The Florida Gators will look to rebound this Saturday after dropping their first game of the season. First, Florida is coming off a tough loss against the LSU Tigers in Death Valley. On the other hand, South Carolina is feeling pretty good about themselves after pulling off a major upset versus Georgia. This will be an interesting game for the Gamecocks as they aren’t entirely sure who’ll start at quarterback for them. True freshman Ryan Hilinski suffered an injury in the win last weekend and was pulled from the game. In this matchup, the Gators have a 27-9-3 record versus the South Carolina Gamecocks. Here is the Florida Gators vs South Carolina Gamecocks game preview.
South Carolina Gamecocks
Now, the South Carolina Gamecocks will be home for their next top 10 matchup versus the Florida Gators. The Gamecocks led by their head coach, Will Muschamp, who’s in his fourth season as South Carolina’s head coach. Of course, the South Carolina offense will most likely be led by their Hilinski at quarterback. Important to realize, the California native has done a nice job filling in the starting quarterback position since Jake Bentley’s injury. Hilinski has completed 63% of his passes for 1,028 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions.
Senior running back Rico Dowdle is the lead back for South Carolina with 449 rushing yards on 72 carries and four touchdowns. Comparatively, senior back Tavien Feaster has also been a key contributor with 317 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Bryan Edwards is their biggest offensive weapon at the receiver position as he has 33 receptions for 426 yards and four touchdowns.
On defense, the South Carolina Gamecocks are coming off a terrific performance against the Georgia Bulldogs. South Carolina’s star defensive player is their defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw. The senior defensive lineman has been on a tear with 18 tackles, five tackles for loss, five sacks, and three quarterback hurries. Cornerback Israel Mukuamu is coming off the biggest game in his career as he had three interceptions last Saturday. Mukuamu was awarded the SEC Defensive Player of the Week. Linebacker T.J. Brunson is another player to keep an eye on. He has 44 tackles on the season including 2.5 tackles for loss and three pass breakups.
Conversely, the Florida Gators are back on the road for their next matchup as they’ll be led by their head coach, Dan Mullen, who’s in his second season as Florida’s head coach. The Florida offense will be led by their redshirt-junior quarterback Kyle Trask. The former backup quarterback is coming off his best game of the season against the LSU Tigers. Trask has looked sharp as he’s completed 68.3% of his passes for 1,191 yards with 10 touchdowns and three interceptions. Trask also has two rushing touchdowns on the year against Kentucky and Towson.
Sophomore tight end Kyle Pitts is the lead receiver for the Gators with 30 receptions for 362 yards and a touchdown. Redshirt-senior Van Jefferson has been very solid for Florida with 27 catches for 331 yards and three touchdowns. Senior wideout Freddie Swain has 16 catches for 319 yards and three touchdowns.
The Florida Gators defense is coming off a very rough week in which they got dominated by the LSU offense. Even worse, there’s a chance they’ll be without both Jon Greenard and Jabari Zuniga. Players like Jeremiah Moon and Khris Bogle will be counted on to win in the trenches and put pressure on the quarterback. Senior linebacker David Reese still leads Florida in tackles with 52 on the season. Reese also has two tackles for loss, a sack, and a fumble recovery. Junior safety Shawn Davis has been a nice surprise for Florida as he has 25 tackles and leads the team in interceptions with three. Todd Grantham and the Florida Gators defense will need to move on from their performance against LSU and be the elite defense they truly are against South Carolina.
Five Players to Watch: South Carolina Gamecocks
Five Players to Watch: Florida Gators
- Trask throws for over 250 yards and three total touchdowns.
- Dowdle scores a rushing touchdown.
- Reese leads the Gators in tackles.
- South Carolina’s defense will hold Florida’s rushing attack to under 100 yards.
- Florida Gators beats South Carolina Gamecocks 31-20.