The Gators will play their final SEC game of the season on Saturday in Columbia, South Carolina.
The Gators don't have a shot at the division title but can play spoiler to the Gamecock's chances of going to Atlanta and are playing for a bowl spot themselves.
According to coach Will Muschamp injuries to Chris Rainey, Jelani Jenkins, Chaz Creen and John Brantley have improved, they participated in practice this week and are expected to play Saturday.
Muschamp gave out the following internal awards for the win against Vanderbilt.
"Coming off the Vanderbilt game, offensively the player of the game was Jeff Demps; Scrap Iron up front was Matt Patchan; and the big play was Jeff Demps on the long touchdown there at the end. I want to compliment A.C. Leonard for putting him in that situation – for a freshman, that was a great block. Defensively, Jaylen Watkins played well. The Hard Hat award went to Dominique Easley, he did a nice job inside playing blocks. Special Teams Award went to Caleb Sturgis for the 55-yard field goal – he’s done a great job for us this year. Jordan Reed got the Big Play Award for recovering the on-side kick, and Shariff Floyd blocking the field goal on the opening drive. The scout team players of the week were Ryan Parish, Hygens Success and Timmy Clark"
Spurrier story line
The Ol' Ball coach is a legend, and much of the story line, for better or worse, will be diverted towards Spurrier and his ties to UF. Muschamp had this to say about the coach:
"I have great respect for Coach Spurrier and what he’s accomplished. I think he’s changed the SEC, as far as the passing game is concerned. If you look back to when he took over here at Florida, the SEC was a running league – it was a ground and pound league. "
"He came to Florida and did a great job with the throwing game and changing the perception of the SEC to an offensive league, but still remain balanced in everything that he did. If you look at the break downs there, they were close to 60-40, 50-50 as far as runningpassing is concerned. The run that he had in 12 years at Florida was very impressive."
Regardless of Spurrier's legacy, the Gamecocks are second in the SEC East with a 5-1 league record behind Georiga who sits at 5-2. If the Gamecocks lose and the Georiga wins, the Bulldogs clinch the division title. The Gamecocks are 4.5 point favorites to beat the Gators. They've had their ups and downs this season (senior qb Stephen Garcia was kicked off the team and All-SEC running back Marcus Lattimore suffered a season-ending injury) but they lost just twice-last week against Arkansas and earlier in the year by three points to Auburn.
South Carolina ranks high in several national statistical categories:
Rushing Yards per Game: 36th overall
Points per Game: 49th overall
Points Allowed: 24th overall
SC is probably known for its offense with quarterback Connor Shaw and All-American Alshon Jeffery, but they have a tremendous defense.
SC leads the SEC in interceptions with 17 and have forced 27 turnovers this season.
That being said, a lot of Gator fans will be keeping a close eye on how the secondary handles Jeffery. This season Jeffery has not put up spectacular numbers, but he is a threat to make a huge play at any moment. Stephen Garcia didn't play that well earlier this season before he was finally booted from the team. Jeffery has seen more production under Connor Shaw but defenses have sent an extra man to double up Jeffery.
The Gators hoops season is upon us. Billy Donvan's somewhat young, but very talented squad will host Jackson State Friday night at the O-Dome. Then next Tuesday they'll play a big time matchup on Super Tuesday against No. 3 Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio on ESPN.
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