Florida Gators vs. South Carolina: Game Predictions and Takes

The Sports Illustrated - AllGators staff and contributors offer their takes and score predictions for the Florida Gators matchup against the South Carolina Gamecocks this weekend.
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Each Friday, the Sports Illustrated-AllGators staff will provide predictions and pre-game analysis before the Florida Gators take on their weekly opponent.

We have decided to tally prediction records as the season goes on. These are purely based on Gators' win/loss predictions, and not factoring in the spread. With that, each of our contributors got off to an undefeated start for the 2020 season.

Florida got off to a hot start to its season last week, defeating the Ole Miss Rebels by a score of 51-35 in a game that, while it appears to have been close at the end, really wasn't when it was all said and done.

Now, they take on the South Carolina Gamecocks tomorrow, which will feature a familiar face in South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp.

Let's get into the predictions, takes and more from our staff and contributors:

Zach Goodall (1-0)

Florida's offense exploded onto the scene in week one (or four?) against Ole Miss. I expect the Gators to continue to find success offensively, in the pass and run game, this season but perhaps not always at the 642-yard, 51-point level we saw in the season-opener.

Will Muschamp's Gamecocks have given the Gators' offense some trouble at times, allowing 157 first-half yards to Florida a year ago, and a stingy showing could be the case this week with numerous intriguing defenders at every level of the defense.

But like I said last week, this should be a contest where Florida puts it away in the second half as the Gators are simply more talented and well-oiled from head-to-toe.

Score: Florida 35, South Carolina 21

Demetrius Harvey (1-0):

This one is much tougher to predict than last week. While the Gators put up record numbers in the team's week one matchup against the Ole Miss Rebels, compiling 642 yards, Florida will face a much-more stout defense in the South Carolina Gamecocks. Different from the Rebels, the Gamecocks aren't necessarily in a rebuilding mode with a brand-new coaching staff and boast one of the most intriguing defensive backs in the country in Jaycee Horn.

Florida also must hope its defense can make a turnaround this week. The team surrendered far too many yards to the Rebels in week one (613), though South Carolina doesn't exactly have the offensive prowess as a Lane Kiffin coached team does.

While I do not believe the Gators will be able to repeat their week-one offensive explosion this week, I do still have them defeating the Gamecocks fairly easily when its all said and done due to their preparation and simply the amount of talent the team has offensively.

Score: Florida 38, South Carolina 21

Graham Marsh (1-0)

Florida’s safety room still raises a few concerns, that is the only reason I have South Carolina scoring so many points.

Outside of that, I don’t see a point in this game where anyone doesn’t genuinely know who is going to win. Look for the Gators to score early and often, and keep that trend rolling throughout the entire game. It is likely that the Gamecocks will focus on Kyle Pitts more than Ole Miss did, so look for Trevon Grimes, Kadarius Toney and Co. to have big days. 

Score: Florida 42. South Carolina 28

Donavon Keiser (1-0):

After a solid performance last week, I see the Gators winning once again as they face the Gamecocks at home. South Carolina is riddled with depth issues including on the Offensive line, with an inexperienced quarterback in Collin Hill who could struggle against Florida’s stingy pass rush.

On offense, Florida is nearly unstoppable, and will continue to churn out positive drives all day. The Kyles (Florida QB Kyle Trask and TE Kyle Pitts) will be productive all afternoon, leading the offense as the Gators once again will spread the wealth and get everyone on the offense touches. 

On defense, Florida should have a better game plan in place that could limit the Gamecocks throughout the afternoon. 

As of now, the line is set at 18 and I see Florida winning by 21. 

Score: Florida 48, South Carolina 27

Brandon Carroll (1-0):

I think this game comes down to Florida’s defense stopping a new and improved offensive attack from the Gamecocks. If the Gators can execute a turnaround from a poor performance in the secondary in week one — that mainly included tackling and communication issues — Florida should establish a comfortable margin on the scoreboard before halftime. Their main priority falls within stopping slot receiver Shi Smith, who will be this week's version of Elijah Moore.

On the offensive side, while I still think Florida will be able to move the football with relative ease against the SCAR defense—which is built upon the principle of a stingy defensive attack that Will Muschamp is known for—another near 700-yard outing is unlikely. However, I expect to see the Gators score in abundance early, before taking the foot off of the gas petal later in the second half as some younger players see action.

Score: Florida 42 South Carolina 20

Michael Knauff (1-0)

South Carolina has been a weird thorn in the side of Dan Mullen since he's been the Gators head coach. Florida had to come back from deficits in both meetings with Will Muschamp and Co., and the offense got off to very slow starts in both matchups.

How quickly the Gators get going on offense will once again determine the outcome. If Kyle Trask comes out guns-blazing as he did against Ole Miss, Florida can turn this into a rout. If Muschamp, his beefy defensive line and lanky secondary can slow the game down significantly, we may be looking at a similar game to 2019.

I don't think Florida will sputter out of the gate. It's the first home game in the Swamp and too many juices will be flowing. Look for the defense to set the tone early, Ventrell Miller will lay the wood on a back again and get everyone pumped up.  

Score: Florida 44, South Carolina 20, but it'll be a two-score game at the half.