A back-to-back winning SEC conference record for USC possible
South Carolina football is coming off its fifth win of the season and is looking to upset a ranked team in the Florida Gators. Here’s what you need to know about the game:
What time do the Gamecocks play today?
Who: Florida (6-3, 5-2 SEC) vs. South Carolina (5-3, 4-3)
When: Noon Saturday
Series history: The Gators lead the series 26-9-3. The Gamecocks have won three of the past five and two of the past four in The Swamp.
TV: ESPN (Dave Pasch, play-by-play; Greg McElroy, analysis; Tom Luginbill, sideline)
Radio: 107.5 FM (Todd Ellis, play-by-play; Tommy Suggs, analysis; Langston Moore, sideline) ... See all the radio affiliates around the state here.
Satellite radio: Sirius 380/XM 980
Line: Gators by 6 1/2
Weather: Cloudy, with a high near 73. A 10 percent chance of rain through the game. Around 72 degrees at kickoff, 73 at the end of the game.
What’s at stake
South Carolina is on track for at least seven wins, something that wasn’t a given after losing to Kentucky and Texas A&M. Now the Gamecocks turn their sights to knocking off a ranked opponent for the first time since Tennessee in 2016.
South Carolina’s offense roared to life against Ole Miss with 48 points. The question is, can that continue against a Gators defense that is talented and sends pressure with abandon?
The Gators were riding high heading into the Cocktail Party, but lost an understandable game to Georgia and picked up an upset loss to Missouri. Florida needs this one to avoid a hefty slide.
South Carolina Gamecocks-Florida Gators predictions
Josh Kendall: South Carolina’s offensive line has been its most consistent unit all season. If that group can keep Jake Bentley upright and make room for whichever running back has the ball, the Gamecocks will upset the Gators in The Swamp. South Carolina 24, Florida 21
Ben Breiner: Florida has a lot of unknowns and South Carolina is in the same boat. This Gators team isn’t what we’re used to, as it’s not particularly great on defense, though the offense is better than it has been. Any outcome wouldn’t completely surprise. Florida 31, South Carolina 28
The teams, by the numbers
Opp. Yds Rush/Game
Opp. Yds. Pass/Game
Opp. Total Yds/Game
South Carolina players to watch
1. South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley has had a difficult road against the Gators. He had a rough game in a 2016 road loss and then threw three interceptions in South Carolina’s ugly win a year ago. For the season, Bentley has 1,666 yards, 13 touchdowns and eight touchdowns.
2. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel had a breakout game on the special teams front against Ole Miss. Against a strong defense, a breakout game on offense would go a long way toward USC pulling the upset.
3. Freshman safety R.J. Roderick will likely make his first career start against a Gators attack that can create some confusion with the run game. In limited work he’s got 24 tackles.
Florida players to watch
1. Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks heard boos from the UF faithful before he was replaced against Missouri. The sophomore, who completed just 10 passes in last year’s loss to USC in Columbia, isn’t certain to appear against the Gamecocks again. Kyle Trask, a redshirt sophomore, went 10-of-18 for 126 yards with a touchdown late in the Missouri loss. “We’ll see how they perform this week,” Mullen said of the QB situation. “If there’s a drastic change, we’ll make a change. If not, we’ll play with who’s going to give us the best chance to win.”
2. Florida defensive end Jachai Polite is fourth in the SEC with seven sacks. He’s a Bednarik Award semifinalist who’s forced four fumbles this season, most among FBS defensive linemen. South Carolina, as a team, has only forced two fumbles this season.
3. The Gator defensive front is a handful. Not lost in Polite’s shadow is Jabari Zuniga. The 6-foot-4, 257-pound end is 11th in the SEC in sacks (4.5) and tackles for loss (nine).
South Carolina depth chart
OR Ty’Son Williams
OR A.J. Turner
OR Mon Denson
Brad Johnson/Bryson Allen-Williams
J.J. Enagbare/Rick Sandidge
Greg Hadley contributed to this report