There’s a duality that comes with a win like the one the South Carolina football team pulled off against Georgia.
On one hand, it’s a hard-fought victory, one that is likely the program’s best since the heyday of the Steve Spurrier era. It boosts a season that had seen a lot of struggle and a team that needed something big from a morale and buzz standpoint.
That being said, the tooth-and-nail victory came with some — we’ll call them hard-to-replicate — situations. The defense scored and kept hauling in turnovers. Georgia held possession and the USC defense had to stand up despite being on the field an awful lot.
That’s to say nothing of field goal weirdness and a reserve QB doing just enough. One metric said that in games with stats like that one, a team in South Carolina’s position has about an 8 percent chance of winning.
That doesn’t take away from the win. USC has that socked away. But it does make another upset a tough task.
That said, Florida has some of the contours of a team that’s somewhat vulnerable.
The Gators offense has been solid overall but had some rough performances. It’s led by a backup QB, though it’s one who has played well. The defense has been quite good, though it’s coming off getting torched by a pretty fantastic LSU team.
The Gators being favored by around a touchdown sounds about right, and the Gamecocks have the ability to turn it into a grinder. A potentially fragile Ryan Hilinski going against a blitz-heavy defense is a worry, but USC is coming off a day when the run game delivered enough.
It would take a lot for USC to once again pull off some of the magic it did last week, but it should be within striking distance.
The Pick: South Carolina 23, Florida 21