SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS (6-1)
at FLORIDA GATORS (6-0)
Kickoff: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. EDT
Line: Florida -3.5, Total: 41.5
No. 7 South Carolina may not have its best offensive player when it travels to The Swamp on Saturday to face undefeated No. 2 Florida.
Marcus Lattimore is listed as questionable for Saturday's showdown because of a hip injury, meaning he could miss his second straight game in this rivalry. In 2010, he rushed for 212 yards and 3 TD in a 36-14 upset win at Florida, the first of two straight victories for the Gamecocks in this series. However, the Gators had won 18 of the previous 19 meetings before that surprising loss two years ago. South Carolina was held to 34 rushing yards in last week's 23-21 defeat at LSU, while Florida rushed for 326 yards (177 by QB Jeff Driskel) in last week’s 31-17 victory over Vanderbilt. These clubs rank fifth and sixth, respectively, in FBS in scoring defense despite having both played five SEC games already.
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Although Lattimore is the key to the Gamecocks offense, the team still rushed for 215 yards in last year's 17-12 home victory over Florida without him. QB Connor Shaw had 88 of those yards and two touchdowns, but attempted just 12 passes in last year's win. This season, Shaw has been pretty accurate with the football (69.4% completions), and has thrown 2 TD passes in each of the past four games. But he threw a pair of interceptions at LSU last week, his first picks in nearly a month. Several South Carolina players have been sick throughout the week, including WR Bruce Ellington (265 rec. yds, 2 TD), WR Ace Sanders (159 rec. yds, 4 TD), OL Mike Matulis and CB Jimmy Legree, who had a 70-yard interception return last week. Although South Carolina's defense has been outstanding this year, ranking fifth in FBS in scoring defense (12.3 PPG) and 12th in total defense (296 YPG), many of their star players are dealing with injuries. DE Jadeveon Clowney (foot) and DTs Byron Jerideau (ankle) and J.T. Surratt (ankle) are all expected to play on Saturday, but DT Kelcy Quarles (shoulder) is not.
Driskel has thrown only four touchdown passes in six games this year, but he ran all over Vanderbilt last week with 177 yards on just 11 carries (16.1 YPC) with three touchdowns. RB Mike Gillislee ranks second in the SEC with 615 rushing yards and has a team-high 7 TD, but he has been wildly inconsistent all year, going for 148, 83, 115, 56, 146 and finally 67 rushing yards last week. Many of his offensive linemen are dealing with injuries, most notably Matt Patchan (pectoral) who is out indefinitely. Fellow OLs James Wilson (eye), Jonotthan Harrison (arm) and Xavier Nixon (upper body) have been upgraded to probable for Saturday. Although the Gamecocks D-Line is battered, they are still plenty capable of penetrating this Gators offensive line allowing 3.0 sacks per game (2nd-most in SEC). Florida's defense is looking pretty healthy though, as LB Jelani Jenkins (hamstring) will start on Saturday despite missing three out of his past four contests. Florida ranks sixth in the nation in points allowed (12.3 PPG) and 13th in total defense (297 total YPG).