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Will Spurrior Sink In The Swamp?
The legend returns to Gainesville, Florida this Saturday as Steve Spurrior will bring his USC Gamecocks to the swamp and a date with 85,000 of his former friends. Spurrior was an incredible presence in the State for several years and rewarded the faithful with a National Championship.
As always, the place to wager on this exciting gridiron action is at America's most popular online Betting outlet and that would be www.superbook.com. If you are a Gamecock fan then rejoice in the fact that this club has not lost on the road, with victories at Vanderbilt, Kentucky, and Mississippi State.
The wagering action on this game opened with the Gators favored by -11, but the Urban Meyer handicappers have pushed this one up to -13. The concern I have for laying the points is the terrible health of the Florida offensive line.
Florida's lack of depth and experience on the offensive line has been further exposed by injuries to starting center Steve Rissler (knee) and starting guards Drew Miller (ankle) and Jim Tartt (ankle). All three are expected to miss some practice time this week but should be able to play on Saturday, although possibly on a limited basis.
The offensive line isn't alone. The Gators' wide receivers also are hurting. True freshman Percy Harvin continues to be limited by a sprained ankle and both Andre Caldwell (ankle) and Jemalle Cornelius (shoulder) sustained injuries during the Vanderbilt game. Harvin and Caldwell are expected to play Saturday, but Cornelius is questionable.
When starting QB Syvelle Newton struggled in the first half against Arkansas, coach Steve Spurrier turned to former starter Blake Mitchell in the second half, and Mitchell passed the Gamecocks back into the game with two touchdowns before throwing an interception with 5:05 left.
While Mitchell and WR Sidney Rice made plays, the Gamecocks ran for only 74 yards. The lack of a consistent running game has often put undue pressure on the passing game this season.
This will be an emotional game and despite last week's porous effort, South Carolina can play defense. Mitchell is no stranger to loud stadiums as he did win on the road at Tennessee last year.
The over/under total at superbook.com sits at 44 and that may be too many with Florida's injuries and USC's lack of a running game.
About the Author: Bob is an experienced sports writer and handicapper who has written for the sports industry for over a decade. He has been a regular contributer to Sports Scene, a sports consultant for television's 33 Made and other major motion pictures.