Mid November is here, and for Gator and Gamecock fans alike it means only one thing—it’s time for Florida’s Urban Meyer and South Carolina’s Ol’ Ball Coach to square off, and take part in an end of season battle once again.
Gamecock head coach Steve Spurrier may be playing the role of spoiler this year, but Meyer is out to build momentum leading up to Atlanta and prove, once again, that his Gators deserve top honors.
And what better way is there to shore up the confidence of his Gator squad, and impress voters, than to crack these seven eggs and scramble up a huge Gamecock omelet.
The number of college football defenses that have allowed fewer touchdowns than Florida this season.
In nine games this season, Florida coordinator Charlie Strong’s second ranked Gator defense has only allowed opponents to score six touchdowns.
That’s considerably less than one per game.
South Carolina has struggled against strong defenses this year, and Saturday the Gamecocks will face their toughest test yet.
Percentage of total Gator receiving yards gained last week against Vanderbilt attributable to Gator tight end Arron Hernandez.
Hernandez was Tebow’s most frequent and productive target last week when the tight end hauled in seven tosses for 120 yards—half of which was earned on one outstanding 64 yard catch and run play.
If the success Florida’s passing attack had against Georgia is fleeting the Gators can take comfort in knowing that offensive coordinator Steve Addazio has the good sense to make sure Tebow is seeing more of his tight end.
This spells double trouble for South Carolina since Hernandez can block as good as he can catch!
The total number of points South Carolina has scored in their last four games.
That averages out to 11.25 points per contest.
This figure is not surprising since the Gamecocks rushed for fewer than 66 yards in each of their losses to Alabama, Tennessee, and Arkansas.
Defense has been the headline grabber for Spurrier’s Gamecocks this season, but even an NFL squad would find it hard to complement an offense producing fewer than 12 points a game.
The height advantage Gator wideouts Riley Cooper and Deonte Thompson should have if covered by Gamecock corners C.C. Whitlock and Stephon Gilmore.
Florida quarterback, and Heisman hopeful, Tim Tebow has had some difficulty this season throwing, or not throwing, to his wideouts when in tight coverage.
Against South Carolina though, Cooper and Thompson should be able use their height to an advantage to neutralize any smothering coverage coming off the line. This advantage should make each an easier target for Tebow when running post, stutter, or crossing routes.
Should Spurrier attempt to counter this advantage by pulling the corners off the line a few yards then the Gator running game benefits from the resulting soft flanks.
Minutes of play since the Florida Gators last committed a turnover.
Poised to score and with only 3:51 left on the clock, Tim Tebow threw an interception that Mississippi State’s Johnathan Banks ran back the length of the field for a touchdown.
Since that moment, Meyer’s Gators have not fumbled the ball away, or thrown another pick.
It’s bad luck to talk about trend reversals, but it does look like Meyer’s boys have finally learned to hang onto the ball this season. That’s bad news for Spurrier since his Gamecocks would gladly accept any handouts this Saturday!
Number of tackles (both solo and assisted) Gator reserve linebacker Dustin Doe was involved in against Vanderbilt last week.
To fill the gap created by a missing Brandon Spikes, who was serving his one game suspension against Vandy, Strong shuffled his linebacker corps a bit. Strong moved WLB Ryan Stamper to MLB and filled the WLB slot with reserve senior letter winner Doe.
Vandy attempted to exploit this lineup change, but Doe stepped up and reminded everyone that Gator defensive reserves could be starting for most any team in the nation.
South Carolina will be the next target on Strong’s list…and Charlie is still is looking for that elusive shutout.
Lucky breaks for Urban Meyer in the SEC recruiting war.
Early in the morning of Nov. 12th Pahokee, Florida native Nu’Keese Richardson and two others were arrested in suspicion of armed robbery outside a convenience store in Tennessee.
Richardson was the star south Florida recruit Volunteer head coach Lane Kiffin bragged about stealing out from under Meyer’s nose earlier this year.
The Gator Nation owes Kiffin a debt of thanks for keeping this alleged troublemaker and the ensuing stories/distractions away from Gainesville this week.