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Florida vs. South Carolina, Game Thread: Surviving the times

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The Gators would likely prefer nothing more than to win in Columbia and then go home.

Syndication: Gainesville Sun Brad McClenny / USA TODAY NETWORK

A week in which Dan Mullen spent more time talking about recruiting as a means of not talking about recruiting than if he’d just talked about recruiting in the first place comes to an end this Saturday night in Columbia, with the Florida Gators taking on the South Carolina Gamecocks in the sort of contest that would be called a “dangerous game” if there were real stakes for either team.

For the Gators, sitting at 4-4 after their loss to Georgia, the rest of this season is largely about getting to bowl eligibility, jockeying for the best bowl possible, developing players for future years, and finishing careers on as sweet a note as possible.

For the Gamecocks, sitting at 4-4 after a third loss to an SEC foe by 25 or more points this year, everything is about managing expectations going forward for Shane Beamer. Knocking off Florida as a major underdog would do a lot more for Beamer’s bunch than Florida prevailing on the road will for Mullen’s men.

And that’s true even if Florida is dealing with adversity of both the injury and malady varieties. Emory Jones reportedly has his right thumb taped, Anthony Richardson is likely sitting where the fire extinguisher does for this game, and a flu bug may have the Gators even further limited. These tidbits haven’t moved the betting line, and Florida may well mash the Gamecocks on the ground, where their run game looks like a mismatch for the South Carolina front seven — but Florida hasn’t needed to be dramatically removed from full strength to lose games in inexplicable ways this year, has it?

Here are 10 predictions for Florida’s game against South Carolina.

  1. Emory Jones will account for at least 250 yards of total offense.
  2. Jones will rush for at least 70 yards.
  3. Dameon Pierce will rush for a touchdown.
  4. Florida will gain at least 200 rushing yards.
  5. Florida will score more than 24 points.
  6. Florida’s defense will force multiple turnovers.
  7. Florida will allow fewer than 20 points.
  8. Florida’s defense will not allow more than 5.0 yards per play.
  9. Florida will not trail in the second half.
  10. Florida will defeat South Carolina, 42-17.