GAINESVILLE -- With South Carolina coming to Gainesville on Saturday, Florida coach Will Muschamp said Monday that he is well aware of the trouble the Gamecocks’ talented defensive line can cause.
Led by star sophomore Jadeveon Clowney (6.5 sacks, 12 tackles for loss), the Gamecocks’ defensive ends have accounted for 15.5 sacks this season. South Carolina leads the Southeastern Conference with 26 sacks.
“Those guys are really athletic and they can convert speed to power in the rush. They’re really good players,” Muschamp said. “You need to account for [Clowney]. He can ruin your day. You’ve got to be able to account for him in the rush and in the run game. You’ve got to have your antenna up to know where he is.”
The Gators’ task this weekend becomes even tougher if any number of the three injured starters on the offensive line suffers a setback or can’t play. Left tackle Xavier Nixon (undisclosed), left guard James Wilson (eye) and center Jonotthan Harrison (elbow) missed most or all of Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt. Muschamp said Monday that all are probable.
“We’re hopeful to have all those guys back,” he said. “They’re all definitely going to be fine or probable at the worst.”
• Right guard Jon Halapio was named SEC co-Offensive Lineman of the Week after earning a team-high grade for his play in the team’s win against Vanderbilt. The offense racked up 326 yards rushing and three touchdowns for a 9.3 average per rush, which was the highest total in a conference game since 2008.