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2019 Opponent Preview: South Carolina Hosts Gators In “Measuring Stick” Game For Both Programs

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2019 Opponent Preview: South Carolina Hosts Gators In “Measuring Stick” Game For Both Programs

June 18, 2019, | by CHRIS, | THESPURSUPSHOW

OPPONENT: Florida

WHEN: Saturday, October 19th

WHERE: Williams-Brice Stadium (Columbia, SC)

ALL-TIME SERIES RECORD: Florida leads 27-9-3

LAST MEETING: Florida beat the Gamecocks 35-31 in Gainesville, FL

2018 RECORD: 10-3 (5-3)

Head Coach…

 

Dan Mullen

The Gators football program got a boost of energy a year ago when former assistant Dan Mullen was named head coach.

Year one was successful for Mullen and co., leading the Gators to a 10-3 (5-3) overall record, capped off by an impressive 41-15 win over Michigan in the Peach Bowl.

Now, Mullen looks to make another big jump in year two and get the Gators closer to the promises he made upon his hiring.

Returning Starters…

OFFENSE (5)

  • WR Van Jefferson (Sr.)
  • WR Tyrie Cleveland (Sr.)
  • WR Josh Hammond (Sr.)
  • C Nick Buchanan (Sr.)
  • QB Feleipe Franks (Jr.)

DEFENSE (7)

  • DE Jabari Zuniga (Sr.)
  • NT Adam Shuler (Sr.)
  • DT Kyree Campbell (Jr.)
  • LB David Reese II (Sr.)
  • CB CJ Henderson (Jr.)
  • STAR Trey Dean III (So.)

S Donovan Stonier (Jr.)

How did they fare in 2018?

The Gators surpassed expectations in Dan Mullen’s first season, winning 10 games capped off by a huge win over Michigan in the Peach Bowl.

The year didn’t come without some bumps and bruises along the way, however.

Florida lost to Kentucky for the first time in over two decades, sending fans in Gainesville into panic mode early on.

UF rebounded nicely, winning five in a row before suffering back to back losses to Georgia and Missouri.

Once again, Florida bounced back, winning four straight games, leading to an off-season full of optimism and hope heading into the 2019 season.

Best Returning Player…

 

Felipe Franks

While highly criticized at times, Franks truly is the engine that makes Florida go.

Franks quietly had a nice year for the Gators, throwing for just under 2,500 yards, 24 TD and just 6 INT.

Now, heading into his junior season, he will look to take another major step and establish himself as one of the best signal callers in the SEC.

Overall Outlook…

To nobodies surprise, the Gators enter this season with sky high expectations in Dan Mullen’s second season.

It’s been an interesting off-season for Florida to say the least, led off by Chris Steele’s decision to transfer which spurned a lot of moving around in Gainesville.

Mullen has been very outspoken this off-season as well, getting in daily jabs at his archival UGA, Tennessee and others.

Now, for the Gators trip to Columbia. First of all, don’t even get me started on last years game…

South Carolina had Florida dead, leading by 17 with just under five minutes to play in the 3Q before the Gators stormed back for a 35-31 win.

Now, the Gamecocks will look for revenge in what should prove to be a “measuring stick” type game for both programs this October.

Still the question remains: what can we expect from this Gators team?

Some have them listed as high as a Top 10 team in the pre-season, while some have UF taking a step back.

Count me amongst those who are skeptical of the Gators in year two of the Dan Mullen era.

UF comes back down to Earth a bit in 2019, including in their week eight match-up in Columbia.

2019 SEASON PROJECTION: 8-4 (4-4)
 

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