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Florida vs. South Carolina: The beat(down) goes on

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Against South Carolina, Florida brought the house to protect its house, and it paid off in spades.

Creating and capitalizing on opportunities
Creating and capitalizing on opportunities
Rob Foldy-US PRESSWIRE

Florida vs. South Carolina could be summed up in one word: CAPITALIZING.

During the first half, Florida's offense didn't do much at all. Jeff Driskel had no 70-yard runs, Mike Gillislee had none of the daylight we'd like. You could argue they didn't have to get much when a drive starts on the opposing 2-yard-line: the offense didn't have any marches down the field, but it made sure to punch it in when the defense or special teams presented it with a golden opportunity.

If you'll recall, the 2011 Gators were not nearly as effective at this. Show me a 2011 Gators team with the ball on that same 2-yard-line, and I'll show you a team kicking a 19-yard field goal. Not so this year.

The Gators' mission to re-establish The Swamp thus continues. The odd allure of Spurrier returning to The Swamp isn't nearly as odd or alluring as it was before, but scoring a clear victory against a quality opponent is as satisfying as it ever was.

There was certainly adversity on the field, but what I'm most impressed by is Will Muschamp's drive to avoid adversity in the mind. He told the press that one thing he did at the start of last week was to clearly discuss our poll ranking, our BCS ranking, etc. That way, there's no 800-pound elephant in the room. By acknowledging the recognition the team's received, we can then acknowledge that it doesn't mean a thing once the players step on the field; we know, and they know, that if they don't bring the intensity that got them to No. 2, they won't be there much longer.

As I wrote a few weeks ago, it's still not quite time for The Conversation. No doubt, it's getting closer, and it's getting louder. Remember, though: lose to Georgia, and suddenly we're stuck playing the scenario game, wherein we're asking for either 1) Georgia to lose against a schedule that'd make first-run Bill Snyder blush, or 2) several very good teams to all lose, potentially several times, so we can be 2012's version of 2011 Alabama (and probably play 2012 Alabama).

Let's not suddenly view this season as BCS title or bust. Being unbeaten after going to College Station and Knoxville, after hosting LSU and South Carolina, is a feat by itself. Savor that ... and then beat them Dawgs again!