South Carolina football was the toast of college football last weekend, landing the first real upset win over a College Football Playoff contender that we've seen, by knocking off Georgia in Athens. They have a big encore opportunity at home on Saturday, with the other SEC East power, Florida, coming to Williams-Brice Stadium.
The Gamecocks' defense had a coming out party, harassing Jake Fromm all afternoon. He was forced way out of his comfort zone, throwing the ball 51 times for a paltry 5.8 yards per attempt. He only connected on one touchdown and threw a career high three interceptions. Georgia's vaunted rushing attack rolled up 173 yards, but just four yards per attempt.
The win didn't come without a cost for South Carolina. Starting quarterback Ryan Hilinski, went down during the game. He was replaced by Dakereon Joyner, who wasn't very successful as a thrower, but made enough plays to navigate the 'Cocks to a win in double overtime, 20-17.
That win was impressive, but things won't get substantially easier with a very motivated Florida team coming to Columbia.
The Gators are coming off of their first loss of the year at LSU, but remain right in the mix in the SEC East with Georgia losing the same weekend. Florida hung tough early on, but the Tigers continue to look like one of the very best teams in the country, pulling away for a 42-28 win.
The Georgia win probably helped keep Will Muschamp's seat cool for the time being. Following it up with a Florida win would seem to signal a true leap forward for the program.
Game Time: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET
Spread: Florida -5
Announcers: Dave Pasch, Greg McElroy, Tom Luginbill
Muschamp has already announced that Hilinski will start on Saturday, which is good news for South Carolina. Since taking over early in the season for Jake Bentley, the true freshman has completed 62.8-percent of his throws for 1,028 yards, six touchdowns, and three interceptions.
Florida's Kyle Trask also began the season as the QB2, but Feleipe Franks' season-ending injury has thrust him into the starting job, and he's answered the call. Trask has completed over 68-percent of his throws on the year, for 1,191 yards, 10 touchdowns, and three interceptions. While Joe Burrow's explosion is probably the quarterback story of the SEC season, Trask has been a great story as well, and certainly helps cement Dan Mullen's impressive rep as a quarterback guru.
Both QBs will face top 20 defenses in the country, for those eyeing the under on that 47 total points number.