Florida has yet to overpower opponents with offense this season. It "only" ranks 11th in the country in scoring offense, and 83rd in pass offense.
USC defensive tackle Nathan Pepper was asked Tuesday if that gave his team confidence going into its matchup Saturday.
"It does give us more confidence, but at the same time they just haven't done as much as they've done last year. But they've definitely done a lot this season," Pepper said. "I think their No. 1 guy (Percy Harvin) from last season, he's playing in the NFL and making plays on Sundays right now. Obviously, they're going to miss him, but they're still pretty powerful."
Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier shrugged off the same question, saying the Gators are a more complete team.
"They're still throwing it around. They still can run the ball. I think they're either first or second in the conference, running," Spurrier said. (The Gators are first.) "They're so good on special teams and defense that it gives them a chance if their offense is sputtering a little bit."
Stewart lagging? Senior Darian Stewart, the team's fourth-leading tackler, has been demoted on the depth chart to co-starter at strong safety, with freshman DeVonte Holloman.
Spurrier said the effort level of younger players was good, but questioned that of "a couple" older ones. Then he was asked specifically about Stewart.
"I don't want to get into all that," Spurrier said. "You can make your own judgments on that."
Veterans day. As someone who has family in the armed services, senior receiver Moe Brown said it was "motivating" and "touching" to hear a wounded soldier speak to the team Monday, and to wear the camouflage-tinged uniforms on Saturday.
Brown said his brother Martez is in the Navy reserves, and his uncle is retired from the Army after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Hearing him speak, it really makes you count your blessings. It shows you how infinitesimal the things we do here are compared to them. They're making the ultimate sacrifice, putting their life on the life day in and day out. Therefore we can play this game."
Gator vs. Gator. Spurrier is one of 13 Division I FBS who has or will coach against his alma mater this season. The alma maters have a 6-3 record so far.
Spurrier said the sentimental value of this matchup has gone down in a big way.
"I think after five years it's not anywhere close to where it was the first year," Spurrier said. "Really after the first year it wasn't, you know, these are our guys, these are my guys here and really we're trying to find some plays and give ourselves a chance to stay on the field, make some first downs."
He said it. "We're hoping Charlie gets one of those head coaching jobs that's open right now. I see his name mentioned all the time and he's certainly deserving."
- Spurrier on Florida (and former USC) defensive coordinator Charlie Strong. The Gators have the nation's top-ranked scoring defense, and are second in the nation in total defense.