South Carolina Gamecocks: Three Things to Watch Against Florida
The South Carolina Gamecocks head to the Swamp on Saturday to face the #15 Florida Gators. Carolina is coming off of a come from behind win over Ole Miss.
South Carolina is 5-3 (4-3 SEC) on the year. The Gators are 6-3 (4-3 SEC).
Can the Gamecocks close out the conference schedule on a high note?
THREE KEYS TO WATCH
YOUNG SECONDARY, PART DEUX
The South Carolina Gamecocks young secondary was thrashed for three-quarters last week. Ole Miss threw for 379 yards. Unfortunately, Carolina left the game with even more injuries. A pair of safeties, Javon Charleston and R.J. Roderick, both left injured. Jaylin Dickerson and Israel Mukuamu played significant snaps. Jamyest Williams, J.T. Ibe, and Nick Harvey were already hurt.
Indeed, the situation is so dire that wide receiver Shi Smith is taking some reps in practice this week at corner.
The saving grace this week could be the quarterback situation at Florida. Kyle Trask was slated to be the starter this week. However, Trask was injured in practice on Wednesday and will likely be out for the season. He was considered a better passer than Feleipe Franks and Emory Jones.
Will Franks be able to test the Gamecocks secondary vertically? We shall see.
Mon Denson had a tremendous game closing out the Rebels in the fourth quarter. His 69-yard run set up the go-ahead TD. The South Carolina Gamecocks will need Denson and A.J. Turner to help neutralize the Florida pass rush. Tyson Williams (hand) may have limited availability. Rico Dowdle may be out for the season.
If Williams can’t go, I wouldn’t be surprised if true freshman Deshaun Fenwick got some playing time. To my knowledge, he has not played in a game this season. The new rule allows players to play in four or fewer games and still be able to redshirt. This seems like a perfect opportunity for that.
TEST FOR THE OFFENSIVE LINE
Offensive line coach Eric Wolford has done a masterful job with the offensive line this season. The unit was considered to be the worst on the team a year ago. However, in 2018, they have shown a marked improvement.
Injuries have started to take their toll on the OL as well. Left tackle Dennis Daley and his replacement Malik Young are both injured and likely will not play. Blake Camper did a good job when he was forced into duty last week.
However, the Florida Gators will present a much bigger challenge this week. Jachai Polite, Jabari Zuniga, and linebacker Vosean Joseph can all rush the passer. The Gamecocks up front could be in for a long afternoon.
How do you feel about the South Carolina Gamecocks matchup with Florida? Let us know in the comments!
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