South Carolina facing Florida in football is a reunion of sorts.
USC’s Will Muschamp coached there from 2011 to 2014. Several members of his staff played or coached there, and some of the players Muschamp recruited to play at Florida are still on the Gators’ roster.
Randy Shannon, Florida’s interim head coach, welcomes the uniqueness of the matchup.
“Playing South Carolina is like playing another version of Florida,” Shannon said. “Most of those guys on that staff coached here. Some of those guys played here and worked here.”
Other USC staffers with Florida ties include assistants Coleman Hutzler (2010-11, 2014), Mike Peterson (1995-98, 2014-15), Travaris Robinson (2011-14) and Kurt Roper (2014); strength and conditioning coach Jeff Dillman (2012-14); analyst Kyle Krantz (2013-14); and coordinator of defensive operations Carina Hargreaves (2010-15).
Just like with last year’s game between USC and Florida in Gaineville, Shannon expects there to be pleasantries exchanged between both sides.
“There are a lot of feelings that are a part of this game,” he said. “A lot of guys will go out and hug Muschamp. You don’t take anything away from young men who were recruited by another opponent. That guy spent a lot of time putting faith in a guy that recruited him to come to Florida. He has a right to go over there and hug him and shake his hand.
“By the time football comes on, he’s going to turn another switch and compete for the Florida Gators and compete against South Carolina.”
The Gamecocks and Gators kick off their latest matchup at 12:01 p.m. Saturday. The game is on CBS. This is the 38th meeting in a series that dates back to 1911.