What a week the SEC provided us with last week and this weekend it will become just your typical slate of games. LSU-A&M will be vital for both programs, but this SEC East heavyweight battle between the Gators and Gamecocks can decide a ton.
Not only will the winner be favored to reach Atlanta, but they will receive praise to potentially knock off top-ranked Alabama. The Crimson Tide are the true heavyweights that always will get the benefit of the doubt and deservedly so, but this tilt between two stalwart defenses will be electric.
Forget that it will be in the ‘Swamp’ but this match-up will have the scouts and the fan-bases drooling over.
Florida has been there and done that during the BCS era, whereas South Carolina is still looking for their first ever appearance in the BCS. The tables have turned this time around, but South Carolina has seemingly a million nagging injuries to deal with during their most important game of the season.
Jadeveon Clowney (foot), Ace Sanders (flu also includes Bruce Ellington, Jimmy Legree, Cody Gibson, Mike Matluis) and Marcus Lattimore (hip).
Also, do not forget star defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles has been suspended and will not be with the team after throwing a punch in the LSU game. J.T. Suratt instead will look to assert himself against a Gators squad that loves to pound the pigskin.
Latimore and Clowney are the two biggest names because they are First Team All-American caliber players, but Ace Sanders would be my choice for the top punt returner in the nation as well.
Sanders brought one back against Georgia and nearly did so again versus LSU. Field position is huge in the SEC and taking advantage of all your opportunities can go a far way.
Steve Spurrier may be among the elite coaches to have ever coached the game, but without the star aligned it will be next to impossible to pull off victory after victory.
Also, for the record this game three-game stretch is one of the toughest in the history of the game. Defeating Georgia was brutal, but they did it with ease. After losing to LSU, now we will find out just how ‘great’ Cocky really is.
Going on the road to ‘Death Valley’ is torturous at night albeit Gainesville isn’t much easier. Even though it is just a 3:30 p.m. Eastern kick, the rabid fan-base will be in full effect with a potential BCS National Championship still on the line.
While a loss would not be the end of the world for Florida, this would be quite a blow for the Gamecocks since it could potentially be consecutive seasons of defeating Georgia and failing to come out of the East (they have defeated UGA three in a row).
Some have argued that Spurrier is playing possum in this contest with all of the injured riddled players on the injury report, but the Gators are simply chomping at the bit to get a hold of this top 10 squad. The Gators are the top-ranked squad out there according to the BCS computer rankings, whereas Cocky is No. 7.
Florida’s defense isn’t 100% healthy, but their depth is disgusting and the freaks they possess all over the field will give them another impressive victory on the resume.
Concerning Stat of Game: Florida is No. 114 in passing offense (145 YPG) whereas SC is No. 74 (217.86 YPG).
Network: CBS (College Gameday)
Time: 3:30 p.m. Eastern
Experts Pick: UF by 3.5
Danny V’s Pick: Florida 27, South Carolina 13