Jacksonville Sports News, Sam Kouvaris - SamSportsline.com

Where From Here? Florida vs. South Carolina

I kept looking over to the South Carolina sideline to make sure Steve Spurrier was still there. The Gamecocks opened the game by handing it to Marcus Lattimore.

A lot.

And again. And again.

In the end, Lattimore carried the ball 40 times for more than 200 yards. With Steve Spurrier as the head coach. That’s the amazing part.

If you had told me that South Carolina was going to win 36-14 I’d have figured that Stephen Garcia was going to throw for four TD’s and 350 yards and the Gators would have turned it over a bunch of times. Instead it was a running back and a freshman to boot. I can only imagine somebody whispering in Spurrier’s ear in the fact that nobody’s rushed for more than 200 yards in nearly 10 years against Florida in Gainesville. That’s when Steve would have called time out and said, “Marcus, get in the game.”

But that didn’t happen because that wasn’t necessary.

The Gamecocks dominated the line of scrimmage on both offense and defense and you could tell by halftime, the Gators weren’t going to do much.

Because they couldn’t.

There’s plenty of talk about when it comes to how Lattimore and the Gamecocks offensive line just dominate Florida up front. It wasn’t close. And the statistics bear that out. When a safety and a linebacker are by far your leading tacklers, the guys up front aren’t getting it done.

I’m sure much of the wailing from Gator fans will be about the quarterback situation. Head Coach Urban Meyer is adamant that John Brantley is their starting quarterback and that Jordan Reed and Trey Burton are just “change up” guys. But Brantley is not getting much help. When Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps are not operating at 100% it’s as if Florida has nowhere to go.

Teams are bringing pressure on Brantley right up the middle, especially in passing situations and not allowing him to step up and throw that thing in there. And the receivers are just not open. They might be early, and that’s why they can complete a bunch of dink passes, especially cutting over the middle. But as far as getting some separation downfield, it’s not happening.

If it’s true that Reed and Burton aren’t in on the quarterback meetings, then what are they doing? If you’re going to run a three-player rotation at quarterback, each one has to be able to run the complete offense. If we can pick out which play is being run based on the personnel involved, opposing defenses and their coordinators can do the same.

“We’re jut not very good,” is what Meyer said afterwards. I’m not in full agreement with that. Florida has plenty of talent, but I’m not sure Meyer and offensive coordinator Steve Adazio are putting guys in situations for them to constantly succeed.

What will be interesting is to see how the team, and the coaching staff, reacts for the rest of the season since the BCS and the SEC Championship are now out of the picture. Adversity usually displays what you’re all about.