College Sports

South Carolina-Florida prediction: This game might be a mess

Florida QB position uncertain, but Gamecocks will be prepared

USC football coach Will Muschamp says the Gamecocks will be prepared for all situations no matter the Florida quarterback.
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USC football coach Will Muschamp says the Gamecocks will be prepared for all situations no matter the Florida quarterback.

Last week’s South Carolina football game was a complete toss-up, destined to be tight and won by whoever blinked first, or maybe second in Ole Miss’ case.

This week’s trip to Florida might be somewhere between a game of boggle, where everything gets shaken up and falls where it may, or maybe just a mess.

The Gators are scuffling, to put it nicely. The hard-fought loss to Georgia can be forgiven. The defense collapsing against Missouri less so.

Florida benched starting QB Filipe Franks, then lost backup Kyle Trask to a broken foot. That came after Dan Mullen said the Gators could use three quarterbacks Saturday.

The Gamecocks, meanwhile, are dealing with their own injury questions. The safety depth has been worn to a nub. The top two running backs and most versatile front-seven defender are all questionable, plus a slew of other players dealing with bumps and bruises.

That will lead to a question of how the Gators play it. If they stay with their usual three-receiver power look, it could stress the Gamecocks in their nickel defense, which might be down Bryson Allen-Williams.

So Florida has a lot of unknowns and South Carolina is in the same boat.

This Gators team isn’t what we’re used to, as it’s not particularly great on defense, though the offense is better than it has been. That said, Vegas has UF as nearly a touchdown favorite, and the Gators were playing like it only a few weeks ago.

But those two weeks cast doubt on everything. The Gators are 0-2. The Gamecocks are 2-0, albeit against not-great teams.

Maybe that’s enough, especially with the quarterback questions. But college football has a way of snapping streaks and trends just like that.

This might just be a case of that, though with the caveat that almost any outcome wouldn’t completely surprise.

The pick: Florida 31, South Carolina 28

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