The Gators never got the offense going last season. Even with a weak offense, Florida’s defense led the team to an 11–1 season. That included a 44–11 win over South Carolina in The Swamp.
Jeff Driskel is back at quarterback, as are receivers Quinton Dunbar and Trey Burton. That should spell an improved passing attack, which would pair well with running back Matt Jones. If the defense is as stingy as it was last season, an improved offense could make Florida the favorites to win the SEC East.
South Carolina gets the Gators at home and after a bye week. The Gamecocks will need both the extra week to prepare and a good home crowd to get past the Gators.
Will Muschamp has changed Florida from a team that relied on speed to one that plays a power game. South Carolina has a great defensive front and what could be an airtight secondary. The linebackers, however, are a question mark for the Gamecocks. They’ll be young and relatively undersized. In a game that will played primarily in the trenches, South Carolina’s linebacking corps will be put to the test.
Fortunately for South Carolina, Florida lost a lot from last year’s defense. Connor Shaw and South Carolina’s offense surely ought to muster more than 11 points against the 2013 Gators. Spurrier has struggled against his old team, but playing at home with a strong defense and an experienced offense, South Carolina should be able to keep their title hopes alive.