Opponent: Florida Gators
When: November 10, 2018 at TBD
Where: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida
All-Time Series Record: Florida leads 26-9
Last Meeting: South Carolina defeated Florida 28-20 on November 11, 2017
2017 Record: 4-7(3-5) *Game against Northern Colorado was cancelled*
Dan Mullen is entering his first year as the head coach of Florida. Mullen was an assistant coach for the Gators from 2004 to 2007 until he was hired as the head coach of Mississippi State in 2008. Mullen had a 69-46 record at Mississippi State, but he did lead the Bulldogs to a number one ranking in 2014. He won SEC Coach of the Year in that same year.
The Gators return 10 starters on offense led by quarterback Feliepe Franks. They also return seven defensive starters led by defensive end CeCe Jefferson.
How did they fare in 2017?
The Gators started out fairly strong with three straight SEC wins in September, but they fell off losing five straight games and eventually losing to their rival, Florida State. They finished with a relatively abysmal 4-7 record.
Best Returning Player…
Returning Florida DE Cece Jefferson led all 4-3 defensive ends in the SEC last season (min 100 snaps in run defense) with an 8.5 run stop percentage💪 pic.twitter.com/9kDcTdd4OW
— Billy Moy (@PFF_Billy) February 1, 2018
DE Cece Jefferson (6-1, 251) Senior
Florida’s best returning player is senior defensive end CeCe Jefferson. Jefferson is a former 5-star recruit who played in every game as a Freshman and earned a spot on the SEC All-Freshman team. He led the team last year in tackles and sacks, so expect him to be a heavy presence on the defensive line this year.
A lot of people have high expectations for Dan Mullen in his first year due to his success at Mississippi State, but don’t be surprised if he only gets six or seven wins this year. The Media seems to believe Mullen can pull off nine or 10 wins this year, but it’s very hard to go from four wins to 10 in one season. If Mullen can do what he did with the Bulldogs at Florida, he can go down as one of the greatest coaches in Florida history, but it takes time. The defense and run game are solid for the Gators, but Feliepe Franks needs to improve if they want to compete for the SEC East crown.
2018 SEASON PROJECTION: 6-6