Florida vs. South Carolina game: Pick, prediction, spread, odds, line, time, watch live stream, TV channel

By Adam Silverstein
October 3, 2020
Florida vs. South Carolina game: Pick, prediction, spread, odds, line, time, watch live stream, TV channel
Football

Image Credit: Michael Nash

An offensive explosion put the No. 3 Florida Gators firmly on the national radar last week, and it will now be up to them to live up to their exceedingly high billing when they host a tough South Carolina Gamecocks team in Saturday afternoon’s home opener at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. While the obvious storyline in the game is the matchup between Gators head coach Dan Mullen and Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp — a Florida alumnus and who previously led the team to mixed results — the bigger story (of course) is on the field. Check out our pregame breakdown here.

Florida’s schedule is only going to get more difficult as the season continues, especially with it playing 10 SEC games for the first time in program history. As such, the South Carolina game simultaneously serves as a warmup and a potential pitfall. The Gators have only beaten the Gamecocks by an average of 9.3 points in two prior meetings between these coaches in this series, and South Carolina has pulled off numerous past upsets in this SEC East rivalry.

Aspirations of contending for the SEC title and the program’s first opportunity at the College Football Playoff will be heavy on Florida’s shoulders each week. If it can find the defense that was somewhat absent against Ole Miss and combine it with an offense that continues to roll, the Gators could build some additional confidence before getting into the teeth of their schedule. That and more is on the line during a big early afternoon showdown in The Swamp.

What will go down in Saturday’s game? Let’s find out. Keep on reading for updates, notes, analysis and a game prediction for Florida vs. Ole Miss.

Viewing information

Date: Saturday, Oct. 3 | Time: Noon ET
Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium — Gainesville, Florida [17,000]

TV: ESPN (Mark Jones, Dusty Dvoracek, Marty Smith)
Live stream: WatchESPN | SiriusXM: 81 | Radio: WRUF, TuneIn
Live updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

Tale of the tape

No. 3 Florida GatorsSouth Carolina Gamecocks
Head coachDan MullenWill Muschamp
Record1-00-1
ConferenceSECSEC

Injuries and absences

Probable / questionable (?): ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Out at kickoff (6): DB Brad Stewart (undisclosed), DL Kyree Campbell (undisclosed), DB Quincy Lenton (undisclosed), DB CJ McWilliams (undisclosed), DB Jahiri Rogers (undisclosed), WR Jordan Pouncey (undisclosed)
Out (3): OL Ethan White (knee), DL Lamar Goods (foot), DB Fenley Graham (arm)
Out for season (1): DB Ethan Pouncey (hip)

Game notes

» The Gators have won 30 straight home openers in The Swamp.
» Florida’s No. 3 rankings in the AP Top 25 and Coaches Poll are its highest since Oct. 21, 2012. UF opened the 2020 season ranked No. 5 in the AP Top 25, the team’s first top-five ranking ahead of its first game since 2010.
» The Gators lead the all-time series 28-9-3 over the Gamecocks. Florida is 5-3 in the last eight meetings, and it holds a 15-2 advantage in Gainesville.
» Mullen is 3-0 against Muschamp with both men serving as head coaches. In their two meetings in this series, Mullen’s teams have won by an average of 9.3 points per game.
» Under Mullen, the Gators are 17-0 when scoring first, 18-0 when leading after the third quarter, 15-0 when allowing 20 points or fewer, 6-1 in games decided by fewer than 10 points and 18-0 when outrushing their opponent.
» Florida is 4-3 against ranked opponents under Mullen (3-3 against top 10 teams), beating three ranked teams in a single season in 2018 for the first time since 2012. It is 17-2 against unranked teams under Mullen.
» The Gators have scored 24+ points in 16 of its last 18 games dating back to 2018.
» Florida has scored 111 offensive touchdowns in 27 games under Mullen. It has scored 93 in 38 games from 2015-17.
» The Gators have scored in 399 consecutive games, an NCAA record.
» Florida is one of only two FBS teams (Alabama) that has not lost to an opponent that finished the season with a losing record dating back to the 2008 season.
» UF in 2019 finished a season undefeated in The Swamp for the first time since 2016, third time this decade and 14th time in program history.

Prediction and analysis

Spread: Florida -18 | O/U: 57

Through two games in the Mullen-Muschamp rivalry (if you can call it that), Florida is 2-0, but it’s won those meetings by an average of 9.3 points. Now, you can make the case that the Gators offense in 2020 than it’s been the last two seasons, but considering what we saw from their defense last week — and until proven otherwise — the defense may be a limiting factor. So while Florida may be able to put up plenty of points against South Carolina on Saturday, the question is whether it can stand inside a three-touchdown number.

That’s not a gamble I’m willing to take, even though the Gators should ultimately make easy work of the Gamecocks. Redshirt senior quarterback Kyle Trask and junior tight end Kyle Pitts will naturally take a step back from their other-worldly performances while facing an athletic and more imposing South Carolina defense. Colorado State transfer Collin Hill gives Muschamp and new offensive coordinator Mike Bobo a legitimate option at quarterback, and I see the Gamecocks posting at least 20 points. So unless the Gators are going to go out and score 40, this should finish inside the numbers.

2020 records: ATS picks 1-0 | O/U picks 0-1 | Overall: 1-1

Odds and ends

» Florida will wear traditional blue jerseys and white pants with orange helmets.

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