October 20, 2012; Gainesville FL, USA; Florida Gators tight end Jordan Reed (11) scores a touchown during the first half against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Klement-US PRESSWIRE
By Travis Duncan
Gator Envy Writer
Florida is just one game away from an appearance to the SEC Championship game, a game that will likely lead the winner to the National Title game.
Is it too early to talk National Title hopes when a team absolutely manhandles a Top Ten ranked SEC opponent the way the Gators did Saturday at the Swamp 44-11?
"We play in Jacksonville next week, we've got a one game season," head coach Will Muschamp predictably replied to a question in the same vein following the Gators seventh win of the season.
Florida can clinch a trip to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game with a win next week against Georgia in Jacksonville. Georgia (6-1) narrowly defeated Kentucky Saturday 29-24.
And of course Coach Boom will take it one game at a time.
"It’s another team win and we don’t have a lot of margin for error here, we are a team that is playing defense pretty consistent at times and on offense we are doing what we have to do to take advantage of other teams," said Muschamp.
"I am very proud of our football team and the effort we had."
At 7-0 the Gators have two no doubters and three very winnable games remaining in the regular season schedule. An undefeated regular season does not seem unreasonable given the strength of an LSU and South Carolina, both Gator wins, compared to the remaining opponents. The SEC Championship game would likely pit the Gators against Alabama.
Sat, Oct 27 vs Georgia
Sat, Nov 3 vs Missouri
Sat Nov 10 vs Louisiana Lafayette
Sat Nov. 17 vs Jacksonville State
Sat Nov 24 at Florida State
Of course the focus of the team should be squarely on Georgia next week and not the road ahead. But does Florida have enough veteran savvy to take one game at a time (as the cliches go and coach Boom demands)?
Senior Frankie Hammond Jr said they will forget this one "when we wake up tomorrow."
"We’ll probably enjoy it tonight, think about it, but tomorrow it’s on to the Georgia game and getting ourselves ready," said Hammond.
"It was a great team win, but you’ve got to move on and we’ve got another one next week."
(selected notes from UF communications)
-Florida created four turnovers leading to 21 points.
-South Carolina was limited to 36 yards rushing, was 3 of 14 on third down and did not score a touchdown. It's the second straight game where the Gators limited their opponent to less than 50 yards on the ground.
-The Gators have yet to allow a touchdown in their three home Southeastern Conference games so far this season.
-Florida’s 44 points in the win over No. 7 South Carolina were the most against a ranked opponent for the Gators since its 51 versus Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl Jan. 1, 2010
-The four opponent turnovers marked a season-best for the Florida defense and special teams
-Saturday's attendance: 90,883 (fifth-largest all-time)
-Click here to listen to Coach Boom get really crazy during a halftime interview with the Gator Radio Network, presumably voicing his displeasure with the officiating (very loudly).
-Tim Rohan of the New York Times writes, "The game was all but decided during a five-minute span in the second quarter, when the Gators forced two turnovers with violent, jarring hits."
-Dan Wolken of The USA TODAY writes, "From a team that got booed at The Swamp during its lackluster opener against Bowling Green to a team that stomped on South Carolina in every way imaginable. From a team that needed to open up the offense in fourth-quarter comebacks against Texas A&M and Tennessee in September to a team that has won the line of scrimmage against LSU and South Carolina in October."
-Chris Low of ESPN writes, "Even during some of the darkest moments last season, Will Muschamp had a very clear vision of what he wanted this Florida football program to be. Envisioning it was the easy part. Getting here was the hard part"
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