Answers From Inside The Swamp


With the Gamecocks facing off against Florida this week we set out to get some answers from inside the Swamp.  We threw a few questions at Terry Lane, the editor at Hail Florida Hail a site dedicated to all things Florida to get the inside scoop about some issues affecting the upcoming game.  This is huge game for both teams and both coaches, and for totally different reasons in both cases.  Let’s check out what Terry could tell us:

It’s been a tale of two seasons for Gator football this year.  What do you think created the change?  The easy answer is to say the change in quarterback from interception-chucking Jeff Driskel to so-far-so-good Treon Harris. But what seems to be the real answer is a mixture of a coach needing to win, a resurgent running game, a bye week and a quarterback that is taking care of the ball. Harris had a great week against
Vandy, but it was the running game that set the comeback in motion against Georgia. And all of that came after coach Will Muschamp had two weeks to think about the Gator’s blowout homecoming loss to Missouri and game plan, while fans were calling for his job.

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I know this isn’t the first time it’s happened, but how do Florida fans feel about Spurrier returning to the swamp?  Steve Spurrier is a beloved figure in Gator Nation and is considered a grandfather-of-sorts of a football program that’s won three championships over
the past two decades. When there were calls for coach Will Muschamp to be fired this year, there were some people who even mentioned Spurrier as coming back, even though that’s highly unlikely. Gators would take him back in a heartbeat.  But we also need a win in this game and most Gator fans recognize that Spurrier’s era is in the past, while this game is important for the Gators this season.

Do you think Treon Harris is the future star of Florida?  It’s hard to say because of what he can do for other offensive weapons on this team.  Muschamp has raved about the talent on this draft class, but turnovers and poor play have bottled them up. Harris play could get more touches to receivers like Ahmad Fulwood or running back Brandon Powell, who can be explosive when catching the ball out of the backfield. Just the down field throwing threat that Harris can bring could help to give more running room to backs like Kelvin Taylor, who is coming on as another big playmaker for this Gator team.
This game seems to have big implications for the Gators.  Do you think the outcome of this game ends up being the final piece in what happens with Coach Muschamp?   If the Gators lose this game by two touchdowns, there will be loud calls for him to
be fired. If it’s a two-point loss, the calls won’t be quite as loud, but it could doom him in the end. Many Gator fans want him out now, despite impressive wins against Georgia. Some fans will want him out even if we win every remaining game — including Florida State. Winning this game gets the Gators bowl eligible and that will also be important for Muschamp’s survival.
The Swamp is a pretty imposing place to play.  With UGA in Jacksonville, what games do fans get most pumped about at The Swamp?  The clear answer is Florida State, which we play every other year in the Swamp. We also play West division rival LSU every other year at home, and that’s often a night game, providing for a big atmosphere. Tennessee has been a rival in the past and with Spurrier’s return to South Carolina has made the game more important to many Gator fans. Two years ago, I was there when No. 7 South Carolina came to the Swamp to play the then No. 2 Gators, and I can report that Gator fans were mighty pumped. We can only hope it goes so well this time around.

Thanks again to Terry Lane for taking the time to talk with us this week.  This series used to be totally dominated by the Gators, so it’s exciting to see this game be as big as competitive as it is.