NCAA Football – Week 8
South Carolina came painfully close to knocking-off No.6 LSU last Saturday in a 23-21 loss as a three-point underdog on the road. The loss dropped the Gamecocks to 6-1 both straight-up and against the spread on the year, but they still control their own destiny in the SEC East heading into this huge showdown.
Quarterback Conner Shaw has done a good job running the South Carolina offense this season and running back Marcus Lattimore is returning to form after suffering a devastating knee injury last season. However, the real strength of this team is a defense that is ranked fifth in the nation in points allowed. The 23 points it gave up last week to the Tigers was the first time all season that an opponent had scored more than 17 points. The Gamecocks’ defense has given-up an average of just 12.3 points through its first seven games.
Florida has been the surprise team in the SEC with a perfect 6-0 SU run that includes victories over Tennessee and LSU as an underdog. The Gators are a very profitable 5-1 ATS this season and the total has stayed UNDER in four of their last five games.
Jeff Driskel is by no means the flashiest quarterback in the SEC, but he has done a solid job at managing the Gators’ offense this season. Mike Gillislee leads a rushing attack that is ranked 14th in the country with an average of 233.3 yards a game. He has rushed for 615 yards and seven touchdowns while Driskel has added another 326 yards with his legs. Much like South Carolina, it is the Florida defense that has been the big story this year. It is ranked sixth in the nation in points allowed; giving-up an average of just 12.3 points a game.
This game has dog-fight written all over it with two of the best defenses in the country going toe-to-toe for all four quarters. The Gamecocks have the slight edge on offense which should be just enough to come out of Gainesville with a SU win that keeps them in the SEC title race. South Carolina 20 Florida 17