Published October 20, 2012 - 7:33pm
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Here’s a couple quick thoughts on the Gators’ dominant performance against South Carolina.
What it means: Florida put up a statement today against South Carolina, and the Gators seized control of the SEC East. The Gators move to 7-0 overall and 6-0 in the SEC, and they justified the #2 BCS ranking that was in question when the polls were released a week ago. Florida showed they are #2, but could they make an argument they are #1? South Carolina, on the other hand, ran into a buzz saw, aided by three first-half turnovers and saw the Gators go up 21-3. Where does South Carolina turn now, after they looked extremely dominant against Georgia a few weeks ago?
What I liked: I loved Florida’s second-half coaching adjustments once again. Yeah, I know the game was 21-6 at halftime, but the Gators’ defense and offense once more showed why they are the best second-half team in college football. Florida outscored USC 23-3 in the second half.
Also, when teams turn the football over in this league like Carolina did, you have to capitalize on it. Florida did a great job converting those three turnovers into touchdowns.
I thought Jeff Driskel really grew up this game. The stats don’t show it, because he only threw for 93 yards but with four touchdowns. Florida doesn’t ask Driskel to throw it 25 times and put up nasty numbers. But he’s a great game manager who can make tough third-down throws when he needs to. And he’s getting better and more confident.
South Carolina’s defense played their hearts out and really dominated the line of scrimmage in the first half. Florida had 29 total first half yards on offense. Jadeveon Clowney is going to be the first pick in the draft next season.
Much like USC, Florida’s defense suffocated South Carolina’s offense. The Gators allowed only 191 yards of toal offense and 36 yards on the ground.
What I didn’t like: For Florida, the penalties are just getting brutal. The Gators committed seven for 74 yards. Will Muschamp has talked about eliminating them every week, and it needs to get cleaned up before the Gators play Georgia.
On the contrary, South Carolina never gave themselves a chance to get back into the game. The turnovers took them right out of the game from the get-go.
Who’s the man: There were several players who could be termed ‘the man’, but punter Kyle Christy was Florida’s biggest weapon. Christy boomed seven punts on the day, averaging 54 yards per punt. He’s having an All-American season and is leading the SEC in punting. He’s such a weapon for the Gators.
Key play: The biggest play of the game was the first play of the game when Louchiez Purifoy stripped the ball from Connor Shaw. The Gators recovered at the two-yard line and the romp was then on. It really set the tone for the Gators’ defense.
What’s next: Florida seizes control of the SEC East, and they will take on Georgia, who also still controls their own destiny. The winner of the Florida-Georgia game wins the SEC East. South Carolina hosts SEC East foe Tennessee next week in Columbia.