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The Florida Gators welcome the South Carolina Game Cocks into the Swamp on Saturday in Gainesville. Florida will be looking to snap a two-game losing streak after back-to-back defeats to Georgia and Missouri. Carolina has won three of four, including this past weekend’s exciting 48-44 victory over Ole Miss in Oxford. The Gators lead the all-time series 26-9-3, but it was USCe that won last year’s meeting, 28-20, in Columbia.
Gators Got to Get Back on Track
After an early season loss to Kentucky, Florida looked like they were in the midst of yet another rebuilding year, but first-year head coach Dan Mullen has other ideas. The orange and blue reeled off five straight victories afterwards, boosting their record to 6-1 and becoming bowl eligible, something that they were not a season ago. What followed however were two straight losses, one of which was half-expected to Georgia, the other one which came out of nowhere. They were ambushed by Mizzou at home in last week’s 38-17 dismantling at the hands of the Tigers
— Gators Football (@GatorsFB) November 3, 2018
For the first time this season, Feleipe Franks was pulled for ineffectiveness. He threw for just 84 yards on 9 of 22 passing before being replaced by Kyle Trask. Trask was 10-of-18 for 126 yards and a score. It remains to be seen who will be the starter on Saturday with Mullen remaining tight-lipped after the most lopsided loss of his coaching tenure at UF. Mullen, for all of his reputation as a quarterback guru, has only produced an offense throwing for 199 yards a game this season. The attack is fairly balanced with the squad rushing for 185 per contest, but 351.4 total yards a game is just not going to cut it in SEC play. The Cocks are allowing over 400 yards of offense per game so the Gators will be eager to take advantage of that and try to put up some big numbers of their own.
Muschamp not coming in Cocky
Head Coach Will Muschamp gets a third crack at his former squad on Saturday and he has already taken them down once. He’ll be eager to do so again, and he hopes this time on the road. His squad has been up and down this season, but more up as of late. They have not been winning big, but they have been winning. They beat Missouri by two at home, lost by three at home to TAMU, then won at home by three over Tennessee and this past weekend beat Ole Miss on the road by four. In other words, the team has grown accustomed to playing in close ball games.
Never quit! pic.twitter.com/hgaAMijmuc
— Gamecock Football (@GamecockFB) November 3, 2018
Quarterback Jake Bentley was the star of the game against the Rebs, throwing for two touchdowns and running for another. They were down 10 points in the fourth quarter before rallying to win their first back-to-back games of the season. On the season, Bentley has thrown for 1,666 yards and 13 scores. Running back Rico Dowdle has ran for 490 yards and 3 scores while Bryan Edwards has hauled in 35 catches for 556 yards and six scores. The offense is averaging 20 yards more per game than their opponent, but less than half a point more. One area they may able to take advantage is on the ground where the Gator D is surrendering over 172 yards per game. Carolina runs at 161 a clip and could have a big day rushing if the Florida defense isn’t ready for Dowdle and Co.
- 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
- 3-9-1 ATS in their last 13 games following a straight up loss.
- 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game.
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games in November.
South Carolina is:
- 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing more than 40 points in their previous game.
- 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
- 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 road games.
- 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- 4-1-2 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Florida has two choices at this point. They can mail it in down the stretch as they have in so many seasons of recent, or they can fight for their Seniors and their new coach and finish the year strong. Recent history just dictates otherwise, and they have no business being nearly a touchdown favorite against South Carolina, even at home. South Carolina already has a win over Missouri this season, the same Tiger squad that dismantled Florida and their defense last season. They play in close contests as it is, so even if the Cocks fall short, it is not likely to be by more than a score.
Prediction: Pick: South Carolina +6.5
Full-Game Total Pick
As Florida struggles at the quarterback position, the Under looks like the smart play in this one. It has hit in six of the last seven South Carolina games and four of the last five times that Florida is coming off of a loss. The Gators are in a rut but South Carolina is not going to light it up against this Florida D like they did against Ole Miss.
Prediction: Under 54