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Staff Roundtable: Florida Predictions

Optimism abounds.

Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

The South Carolina Gamecocks close their SEC schedule Saturday with a trip to The Swamp to meet the Florida Gators. Last season’s matchup set the sport back about 50 years, so it’ll be interesting to see how events unfold in this one. Can the Gamecocks get Will Muschamp his first win in Gainesville as an opposing head coach? More importantly, will South Carolina finally have back-to-back winning SEC seasons again? The GABA crew makes their predictions.

Kody: This is a tough one. I still think the 7-point spread in favor of the Gators is a tad high, but I understand the desire to give them the edge in The Swamp. Historically, South Carolina has not played well there at all, and Florida’s defense is much better than the wet paper bags the Gamecocks have been up against in recent weeks. Having said that, the loss of quarterback Kyle Trask is pretty big news, since it means the Gators are forced to stick with Feleipe Franks — and he hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire. It’s going to be interesting to see whether Florida is fired up after that embarrassing Mizzou loss or if they come in with their heads hanging. In the spirit of being optimistic, I’ll say 28-24 Cocks in another sloppy, nailbiting game that comes down to the fourth quarter. I really could see this going either way, though.

Demetri: Between what we saw last week in Oxford and Gainesville, I am fairly optimistic about this game. You always hate an early kick on the road, but the Cocks are riding momentum and the Gators are coming in somewhat deflated. That’s not good considering even at their ceiling, Florida still has Feleipe Franks under center. I’ll take Carolina 31-20.

Katie: I don’t think the Gamecocks can win this game. JOKES YES I DO. Just making sure you’re paying attention. Anyway, Florida is absolutely among my least favorite teams not called Clemson, so it would be really great for me personally if USC could pull off a victory in Gainesville. It would also be really great for bowl-related reasons, since the Cocks’ next win will make them eligible for one. The Gators seem beatable, but getting trounced by Missouri last week at home probably gives them some extra motivation to get back in the win column this week. Or maybe not, I’m not a sports psychologist. But it wouldn’t be very nice to welcome their former coach back again by beating him, so I think Florida should lose. No matter who comes out on top, I doubt it’s going to be a blowout, and in order for South Carolina to come home with its sixth win of the year, we need the good version of Jake from last week and the version of the defense that knows how to tackle, which was last seen on the side of a milk carton.