Saturday November 13, 2010Gators Fall To South Carolina, 36-14
The No. 22/24 Florida Gators fell to the No. 23/22 South Carolina Gamecocks 36-14 at home Saturday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The Gators struck early with a touchdown on the opening kickoff by Andre Debose (Sanford, Fla.), who ran 99 yards to give the Gators an early 7-0 lead, but UF couldn't fight off a potent South Carolina offense, allowing the Gamecocks to chalk up their first-ever Gainesville win in front of a crowd of 90,885, the third-highest attendance at The Swamp. With the win, South Carolina sealed the SEC Eastern Division title propelling them to the SEC Championship game, their first in school history.
Redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley (Ocala, Fla.) led the Gators through the air, completing16-of-31 passes for 130 yards and one interception. Brantley connected with seven different Florida wide receivers. Redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed (New London, Conn.) went 3-for-7 for 46 yards passing and one touchdown. The Gators finished with 191 yards through the air, compared to USC's 156.
The Florida receiving corps had three players catch for over 30 yards. Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Omarius Hines (Corsicana, Texas) led the team with three receptions for 38 yards, while redshirt junior wide receiver Chris Rainey (Lakeland, Fla.) led the rushing game for Florida with five carries for 32 yards. Rainey ran for a season-long 25-yard advance at the beginning of the fourth quarter to give UF its third first-down conversion of the game.
Senior strong safety Ahmad Black (Lakeland, Fla.) notched a career high 16 tackles on the night after tallying nine in the first-half alone. Redshirt freshman Jelani Jenkins (Olney, Md.) aided Black and the UF defense with 11 total tackles, eclipsing a career-best, eight of which were in the first half.
Debose made Gator history by becoming the first player in school history to run two kickoffs back for a touchdown in one season. The touchdown was also only the third time in school history that an opening kickoff was returned for a touchdown, the last time was against Arkansas in 1997 by Bo Carroll. The redshirt freshman wide receiver is additionally the only freshman in the county this season to account for two kickoffs for touchdowns. With 159 kickoff return yards against South Carolina, Debose also jumped to the top of the UF record book for a first-place tie in kickoff return yards in a game.
The Gamecocks answered Debose's opening touchdown on their opening drive with a 49-yard field goal by senior kicker Spencer Lanning to shorten the Gators' lead to 7-3.
After a 46-yard drive, USC freshman running back Marcus Lattimore scored from seven yards out to move South Carolina in front, 9-7. However, Lanning's extra-point attempt slammed off the upright.
Lanning connected on a pair of field goals in the second quarter to give the visitors a 15-7 advantage at the break. With 4:37 remaining in the frame, Lanning connected on 47-yard field goal. After South Carolina forced the Gators three-and-out, Lanning closed out the half with his third field goal of the night, a 41-yard kick, to provide the visitors with an eight-point edge.
On the Gamecocks first drive of the third quarter Lattimore broke free from the Gator defense and ran 21 yards for a touchdown, 22-7 South Carolina.
Late in the third quarter Brantley threw and interception to Gamecock sophomore cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who returned the ball seven yards to the Florida 35-yard line. South Carolina would capitalize on the interception with an eight-yard touchdown run by junior quarterback Stephen Garcia, lengthening the Gamecocks' lead to 29-7.
On a 70-yard offensive drive for Florida, Reed connected with Rainey on a 26-yard pass in the fourth quarter, closing the gap, 14-29.
The Gamecocks took advantage of a fumble on the 25-yard line by junior running back Jeffery Demps (Winter Garden, Fla.) with 4:57 on the game clock, capitalizing with a touchdown by Lattimore to put South Carolina up for good, 36-14.
The Gators will return to The Swamp on Nov. 20 to take on the Appalachian State Mountaineers. The game will aired on pay-per-view and will begin at 12:30 p.m. (ET). Cable/satellite systems offering the game on pay-per-view will designate a channel location, separate from SUN Sportsâ€™ channel, for the pay-per-view presentation. Viewers should call/contact their local cable/satellite company for further details. Outside of Florida, the game will be offered via ESPN GamePlan.