University of Florida

UF wary of South Carolina offense despite Gamecocks’ losing record

Miami Herald Writer

South Carolina quarterback Dylan Thompson (17) throws a pass against Auburn on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, in Auburn, Ala.
South Carolina quarterback Dylan Thompson (17) throws a pass against Auburn on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, in Auburn, Ala. AP

Despite a lofty preseason ranking, South Carolina has sputtered to a 4-5 record – including four straight conference losses – in advance of Saturday’s noon showdown at Florida.

Steve Spurrier’s Fun ’n’ Gun attack hasn’t produced a winning record this season but the Gators are wary of the Gamecocks’ potent offense.

“South Carolina’s got the best offense we’ve faced this year,” UF coach Will Muschamp said. “They’ve been outstanding all year.”

South Carolina averages 36 points and 479.6 yards per game, with senior quarterback Dylan Thompson piloting an explosive passing attack (22 touchdowns, 2,588 yards).

In a balanced effort, junior tailbacks Mike Davis – a former Florida commit – and Brandon Wilds have combined for 11 touchdowns on the ground. The Gamecocks also possess a dynamic group of receivers, led by shifty sophomore Pharoh Cooper (51 receptions, 8 touchdowns).

“They’re balanced, Dylan Thompson is playing at an extremely high level, which doesn’t shock you with what Coach [Spurrier] has done with his quarterbacks in the past,” Muschamp said.

“They have a stable of running backs, Mike Davis, Brandon Wilds, those guys have been there forever. …The extremely talented wideout Pharoh Cooper lines up in a bunch of different spots and is an extremely electric, explosive guy. Nick Jones makes a bunch of plays, and [Damiere] Byrd can fly and Shaq Roland has come into his own. Just a really talented group. A.J. Cann is probably the best guard in the league. So we’ve got our work cut out for us.”

Since Florida’s defensive debacle at Alabama (42 points, 672 yards), UF is yielding just 285 yards and 22 points per game over the past six weeks.

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