5 POINTS: South Carolina at Florida -- Two days later, it's still ugly

Fivepoints2008sat_medium
Sorry it's late. No, I wasn't hiding -- in fact, I was proclaiming the greatness of the Gators. Just ran out of time.

1. Florida VROOOOOOOOM! Let's not kid ourselves. The better team won this game. That's not to say that Florida's 50 points better, though it's hard to argue that they aren't. Again, this is a team that has scored 38, 51, 63, 49, 42 and 56 in its last six games. And the talent they have is simply amazing. Against most teams, if you miss a tackle or two, it's a first down; against Florida, it's a touchdown. There's a reason no one has been able to stay on the field against the Gators since the upset against Ole Miss. Admiral Yamamoto might not have said, "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve" -- but that's apparently exactly what Ole Miss did.

2. The QB rotation: End it. Apparently, Spurrier is already one step ahead of me on this one, but let's review (once again) the awful, awful results of creating mass confusion.


vs Florida / 11.15.08 Passing Rushing
Comp Att Pct Yds TD Rush Yds Avg TD
Stephen Garcia 6 13 46.2 28 0 9 3 0.3 0


vs Florida / 11.15.08 Passing Rushing
Comp Att Pct Yds TD Rush Yds Avg TD
Chris Smelley 13 24 54.2 92 0 2 1 0.5 0

For the two combined weeks, then, the two-QB system resulted in a pass efficiency rating of 88.17. I can understand why Spurrier might have tried it, but it clearly didn't work. Fortunately, it didn't cost us the game that we should have won (Arkansas); short of Brett Favre donning Garnet and Black -- and probably even then -- the Gamecocks weren't going to beat the Gators.

3. The 2:15. Yes, the two interceptions and botched lateral killed South Carolina in this game. On the scoreboard, it didn't matter; the game is still 35-6 without the 21-point lead spotted to the Gators in the first quarter. But with the three miscues, all hope was dead before the second quarter even began.

4. The defense. The three short fields in the first quarter certainly didn't help, but the defense absolutely imploded Saturday. This is probably as much to Florida's credit as it is to South Carolina's detriment, but ugly is ugly. A total of 519 yards, including 346 rushing. This wasn't nearly as bad as Arkansas last year, and it came against a lot better team. But Ellis Johnson and Co. still have some work to do before visiting the Team from the Upstate.

5. Outback Bowl. The Gamecocks still have a trip to Tampa on the menu. Defeating the Team from the Upstate is the only way to make sure this happens. Let's not worry about anything else right now -- the Capital One Bowl is still a stretch.

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