Location: Williams-Brice Stadium – Columbia, SC [Capacity: 80,250]
Weather Forecast: 57°F, sunny, winds SSW at 6 mph
Time: 12:00 p.m. (ET)
Online Video: CBSSports.com
Live Updates: @OnlyGators
||(13) SOUTH CAROLINA
|Head Coach: Will Muschamp
||Head Coach: Steve Spurrier
|Record: 5-4 (3-4)
||Record: 7-2 (5-2)
|Roster | Schedule
||Roster | Schedule
Odds: Florida +3; O/U 40
Need to catch up on the Gators before week four action? No problem. OGGOA has been here all week compiling a ton of information so you can do your homework on the team before its next exam Saturday afternoon at 12:00 p.m.
Story: Florida’s The Hawk belt motivates defenders
Muschamp’s presser | Weis comments on offense | Muschamp’s update
HISTORY and STREAKS
» Florida leads the all-time series against South Carolina 23-5-3 and holds a 10-4-1 advantage in games played in Columbia, SC. Before falling to USC in 2010, UF had won four-straight contests and 18 of 19 dating back to 1964.
» This will be the first time since 2004 that the Gators are not ranked when playing the Gamecocks. South Carolina has never faced Florida when the former was ranked and the latter was not.
» Spurrier led UF as head coach from 1990-2001, picking up six SEC titles and a national championship. He was also the 1966 Heisman Trophy winner and played for the Gators from 1964-66.
» Spurrier is 2-4 when facing his former team.
» South Carolina will be the fifth ranked opponent that Florida has faced. The Gators are 0-4 against such teams and will have played four of the five games away from home.
» The Gamecocks are holding homecoming this weekend.
» South Carolina can clinch the SEC East if they defeat UF and Georgia falls to Auburn. Should they beat the Gators on Saturday, it will be the first time they have gone undefeated in the SEC East in school history.
» Florida is 5-0 when outrushing their opponent but 0-4 when being outrushed.
» The Gators are last in the nation in penalties, committing 78 in nine games. Florida has lost/given up 584 yards due to those miscues. Those numbers average out to UF committing 8.67 penalties per game for 64.89 yards.
» In their five victories, the Gators are outscoring opponents 54-3 in the first quarter, while in their losses they have been outscored 31-17. UF has also scored on their opening drive in four of nine games.
» Florida has half as many upperclassmen (19 seniors, 14 juniors) as they do underclassmen (33 sophomores, 33 freshmen) on the roster the season.
» Fourteen different Gators made their first career start this season including five freshmen and three redshirt freshmen; 15 total have seen action this year.
» UF’s offense has struggled as of late, and Florida has had major problems putting the ball in the end zone. The Gators have scored points in 25 of 36 quarters this season and touchdowns in only 19 of those quarters.
» Florida is No. 14 nationally and fifth in the SEC in total defense (306.1 yards per game). The Gators are also No. 20 nationally and fourth in the SEC in scoring defense (19.7 points per game).
» UF’s pass defense is allowing just 182.8 yards per game, good for fourth in the SEC and 11th nationally.
» The Gators’ defense is seventh in the nation in preventing third-down conversions, allowing just 30.3 percent of those attempted to be successful.
» Florida’s defense has forced the most turnovers in the SEC (312) since 2000. UF also has the most interceptions in the nation (73) since 2008.
» The Gators and Gamecocks lead one another in a pair of major statistical categories. Florida tops South Carolina in national averages of passing yards 189.3-179.8 (92nd-98th) and points against 19.7-20.1 (20th-24th), while USC leads UF in rushing yards 188.3-156.4 (36th-62nd) and points scored 29.9-26.0 (50th-72nd). The teams have played five common opponents, each defeating Tennessee, Kentucky and Vanderbilt and falling to Auburn. The Gamecocks, however, defeated Georgia 45-42, while the Gators fell 24-20.
LAST TIME OUT
Riding a pair of victories, Florida hoped to continue its momentum at home against South Carolina. The Gators wound up falling 36-14 to the Gamecocks in a game that saw Steve Spurrier lead his team to its first SEC East title while winning in The Swamp for the first time as a visitor. Things looked promising for UF early when Andre Debose returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown, but South Carolina ran the ball down Florida’s collective throats with Marcus Lattimore carrying the rock 40 times for 212 yards and three touchdowns. The Gators accounted for just 226 total yards in the game and did not register a single point on offense until late in the fourth quarter.
