No. 1 Florida Gators at South Carolina Gamecocks Preview

NCAA Football Betting Preview
No. 1 Florida Gators (9-0) at South Carolina Gamecocks (6-4)
Saturday November 14th, 3:30PM Eastern betting line – Florida -15

The South Carolina Gamecocks late season collapses appears to be the forefront of the program’s problems yet again this season. South Carolina is a strong 16-5 over the last 3 seasons in the first 7 games of each season, but the Gamecocks have continuously finished poorly with a pitiful 4-11 mark in the last 5 games of each of those 3 seasons. South Carolina got off to a similar 6-2 mark this year, but has been handled rather easily by Tennessee and Arkansas who both previously did not have winning records. The Gamecocks will seek to change history this weekend when they host the top ranked Florida Gators who continue their march to repeating as National Champions.

The Gators knocked off Vanderbilt last week 27-3 reaching the 9-0 mark on the season. Florida has already locked up their position to play in the SEC Championship Game, but they also are striving for a perfect season. The Gators have owned South Carolina over the last two decades including a 50 point blowout victory at home over the Gamecocks last year. The only Gators slip-up to South Carolina was in Columbia in 2005 and they will be attempting to avoid any similar disasters this weekend.

The Gators rushing offense should give them a huge advantage this weekend over a Gamecocks defense that has struggled against the run. Florida ranks 8th in the country with 240 yards per game behind some of the most talented running backs in the country. The Gamecocks defense has allowed some big performances from SEC running backs this season including that monstrous performance by Alabama’s Mark Ingram who racked up 240 yards earlier this season. The Gators house plenty of talented threats like Jeffery Demps, Chris Rainey, and Emmanuel Moody who will all have the opportunity to make big plays. Demps is the biggest threat in the running game averaging just less than 8 yards per game while Rainey and Moody are averaging 6.5 yards per carry.

These talented runners should be too much for the young South Carolina, but they have to make the plays and not allow the Gamecocks to hang around. QB Tim Tebow leads the team in rushing with 578 yards and 9 total rushing touchdowns on the ground. Tebow has not had to throw the ball very often, but when called upon is completing 66% for 11 touchdowns and 4 picks. Tebow will see a talented secondary from South Carolina, but they are also very young which means more probable for mistakes. Florida may not have to resort to the passing game often as their running game should control the outcome. However, it will be interesting to see if Tebow can get the passing game involved if South Carolina could jump out front.

The Gamecocks offense could give them the opportunity to contend in the ball game. South Carolina QB Stephen Garcia has produced 3 straight 300 yard performances over the last 3 weeks as the passing offense continues to improve. The only problem with those numbers is the Gamecocks have just managed 14 points on average during those 3 games. The Gamecocks will need more touchdowns if they are to pull off any upsets. WR Alshon Jeffery is a big wide receiver that has really given defenses problems in recent weeks. Jeffery is averaging over 100 yards receiving per game in the past 5 outings and he will need to be big for the Gamecocks again this weekend. South Carolina has the offense to make this interesting if they can get 7 points to finish drives. The biggest problem for South Carolina will be stopping the Gators ground game and if they do not it will be yet another disappointing outcome for South Carolina.

Pick – Florida -15

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