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South Carolina at Florida: Roundtable predictions

The Gamecocks are looking for a repeat of 2021, but the Gators are looking for revenge.

NCAA Football: Florida at South Carolina Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

The South Carolina Gamecocks continue their late-season road trip with a stop in Gainesville to take on Florida in the Swamp. The Gators, sitting at 5-4, will be looking to punch their ticket to the postseason, while the Gamecocks will be hoping for a repeat of last year’s 40-17 romp. Florida has been up and down, but the Gators always sport a talented roster, and would certainly enjoy getting some revenge along with reaching bowl eligibility. Here’s how the GABA gang sees it going down.

Kody: The Gamecocks had a much better showing offensively last week against Vanderbilt, so much so that it was arguably the best South Carolina has looked on that side of the ball all year. The caveat, of course, was that this performance came against Vanderbilt, and it’ll be much more difficult to replicate that in an environment like the Swamp, where the Gamecocks have won only twice. Quarterback Anthony Richardson and the rest of the Gators’ ground game terrifies me, especially with how susceptible South Carolina has been against the run (including even against the Commodores). This could turn into a shootout, and I think the line (Gators by a touchdown-ish) is fair. I’ll go with 31-28 Florida in a close-but-not-quite showing for the Gamecocks.

Brent: As I outlined in the Looking Back article, The Swamp has been unfriendly to the Gamecocks. They have lost every way imaginable in The Swamp. From the blowouts in the 90s and early 2000s to the heartbreaking losses in 2006 and 2018, it’s always been a place where bad things seem to always happen to the Gamecocks. But this isn’t Steve Spurrier or Urban Meyer’s Gators. The last time these two teams met, Carolina thoroughly dominated the Gators to a 40-17 victory in Columbia. This year feels different, though. The Gators have a super talented quarterback in Anthony Richardson and an offense that runs the football incredibly well. On the flip side, Carolina has struggled to defend the run and I just do not think the Carolina offense will be able to keep up with the Gators in The Swamp. Marshawn Lloyd was out last week against Vanderbilt and it is questionable at best that he will play against the Gators on Saturday. Adding in all of these factors, I think the Gamecocks will struggle to leave Gainesville with a victory. I will take the Gators to win 35-20.

Matt: While it does feel good to go into this game with the offense seemingly “fixed” against a defense allowing 32 PPG to conference opponents, I really hate this matchup for the Cocks. Florida can really run the ball, whether it be the running backs or the quarterback, and that just so happens to be South Carolina’s weakness. This very well could be a shootout, but I can’t see the Cocks keeping up in that hypothetical. USC did shock the world and crush the Gators last season, but this year, I believe, will be different. It’s at the Swamp and Florida is very much in need of a win to achieve bowl eligibility. You don’t think they want to knock South Carolina’s teeth in either after how last year went? The Cocks are playing with house money. They shouldn’t take their metaphorical feet off the gas, but I’m scared they will after reaching the six win mark. Unless South Carolina is about to force a few turnovers or suddenly gain a run defense, I’m feeling pessimistic. Give me the Gators over the Cocks 38-28.

Katie: I’ll try to balance out the realism-but-pessimism from the guys and predict a surprise win for the Gamecocks today by going back to my no thoughts, just vibes strategy. That being said, I don’t see this one being the unexpected blowout victory that last year’s Florida game was. We’re gonna need the logical-gameplan-that-leads-to-scoring-points version of the offense, the remembering-how-to-tackle version of the defense, and all the Beamer Ball we can get. To come away with any kind of win at all, South Carolina will have to do basically everything right, and it wouldn’t hurt if Florida did some things wrong too, but ANY GIVEN SATURDAY and all that.