket and he’s an athletic quarterback that’s doing well for them. I think they’ll run him some, but we won’t see the inside run, other than the quarterback draw.”
Attempting to reconstruct a defense that has had its share of faults this season, Ward has shuffled some of his players around this week.
Skai Moore: Mike LB
Jonathan Walton:Will LB
Brison Williams: safety
Rico McWilliams and Chris Lammons: cornerback
Chaz Elder or T.J. Gurley: safety
“You’re playing against a team that’s very athletic and you want to get your most athletic guys on the field,” said Ward of putting both Moore and Walton on the field at the same time. “They do a lot of shifting with the tight ends. Brison played well for us at corner, but I think he’s probably played better in his career at safety when we can get him tighter to the box. He’ll play some corner as well, but you’ll definitely see him at safety. You want leadership and guys that are going to communicate and talk and we get more of that communication and talk with Brison playing safety.”
South Carolina took off at noon on Friday for Gainesville and will face the orange and blue at noon Saturday. Can the Gamecocks pull off an upset in the Swamp? This season, anything is possible.
Offensive line coach Shawn Elliott noted Clayton Stadnik will probably start at center on Saturday.
Rory “Busta Anderson will be joining the flock in Florida. The senior tight end has been practicing this week and is expected to play.