GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Plenty went right (offense) and plenty went wrong (defense) for the Florida Gators during their 2020 season-opening victory at Ole Miss last weekend. In the end, UF left Oxford with a 51-35 victory after steamrolling the Rebels for 642 yards, yet finished just a measly plus-29 in the total yardage margin after surrendering a jaw-dropping 613 yards.
Of course, the plus-16 edge in the scoring column was the most important stat, leaving the third-ranked Gators (1-0, 1-0) with plenty to build on and improve on when they face Southeastern Conference East Division foe South Carolina (0-1, 0-1) in their home opener Saturday at noon before a limited and socially-distanced crowd at Spurrier/Florida Field.
It won’t be a normal afternoon at “The Swamp.” Even UF athletic director Scott Stricklin conceded as much earlier in the week, following a media tour highlighting the game day COVID-19 protocols that will be in place. Stricklin, though, was quick to add that what will take place inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, indeed, would be a real, live college football game — raise your hand if you thought at one time during the last six months that such