Game preview: Can USC take advantage of floundering Florida?
South Carolina is a 7-point favorite over Florida on Saturday, but head football coaches (or at least most college football coaches) don’t look at point spreads.
Honestly, most college football coaches don’t look at their opponents’ outcomes. What college football coaches look at is what their opponent “might” do. That’s a good thing this week. If Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp tried to sell his team on what Florida has done recently, he would have a tough time getting his players ready for this game. Instead, he is selling them on what the Gators “could” do if they put all their various pieces together in the right combination for one afternoon.
“They've still got some good players and a lot of talented players on the football team,” Muschamp said.
Football coaches see things like the fact that Gators wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland is averaging 19.8 yards per catch, the fifth-best total in the SEC. They see defensive tackle Taven Bryan’s ability to disrupt any play, and defensive back Duke Dawson’s three interceptions and eight pass breakups.
“Defensively, they're fast and athletic, jumps out at you,” Muschamp said. “Taven Bryan … he can wreck your day. He's a really good football player. He played as fine a game inside against Texas A&M that I've seen in this league for a while. Duke Dawson's a guy on the back end that plays extremely well … dangerous guy there.”
In the last two weeks, the Gators have seen a head coach fired after an embarrassing loss to Georgia and an interim head coach open with an embarrassing loss to Missouri, but Muschamp suggested on his weekly call-in show that the Gators would “get their footing back” this week in Williams-Brice Stadium.
“Bottom line, we have to play well,” he said.
He’s right, but he’s also saying what coaches always say. South Carolina fans don’t have to be so worried.
South Carolina 27, Florida 10