South Carolina plays Florida on Saturday. Here’s what you need to know about the game.
▪ Who: South Carolina (5-4, 3-4 SEC) vs. Florida (6-2, 4-2 SEC)
▪ When: Noon Saturday
▪ Where: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (85,548), Gainesville, Fla.
▪ Series history: Florida leads 25-8-3, but the Gamecocks have won 4 of the last 6
▪ TV: CBS (Brad Nessler, play-by-play; Aaron Taylor, analysis; John Schriffen, sideline)
▪ Radio: 107.5 FM (Todd Ellis, play-by-play; Tommy Suggs, analysis; Langston Moore, sideline)
▪ Satellite radio: Sirius 108/XM 191
▪ Line: Florida by 11
▪ Weather: Sunny, with a high near 75
On the road again
After five-consecutive home games, South Carolina returns to the road this week. The Gamecocks, on a three-game winning streak, are looking to become bowl-eligible with a victory. Florida suffered a 31-10 loss at Arkansas last week but is still in control of its own destiny to reach the SEC title game. This week’s game marks the 200th regular season SEC game for South Carolina (86-112-1).
Two years ago, South Carolina put the final nail in the coffin of the Will Muschamp era in Gainesville. Now, he’ll lead the Gamecocks against a team he had a large hand in building.
An SOS sighting?
Former USC coach Steve Spurrier is now working for Florida. On Saturday morning, members of the South Carolina football team will be warming up on Steve Spurrier-Florida Field. Chances are, the man himself, the one who recruited most of them to Columbia, will be standing on it, maybe amble over, maybe say hello.
The Gamecocks boast 17 players from the state of Florida including Jordan Diggs (Fort Myers), Rashad Fenton (Miami), Evan Hinson (Deltona), Hayden Hurst (Jacksonville), Sean Kelly (Oakland), Chris Lammons (Lauderhill), Nick McGriff (Gainesville), Skai Moore (Cooper City), Perry Orth (Ponte Vedra),Christian Pellage (Brooksville), Sherrod Pittman (Jacksonville), Jasper Sasser (Jacksonville), Michael Scarnecchia (Fleming Island), Jamari Smith (Jacksonville), Keir Thomas (Miami), Aaron Thompson (Fort Lauderdale) and Jerad Washington (Jacksonville).
The teams, by the numbers
Opp. Yds Rush/Game
Opp. Yds Pass/Game
Opp. Total Yds/Game
South Carolina players to watch
1. Tight end Hayden Hurst: He’s a Florida guy, calling Jacksonville home. The 23-year-old sophomore is second on the team with 426 with a team-leading 35 receptions. That puts him only two off the school record for receptions by a tight end set by Jared Cook in 2008.
2. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel: The redshirt sophomore hauled in nine passes for 125 yards against Missouri. Seven of those catches went for 11 or more yards. Three converted third and long. Since coming back from a hamstring issue, Samuel has terrorized opposing defenses, averaging 101 yards a game.
3. Safety Chris Moody: A guy who tried to transfer in the offseason continues to make a difference for USC. He led the Gamecocks with 11 tackles last week, while he ended Missouri’s final possession with an interception.
Florida players to watch
1. Quarterback Austin Appleby: Regular starter Luke Del Rio is out with an injury, so Florida will turn to Austin Appleby at QB. He has completed 42 of 67 passes for 440 yards, with three touchdowns and an interception, in two starts in place of Del Rio earlier this season. Appleby was at his best in the first half at Tennessee, but he has been fairly pedestrian in six quarters since.
2. Wide receiver Antonio Callaway: He’s only the team’s most targeted receiver by a little, but he’s the most productive. The junior has 485 yards on 31 catches, averages 9.7 yards per target and adds versatility as a returner.
3. Defensive back Jalen Tabor: The Gators defense is stacked with a balanced set of really good players, but Tabor is the biggest name. One of the top DBs Muschamp ever recruited and developed, he has four interceptions, a sack and 14 tackles despite being a defender quarterbacks avoid.
Projected South Carolina depth chart
Our projection for the South Carolina football depth chart.
WR – SAMUEL (Googer)
WR – EDWARDS (Banks)
LT – ZANDI (Park)
LG – BAILEY (Stanley or Park)
C – KNOTT (Helms)
RG – HELMS (Stanley)
RT – YOUNG (Camper)
TE – HURST (August)
TE – Crosby (Pollard)
QB – BENTLEY (McIlwain)
RB – DOWDLE (Williams or Turner)
DE – LEWIS (Sawyer)
DT – STALLWORTH (Griffin)
DT – JONES (Thomas)
DE – ENGLISH (Wonnum)
LB – WALTON (Bryant)
LB – HOLLOMAN (Brunson)
LB – ALLEN-WILLIAMS (Pittman)
CB – FENTON (Lammons)
S – SMITH (Elder)
S – MOODY (Elder)
CB – KING (Fenton or Montac)
NICK – MONTAC (Wilder or Diggs)
PK – FRY (Charlton)
P – KELLY (Charlton)
LS – DR. WILLIAMS (McGriff)
KR – TURNER (Fenton)
PR – LAMMONS (Samuel)
H – KELLY