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The Gators faced No. 11-ranked South Carolina on Saturday night.

Saturday November 16, 2013The Quick Slant: Instant Analysis from UF's 19-14 loss to South Carolina

The Gators faced No. 11-ranked South Carolina on Saturday night.

Scott Carter
By SCOTT CARTER
GatorZone.com Senior Writer

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The Gators put a serious scare into No. 11-ranked South Carolina here on Saturday night, but in the end, they left Williams-Brice Stadium with a 19-14 loss.

The Gamecocks overcome a 14-6 halftime deficit to keep their SEC East title hopes alive. Meanwhile, the Gators lost their fifth consecutive game as redshirt freshman quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg started in place of injured Tyler Murphy.

It was Mornhinweg's first career appearance and marks the first time since 1997 the Gators have used three different starting quarterbacks in the same season. That year Doug Johnson, Jesse Palmer and Noah Brindise all started for Florida.

THE QUICK SLANT

WHAT IT MEANS: The Gators lost their fifth consecutive game, the program's longest losing streak since a nine-game skid to end the 0-10-1 season of 1979. To become bowl eligible, the 4-6 Gators will need to beat Georgia Southern and No. 2 Florida State in their final two regular-season games. Florida has not missed a bowl game since 1990.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: With Murphy unable to play because of a sore throwing shoulder, Mornhinweg filled in and was not asked to do much in the passing game until Florida's final two drives. Mornhinweg finished 10 of 13 for 107 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. By Florida's final drive Mornhinweg was obviously more confident than at the start of the game but his interception into coverage sealed the victory for South Carolina.

STAGGERING STATISTIC: Mornhinweg's first-half line: 2-for-2 for eight yards. With Kelvin Taylor rushing 13 times for 86 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, Mornhinweg was not asked to do too much other than not fumble the snap.

SUBPLOT: The Gators are not into moral victories. Neither are Florida fans. Still, you have to tip your cap to the fight the Gators put up in front of a hostile crowd against the heavily favored Gamecocks. The Gators scored on their first two drives thanks to 20- and 29-yard touchdown runs from Taylor out of direct snaps. Meanwhile, after falling behind 3-0 on South Carolina's first drive of the game, the Gators defense buckled down and limited Gamecocks quarterback Connor Shaw for most of the game.

UP NEXT: The Gators (4-6, 3-5 in SEC) return to The Swamp on Saturday to face Georgia Southern. The Gators need a win. Any win. One against Georgia Southern could help with the team's confidence with the Seminoles coming to town the following week in the regular-season finale for both teams.

 

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