The crew from Leftoverhotdog.com was at the recent Florida - South Carolina game and here are some reflections from my trip......You could pick up the vibe for this game two counties away on 301 heading into Gainesville. The usual number of peanut vendors was nearly doubled and in Starke there were guys on bicycles with hand-made “I need tickets” signs. The entrepreneurs that inhabit the student housing neighborhood north of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium had jacked up the prices from the normal $20 to $25 or $30 depending on whether or not your vehicles occupied a “no-block” spot. No mistake about it, a big game was brewing in Gainesville.
Walking among the tailgating legions, Gators over 35 liked the way their Gators were playing but uttered the phrase “you never know with Spurrier” the same way one wh0 has seen the devil speaks. Loud enough to get your point across, but quiet enough for him not to hear you. Florida’s defense plays a lot of man coverage, and you can only leave Spurrier’s pass catchers on an island before he is going to try and make a fool of you for doing it.
In recent years, Florida’s home crowd has had little to cheer about. Going to the Swamp in ’10 and ’11 seemed more of a chore than a passion. Even the 2009 nine team, loaded with NFL draft picks, had expectations both internally and externall that that 13-1 team struggled to meer before getting their grits scattered from hell to breakfast buy Nick Saban and Alabama. Then Urban Meyer quit and un-quit and had an 8-5 season before quitting again. The LSU win offered quantitative proof that Muschamp and Co. was making progress and the buried optimism from a long off season was on display this past Saturday. No two ways about it, Gator Nation was ready for a big time ball game against a top ten team. Result, UF won.
Get more great South Carolina sports analysis over at Leftover Hot Dog.