Final: Gators 38, South Carolina 27
For the second straight year South Carolina had Florida on the ropes entering the fourth quarter.
Last year, the Gators rattled off the final 21 points of the game for the comeback victory.
On Saturday, Florida entered the final quarter trailing the Gamecocks 20-17. South Carolina had just gained possession.
With the Gamecocks backed against their own goal line, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s unit came up strong.
The momentum sustained as the Gators went down and scored on a 25 yard pass play from Kyle Trask to Freddie Swan.
On the ensuing possession, South Carolina QB Ryan Hilinski fumbled after Zachary Carter forced the ball out.
Three plays later, Trask found TE Kyle Pitts (on an illegal pick play) for a touchdown that put Florida up 31-20.
While the team found success in the passing game in the second half, the first half was a struggle, to say the least.
Already trailing 7-0, Florida went three and out on their first offensive possession, three straight incompletions by Trask.
Florida opened the game with six straight and eight of the first nine plays as passing calls.
Trailing 10-3 in the second quarter, Trask hit Copeland, who adjusted to make the catch and scampered to the end zone.
Trask opened the second half with an interception on an overthrown pass that led to a Gamecocks touchdown.
One play later, Dameon Pierce took a first down handoff 75 yards for the score thanks largely to exceptional downfield blocking by Tyrie Cleveland.
The Gators move to 7-1 with the victory and head into the bye week controlling their own destiny in the SEC East.
Florida was missing both starting defensive ends, Jonathan Greenard and Jabari Zuniga, and South Carolina seemed to expose that, rushing for 217 yards.
- Trask: 21-33, 200 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT
- Pierce: 7 carries, 87 yards, TD
- Perine: 14 carries, 68 yards
- Copeland: 3 receptions, 89 yards, TD
- Pitts: 5 receptions, 29 yards
- Reese: 13 tackles
Florida has the bye week ahead of their showdown with Georgia in Jacksonville on November 2.