Florida Gators roundtable / previewing South Carolina

The Florida Gators (5-4) are set to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks (6-3) in week 11 of the college football season. Florida is looking for their sixth win, bringing them bowl eligibility in Billy Napier’s first season.

Gator Country provides a Florida Gators roundtable, previewing the Gators SEC east matchup with the Gamecocks.

What are your keys for this team on offense this week?

AS- I think the biggest key for me this weekend is for the offense to stay physical up-front and be able to dominate in the running game. Doing that allows Anthony Richardson to settle into the game and helps the passing game later in the game. 

NM- The Gators need to dominate the ground and pound attack against South Carolina. The Gamecocks give up 171 rushing yards a game in 2022, which ranks 11th in the SEC. Their run defense grade of 61.6 ranks 112th in the FBS, according to PFF. As long as Florida is effective on the ground and takes care of the football, they will be in good shape. 

Gentry- I think the key here is for Anthony Richardson to show that he’s taken the next step from a consistency standpoint as a quarterback. Richardson will need to pick up right where he left off last weekend and be consistent with his throws and decision making as well as utilizing his legs. Montrell Johnson and Trevor Etienne continue to be a big factor for this football team, and I think they have a great game this weekend.

Florida is coming off their best defensive half of the 2022 season. What do the Gators need to do defensively to keep the momentum going?

AS: South Carolina wants to stay balanced on offense so stopping the running game will be the first step to success. Spencer Rattler can beat you through the air if you allow the offense to get into rhythm. 

NM: Florida is going to need to slow down South Carolina’s running back Marshawn Lloyd. The sophomore is putting together an impressive season, running for 556 yards and nine touchdowns, averaging 5.6 yards per carry in the process. He’s been their most productive player on offense and will get his fair share of chances Saturday afternoon.

GentrySimilar to what we saw in last weekend’s performance, the defensive line will need to bring constant pressure Saturday and force Spencer Rattler to make bad decisions with the football. This South Carolina offense is much better than Texas A&M with Haynes King at quarterback and will beat Florida through the air if the Gators still can’t close the gap in pass coverage.

Anthony Richardson’s coming off a four-touchdown performance against the Aggies in week ten. With potentially two WR’s out for Florida, what does Richardson need to do to take control of this game?

AS: The biggest thing for Richardson is to get in rhythm early in the game and keep his confidence up but also Richardson needs to run the ball early to make South Carolina stay honest on the edge. When Richardson is running the ball, he seems to get into a nice rhythm. 

NM: Richardson needs to find a rhythm with the receivers he has on Saturday afternoon.  I expect Richardson to connect with Ricky Pearsall early and often in this game to get his confidence going. Richardson needs to rely on his legs as well. The Gators offensive seemingly explodes when Richardson is making plays happen with his feet.

Gentry:  I think the key for Anthony Richardson is to set the tone early, and almost secure his level of confidence throughout the rest of the game. Making the easy throws and knowing when to pull it and run will be the difference maker for Richardson this Saturday.

Who do you want to see receive more snaps this week?

AS: After a solid game last week, I want to see Caleb Douglas to continue to get more reps and I think he will with both Ja’Quavion Fraziars and Justin Shorter likely out on Saturday. 

NM: I’ve got two picks for this week. The first one is Jadarrius Perkins. I think he offers more upside at the STAR position than Tre’vez Johnson. My 2nd pick is Chris McClellan. We’ve seen McClellan receive pretty significant playing time this season, but I think he’s a more consistent player right now than Desmond Watson. I want to see McClellan 2nd in snaps behind Gervon Dexter at the DT position. 

Gentry: Personally, I think Caleb Douglas is one of the best receivers in that room and deserves a lot of snaps Saturday. Regardless if Justin Shorter isn’t able to play this weekend, I think we’ll see a lot of Caleb Douglas against the Gamecocks. The true freshman has four catches, 87 yards and two touchdowns on the year. Expect Marcus Burke to get significant snaps as well.

What will be the keys to victory for the Gators this week?

AS: Get out to an early lead in this game and don’t give South Carolina any false hope that they’re the better team, this is senior day so a nice early first quarter lead would be huge for the Gators.  

NM: Florida needs to do a better job of finishing in the red zone. With the defense still playing inconsistent for four quarters, the offense needs to capitalize on every chance they get to score the football. The defense needs to continue to bring pressure on the QB. We all saw how much coverage can improve when the QB is being hurried into his throws. The front four can make or break the Gators defense in week 11. 

Gentry: The Gators must pick up right where they left off against Texas A&M. Anthony Richardson must be on his game Saturday and this defense needs to play solid in all aspects for four quarters. If Florida can do that, I expect great things Saturday.

Give us your prediction on how this game will turn out.

AS: I have Florida winning this game 34-20 as I think the Gators offense will be too much for South Carolina’s defense and the Gators’ defense builds on last week’s solid second half.

NM: They’ve done it all season and they will continue to do it; Florida will find success running the football in week 11. I think the Gators jump out to an early lead and somewhat eliminate South Carolina’s rushing attack. 35-24 Florida is my score prediction. 

Gentry: 38-24 Florida. Overall, I think Saturday will be another good showing from this football team with some things to clean up before Vandy and FSU. Anthony Richardson has another great game on offense followed by great performances from Montrell Johnson and Trevor Etienne. I think the defense plays great up front but continues to struggle in the secondary.


Nick Marcinko
Nick is a recent graduate from the University of Florida with a degree in Telecommunications. He is passionate about all sports but specifically baseball and football. Nick interned at Inside the Gators and worked part time with Knights247 before joining the Gator Country family. Nick enjoys spending his free time golfing and at the beach.