The Daily Gamecock

Preview: Gamecock football returns from bye week to face Florida

South Carolina football will host divisional rival Florida at Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday. The Gators are coming to Columbia with a .500 record, sitting at 4-4, and are coming off back-to-back losses.  

The teams have met 41 total times, and the Gator's hold a massive lead in the all-time series, winning 29 of 38, and three ties. 

Florida lost to Georgia last week 34-7, but South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer pointed out the score does not show the whole picture.

"Georgia had been holding teams to an average of 208 yards per game, and Florida dropped 355 on them on Saturday," Beamer said. "They rushed for more yards against Georgia than anyone has since the Sugar Bowl back when Georgia played Texas on January 1st of 2019."

The Gators sit smack dab in middle of the SEC East standings, but were once ranked as high as No. 11 in the AP poll. They currently rank third in the SEC in rushing yards and yards per game and lead the conference in rushing yards per attempt. 

Florida holds a lot of firepower on the offensive side of the ball with junior quarterback Emory Jones. 

Jones possesses a very unique skill set considering his size; Jones clocks in at a whopping 6 feet 2 inches, 211 pounds and ran a 4.77 40-yard dash in high school. He leads the team in passing and rushing entering the game, having thrown for 1,417 yards and gained 517 yards on the ground so far this season.

Gator head coach Dan Mullen will be leading with some urgency, as rumors have begun to swirl about his future role with the team following back-to-back losses. 

"It's always a tough environment to go play when you go play up there in night games at South Carolina," Mullen said of playing games at Williams-Brice Stadium.

The Gamecocks defense is currently the No. 8 nationally ranked in interceptions, and tied with Alabama as No. 1 in the SEC. 

"Offensively, we're turning the ball over at an extremely high rate," Mullen said.

The Gamecocks enter the game following a much-needed bye week and are looking to rebound from their blowout loss in College Station two weeks ago.

Injury wise, Beamer said the Gamecocks could be missing a few key players on Saturday, with the status of quarterback Zeb Noland, offensive lineman Dylan Wonnum and defensive back Jaylin Dickerson up in the air.  

Beamer and offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield will have a decision to make at quarterback with Noland recovering from a minor surgery he underwent last week. Backup Jason Brown, who showed promise in the dying moments of the Texas A&M game, could see the field on Saturday. 

Senior running back ZaQuandre White said in order for South Carolina to win this weekend they'll need to execute better than they have in previous weeks.

"We just have to execute our plays, make sure we run the ball and no negative yards," White said.

The Gamecocks take on Florida at Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 6. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. EST, and the game will be televised live on SEC Network.