INJURIES / ABSENCES
Redshirt senior quarterback John Brantley
(arm), redshirt senior running back Chris Rainey
(ankle), redshirt sophomore Will linebacker Jelani Jenkins
(concussion), redshirt freshman tackle Chaz Green
Redshirt junior Sam linebacker Lerentee McCray
Redshirt junior cornerback Jeremy Brown
PLAYERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON
» Redshirt senior quarterback John Brantley (#12)…who has completed 58.8 percent of his passes (94-of-160) this season for 1,360 yards and six touchdowns but also threw three interceptions including one returned for a score. Brantley had missed 10 quarters of action after injuring his ankle against Alabama but returned with limited health and mobility against Georgia.
» Redshirt senior RB Chris Rainey (#1)…who has 831 yards of total offense this season with five touchdowns (including a punt block return). Rainey is averaging 4.9 yards per carry and 15.3 yards per reception and leads Florida in rushing and receiving this season. He became the first player in school history to have a rushing, receiving and return touchdown in the same game, achieved the school and SEC record for career punt blocks (five), and is the active leader in that category nationally. He also rushed for 100 yards or more in three-straight games, the first UF player to do so since Fred Taylor last accomplished that feat 14 years ago.
» Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Andre Debose (#4)…who jumped to second on the Gators’ receiving list with mirror image 65-yard touchdowns against Alabama and LSU. Fans have been waiting for Debose to emerge for some time, and his 272 receiving yards are the second-best on the team through its first nine games. Additionally, his 22.7 yards per catch is the highest average in the SEC and second nationally.
» Redshirt sophomore tight end Jordan Reed (#11)…who had four receptions for a career-high 69 yards two weeks ago against Georgia. He also caught just the second receiving touchdown of his career that Saturday – his first this season.
» Sophomore safety Matt Elam (#22)…who is the most valuable member of Florida’s secondary in only his second year. He is tied for second on the team in tackles (53) and at one point created turnovers in three-straight games (fumble-INT-INT). His 12 tackles against LSU three weeks ago marked a career high, and his 6.5 tackles for loss this season is second-best on the team.
» Defensive tackles sophomore Dominique Easley (#2) and redshirt senior Jaye Howard (#6)…who have solidified the interior of one of the Gators’ strongest units. Howard is the team’s most experienced player on defense (26 starts), while Easley may be its most dynamic off the snap, with a first-step raved about by teammates and coaches alike. Howard and Easley have combined for 11.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks through nine games.
» Linebackers junior Jon Bostic (#52) and redshirt sophomore will linebacker Jelani Jenkins (#3)…who are 1-3 on the team in tackles. Bostic (65) and Jenkins (46) have each excelled in different areas for Florida. The former has six tackles for a loss and three sacks while the latter has one sack and five pass breakups on the year.
» Redshirt junior kicker Caleb Sturigs (#19)…who has returned for Florida after missing eight games one year ago with an injured back. He is 17-for-19 in field goal attempts on the season (long: 55) and is perfect with 21 extra points, leading the Gators with 72 points scored this season. Sturgis is second in the nation with 17 field goals made but missed a game two weeks ago (leg).
» QB Connor Shaw (#14)…who has started the last four games for the Gamecocks after beginning the season as a backup. Shaw threw four interceptions in his first start (vs. Kentucky) but has a 2-4 TD-INT ratio through the air over the last three games (though he has rushed for three scores).
» RB Brandon Wilds (#22)…who has stepped in as starting running back after Marcus Lattimore went down with an injury three weeks ago. Wilds averaged 4.9 yards per carry on 28 touches against Tennessee but struggled last week gaining just 21 yards on 10 carries at Arkansas.
»WR Alshon Jeffery (#1)…who is USC’s most dynamic healthy offensive weapon. Jeffery is the team’s leading receiver with highs in receptions (36), yards (487) and touchdowns (five). He is easily Shaw’s favorite target and is a tough match-up for any team. Jeffery needs just 15 yards to be the school’s all-time leading receiver.
» Defensive end Melvin Ingram (#6)….who has scored three times this season including two fumble recoveries and a 68-yard run on a fake punt. He also has 5.5 sacks on the season – fourth best in the SEC.