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Week 11: Gators vs. Gamecocks Preview/Pick

College Football Odds: Florida vs S. Carolina

Saturday, November 14th – Williams-Brice Stadium – 3:30 PM ET
College Football Spread: Florida -16

Florida: The Week That Was

The Gators weren’t inspired, but they didn’t need to be against an impotent Vanderbilt club. Florida cruised to a 27-3 victory in a game that shouldn’t be assigned much significance. Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio didn’t exactly open up the playbook last weekend, but it should also be said that Vanderbilt’s defense can play with any SEC foe. It’s Vandy’s offense that couldn’t compete with the defending national champions.

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Even without suspended linebacker Brandon Spikes, Florida’s defense limited Vanderbilt to just 199 total yards. The Commodores, down 13-0, made one foray into the Gator red zone midway through the third quarter, but UF defensive coordinator Charlie Strong didn’t sweat; his players easily stood their ground and forced Vandy to settle for a field goal. The game ceased to be competitive after that moment, as Tebow led two touchdown drives to complete the Florida romp.

South Carolina: The Week That Was

It’s really rather simple: The second-half fade that has marked so many South Carolina football seasons over the past decade is unfolding once again. Under then-coach Lou Holtz, the Gamecocks of the late 1990s and early 2000s had difficulty winning in November; now, under Steve Spurrier, it’s clear that little has changed.

Arkansas was the latest team to grind down the Gamecocks. South Carolina went to the halftime locker room tied at 10 with Bobby Petrino’s Razorbacks, and even grabbed a 16-10 lead in the first 15 seconds of the second half. But in the final 29 minutes and 45 seconds of last Saturday’s contest, the “other USC” fell silent in a 33-16 Arkansas victory. South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia threw a crucial interception in the Arkansas end zone; that mistake, combined with a bad snap for a safety, buried the Gamecocks’ offense in yet another discouraging – and familiar – loss.

The Week That Is:

This game is seen as Florida’s biggest remaining obstacle before the SEC Championship Game with Alabama on Dec. 5 in Atlanta. However, that statement isn’t a reflection of how good South Carolina is. Florida’s other remaining regular-season opponents, Florida International and Florida State, are even worse than the Gamecocks.

Perhaps Spurrier will rally his troops at home, in a battle against the school the Head Ball Coach once led as a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback (in 1966) and as a coach (1990-2002). In the first 20 minutes, the Gamecocks are likely to play with a great deal of intensity and passion. If everything breaks exactly right, Carolina’s defense could keep the game close, allowing Garcia – an inconsistent quarterback – to hit big plays in the passing game.

But that’s a rosy scenario, and in South Carolina, rosy scenarios don’t emerge when the calendar turns to November.

Florida’s defense is dominating right now, and the Gamecocks lack the consistency needed to keep up for 60 minutes. This game will be mildly interesting for two quarters, but as Carolina’s second-half face-plant against Arkansas indicated, the home team probably won’t have the staying power needed to make this a four-quarter fight.

Football Betting Pick: Florida -16

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About DaveB

Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.


Comments

Comments

  1. South Carolina has enough motivation in this game to carry them somewhat, but Florida is really no match for the Gamecocks. Given the fact that the Gators haven’t really been blowing out their better opponents I might lean toward taking the 16 points, but I do not see it as a strong play.

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