The Florida Gators escaped with a 9-7 home win over Vanderbilt last week and it should be another low scoring SEC battle when the Gators visit South Carolina on Saturday.
There could be an old school “three yards and a pile of dust” SEC slugfest Saturday afternoon when the Florida Gators (8-1, 6-3 ATS), who are still in contention for a College Football Playoff spot, pay a visit to the struggling South Carolina Gamecocks (3-6, 5-4 ATS) at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, SC at 12:00 Noon ET in a game televised nationally on SEC Network.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 46½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -110.
11th on Playoff Rankings
Florida is 11th on the latest College Football Rankings at 8-1 with its only loss this year coming at LSU 35-28, but the Gators seemingly have a clear path at a chance for a Playoff berth even from the 11-spot, as they have already clinched a berth in the SEC Championship Game as East Division Champions and a win in that game almost certainly carries a Playoff berth with it.
South Carolina on the other hand is in the midst of a lost season at 3-6, a year in which Steve Spurrier basically quit on the team, as he resigned at midseason while admitting he would not have done so if his team had been more competitive. The Gamecocks subsequently beat Vanderbilt in their first game under interim coach Shawn Elliott, but they have returned to their losing ways as college football picks in the last two games vs. Texas A&M and Tennessee.
Gators Staying ‘under’ in SEC
The Gators have been winning with great defense and a conservative offense, although they did not have their finest moment last week while barely avoiding a home upset in an ugly 9-7 win over Vanderbilt. While the offense was worse than usual producing only 258 total yards, the defense was its usual stellar self yielding just 175 yards, with 74 of those coming on one long touchdown run by Vandy’s Ralph Webb.
Florida is now fourth in the country in points allowed with 14.6 per game and sixth in total defense surrendering just 288.8 yards per contest, with those points allowed being the lowest in the SEC and the yards allowed being the second lowest behind only Alabama, which looks like it will be the Gators’ opponent for the SEC Championship.
Because of that great defense and not always so great offense, the ‘under’ is now 5-2 in all Florida SEC games this season with only two conference opponents scoring more than 10 points off of the Gators.
Just One Conference Win
As for the Gamecocks, they are just 1-6 in conference play with the 19-10 win over Vanderbilt in Elliott’s debut being the only SEC triumph. And frankly, they were fortunate to win two non-conference games, as they nipped North Carolina 17-13 opening week with the help of three interceptions thrown by the Tar Heels’ Marquise Williams with two of them coming in the red zone, and they trailed still currently winless UCF at halftime before rallying for that win.
While Spurrier did quit on this team, he apparently knew that this was probably the worst Gamecocks squad since he became the head coach in Columbia. South Carolina is ranked 106th out of 128 FBS teams in points scored with 21.7 per game and 92nd in total offense with 367.1 yards per contest, and we do not even see them sniffing those already weak numbers vs. the stout Florida defense.
Trending the ‘under’
Finally, besides the afore mentioned ‘under’ success of Florida in SEC play this year, the ‘under’ is also 5-1 in the last six head-to-head meetings between these two teams, as well as 9-3-1 in the last 13 South Carolina games overall.
We really see no reason to suddenly expect more fireworks this week, and with this posted total looking seemingly inflated, go ‘under’ again when Florida visits South Carolina in Columbia on Saturday.
College Football Pick: Florida, South Carolina ‘under’ 46½ (-110)