No. 3 Florida looks to build on highest ranking since 2012
South Carolina (0-1) at No. 3 Florida (1-0), Saturday at noon ET (ESPN).
Line: Florida by 18.
Series record: Florida leads 28-9-3.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Florida looks for its sixth consecutive victory and fourth straight in Southeastern Conference play against one of its former coaches, South Carolina’s Will Muschamp. The Gators have their highest ranking since a two-week stretch at No. 3 in October 2012, which came during Muschamp’s tenure.
Muschamp surely will try to limit Florida’s “K2K” connection. QB Kyle Trask and TE Kyle Pitts might be the country’s most potent passing combination. Trask threw for 416 yards and six touchdowns at Ole Miss, with 170 yards and four scores going to Pitts.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Florida: LB Ventrell Miller was the lone bright spot on a shredded defense. He had a league-leading 15 tackles, including 13 solo, against the Rebels as the Gators gave up 613 yards and 35 points.
South Carolina: WR Shi Smith torched Tennessee repeatedly, catching 10 passes for 140 yards and a touchdown. Now he goes against a Florida defense that allowed Ole Miss standout Elijah Moore to haul in 10 passes for 227 yards.
FACTS & FIGURES
South Carolina has split the last 10 meetings after winning just four of the previous 30. … Muschamp is 2-6 in this series, going 1-3 against South Carolina as Florida’s head coach (2011-14) and 1-3 against Florida as South Carolina’s head coach (2016-19). … The Gators expect to have close to 17,000 fans on hand for their home opener. That’s 20% capacity, with masks mandated and tailgating prohibited. … Florida coach Dan Mullen is 4-2 all-time against Muschamp, losing their first two matchups as coordinators in 2006 and 2007 (Auburn over Florida). Mullen topped Muschamp in 2015 (Mississippi State over Auburn), in 2016 (Mississippi State over South Carolina) and the last two years (Florida over South Carolina).
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