Keys To Victory Against Florida Atlantic takes a look at South Carolina's keys to victory when they play host to Florida Atlantic this evening at Williams Brice Stadium.

I. Capitalize In The Red Zone

Something's got to go give when the South Carolina offense faces the Florida Atlantic defense today. The Gamecocks have only converted 5-8 (63%) red zone opportunities into points this season, and worse yet, only 2-8 (25%) into touchdowns. However, the Gamecocks will have a chance to cure their scoring woes this evening, as Florida Atlantic is allowing opponents to score an average of 49 points per game. That figure ranks the Owls dead last in the country in scoring defense. The Gamecocks should certainly have plenty of opportunities to score this evening, and there's no better way to come out of an offensive funk, than to hang 50 points on your opponent. If the Gamecocks can capitalize on their scoring opportunities against the Owls and blow out an inferior team, like they failed to do against Wofford, then that will give them some much needed confidence heading into Thursday's showdown with Auburn.

II. Rebound On Defense

The South Carolina defense is reeling after surrendering over 350 yards of total offense to the Wofford Terriers a week ago, including 290 yards rushing. However, as is often the case, the option attack can make many defenses look silly when they have limited time to prepare for it. The Gamecock defense will look to rebound in a big way against a Florida Atlantic team that is only averaging 4.7 points per game this season. It's important that the defense remains focused for all four quarters and gains back some confidence against the Owls on Saturday evening.

III. Establish The Trenches

The Gamecocks have struggled to establish themselves in the trenches along the offensive line so far this year, and the line has especially struggled generating running lanes for the tailbacks, but they will face a Florida Atlantic team tonight that simply cannot stop the run. The Owl defense is allowing over 220 yards rushing per contest, and they rank 113th in the nation in rush defense. With Cory Boyd injured, this will be an ideal opportunity for Mike Davis to come out of his funk and have a solid outing. The South Carolina offensive line struggles have been a focal point in practice, and Coach Spurrier has noted that the line often plays better in practice than they do on game days, but it's time for that to change. The offensive line must find a way to establish themselves in the trenches this evening and begin showing signs of progress.

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories