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South Carolina vs. Florida

Key Release

5 Dimes Betting Line: Florida -6.5 o/u 51

11/13/10

 

It's been a common theme with us, when talking about South Carolina football, to make mention of the fact that Steve Spurrier has yet to really accomplish anything at the school. He has yet to win more than 8 games in any season and has no SEC Titles under his belt. His teams tend to be up and down. As in, up one week, down the next. Inconsistent. A big defensive performance one week and then scorched the next.

This was thought to be his best group of players ever at South Carolina, and while it just may be, it's far from a dominant bunch. But yet, the goal is still right there in front of Spurrier and his Gamecocks. All they have to do, is do something they have never done before. Win in the Swamp. How fitting would that be? The ol Ball Coach propelling himself into the SEC Title game by knocking off the team where he experienced greatness as a player and coach!

Less accomplished Spurrier/Gamecock teams have gone toe to toe with Florida. In 2005 in Spurriers first year at SC, he beat the Gators in Columbia, 30-22. The following year, in his first crack at the Gators in the Swamp, South Carolina dropped a 17-16 decision. Close, but not close enough, although SC backers we're plenty happy as they got the money as +13 point underdogs.

Not many would argue that this years Florida team, is perhaps the worst of the 5 Gator teams Spurrier has faced while at SC, while he fields what is likely his best Gamecock team since he took over. Now, we say the "worst" Gator team, but that is not to imply they are bad. A 3 game losing streak in October with losses to Alabama, LSU and Miss State is why Florida finds itself ranked just 24th in the land. But make no mistake about it, this Gator team can play with any team in the Nation.

But South Carolina has also proved it can play with anyone. They knocked off one of the better teams in the country in Alabama and were a last second incomplete pass away from sending the Auburn game into overtime. The game they lost to Kentucky, they had in the bag at halftime, but let the Wildcats claw their way back and pull the upset. The only game they weren't in, was last weeks loss to Arkansas. 

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Arkansas was able to pick apart a very suspect Gamecock secondary. South Carolina is 109th in the Nation against the pass, so going up against a top 3 NFL draft pick QB last week wasn't an ingredient working in their favor. They won't face that this week in Florida's John Brantley. Though SC lost cornerback C.C Whitlock to a concussion last week, Florida is ranked 79th in passing yards which should be to SC's liking. This Florida team has relied more on the run, which should suit the Gamecocks just fine as they come in ranked 11th against the run.

When we take the common opponents of these two teams and take a closer look, we see that they are both 4-1 against those opponents with South Carolina winning by an average of 28-18 while Florida win by an average of 35-21. The yards per point numbers using only common opponents, are 14.7 for SC on offense and 18.6 on defense while Florida is 11.4 offensively and a poor 13.6 defensively. This simply shows us that Florida did a better job offensively and made better use of their yards, while SC did a better job of keeping these common opponents out of the end zone.

The talent gap between these two is as close as it's every going to be. This is a golden opportunity for both Spurrier and the Gamecocks program. We catch SC QB Steven Garcia in off his worst showing of the year, which is actually a good thing. Expect a bounce back week.

3* South Carolina +7 (buy half if you need to)

 

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