Florida Gators Roundtable: Florida Downs South Carolina, Spurrier Style

Ben SpicerCorrespondent INovember 16, 2008

Game Recap

Former coach of Florida football, Steve Spurrier, used to hold a reign over the Southeastern Conference. He'd frequently run the score up, and most notably proclaimed that he scored 52 in a 52-17 victory of the Georgia Bulldogs at Stanford Stadium in 1995 just for one simple fact:

"I wanted to hang half a hundred on them".

Well, now Steve Spurrier knows exactly what it feels like to have a half a hundred dropped on the team he's calling the shots for.

Coming into the game, South Carolina had the third best total defense in the Nation (allowing about 256.5 yards a contest) and the tenth best scoring defense in the Nation (allowing about 15.6 points per game)

So, what happened, exactly?

Florida "dropped half a hundred", and a little bit over that mark, winning 56-6. Florida had 519 total yards, which is 262.5 yards more than what South Carolina usually allows. Not to mention that the 56 points Florida scored were 40.4 more than South Carolina normally permits, as well.

In a 2:49 second span, the Florida Gators scored 21 points from turnovers, adding to their already impressive 2nd ranked turnover margin in all of college football. (Which would probably be ranked first if it wasn't for a couple miscues that led to Florida fumbles)

In a sense, the game felt like it had already fallen into Florida's hands after Chris Smelley threw an interception to Brandon Spikes with South Carolina backed into their own goal line.

From there, it was smooth sailing for Brandon Spikes as he waltzed in for the first Florida touchdown of the game, adding points to Florida's scoring defense, which is the 4th best in college football.

And in a way, the Gators never looked back.

Following that critical interception, the Gators scored in their next 3 of 4 possessions, making the score 28-0, and went into the locker room with a 28-3 halftime lead over Spurrier's Gamecocks.

Up to this point, Spurrier had rotated between Stephen Garcia and Chris Smelley all game, and with results that weren't as planned. At the half, Florida had 3 sacks, intercepted 2 passes, and caused South Carolina to throw a total of 7 incomplete passes.

When asked by Tracy Wolfson, CBS Reporter, what he would do in the second half in terms of starting quarterback, Spurrier replied: "I don't know, who do you think I should put in?"

Spurrier went with Smelley for the most part of the 3rd quarter, but began to alternate throughout the second half. Again, Florida's defense wasn't fooled, causing 8 incomplete passes this time, sacking the quarterback once, and causing another interception.

While South Carolina struggled to get anything moving in the least bit, Florida struck fast and struck well, totaling 28 points in the second half, 14 in each quarter. Spurrier had this to say about Florida's performance: "We got clobbered", said the Ol' Ball Coach, "I don't know what we could have done differently except try to keep things close".

Spurrier earned his paycheck at the University of Florida by embarrassing what the Southeastern Conference threw Gainesville's way. It seems as though Urban Meyer isn't one to ruin the tradition, as he's continued his dominance throughout this 2008 campaign with the Gators.

The Stats Don't Lie

South Carolina ran a grand total of 62 offensive plays, while Florida ran a total of 61 offensive plays. Florida had 20 first downs in comparison to South Carolina's 10, and averaged 8.2 average yards per play compared to the Gamecocks 2.8.

Florida pounded out 346 yards on the ground and 173 through the air, a total of 519, while South Carolina had 53 on the ground and 120 through the air, totalling 173 total yards of offense.

South Carolina was forced to punt 10 times during the game, 6 of those punts coming in the first half. The Gators outscored South Carolina 28-3 in the first half, which now has Florida outscoring opponents 227-26 in the first half of this season.

The turnover margin, which I discussed earlier, was +2 for Florida in this game, with South Carolina turning it over 3 times by way of interception, once by fumbling, and Florida fumbled twice. The Gators have dominated the turnover department all season long, and aren't just getting the offense the ball at times, they're also scoring points, like I also mentioned. (4th ranked scoring defense)

With statistics like so, the Gators aren't just winning the game, they're dominating in every category, all throughout the game, and putting up National Championship numbers in the process.

The Citadel Provides Much Needed Rest For Some UF Players

With a couple Florida offensive lineman going down by victim of injury, the Gators picked just the right time in their schedule to play The Citadel. A game that will likely showcase a lot of UF's second stringers by the end of the 1st quarter gives some well-deserved and much needed time to rest.

And for that matter, recuperate.

Especially with a November 29th showdown with the Seminoles of Florida State coming up. The 'Noles were ranked 20th in the AP Poll coming into play yesterday, but suffered a lost at the hands of Boston College, 27-17.

With the SEC Title Game following the Florida State game in Tallahassee, Florida can't afford to look ahead to the meeting with Alabama, especially if they still hope to make the National Championship game.

Florida Looks Like A Well-Oiled Machine

Following the performance yesterday against a defense like South Carolina's, I'm thoroughly convinced that the Gators are set to destroy anything in their path on a way to another National Championship, unless they slip up along the way. (Which isn't looking so likely at this moment)

With so many offensive weapons, Tebow hasn't become a liability for gameplans like he was last season, and that's given him just enough to total 20 touchdowns in the past 5 games, or, in other words, 4 touchdowns per game.

Florida's running game looks to be solid, and if the offensive line remains healthy, Florida could dominate the Seminoles and the Crimson Tide like they have every other team, especially considering the fact that Alabama is more built for stopping a pro-style attack, and Florida State has only played 2 teams in the top 75 overall in total offense this season, so their 5th ranked defense looks a bit overrated. (Georgia Tech is 65th in total offense, Clemson is 71st. Florida State is 1-1 in these two games, losing to Georgia Tech)

It's looking like it could shape up to become 2006 all over again, and maybe even better. As South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier put it: "This team is a lot better than the one two years ago".


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