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Keiwan Ratliff set a UF record with his 8th interception of the season last week.

Wednesday November 12, 2003Mick's Quicks... Gators Face Holtz's Gamecocks

by Mick Hubert, Voice of the Gators

Keiwan Ratliff set a UF record with his 8th interception of the season last week.

The 17th-ranked Florida Gators (7-3, 5-2 SEC) look for their fifth consecutive victory when they tackle the South Carolina Gamecocks (5-5, 2-5 SEC) Saturday in Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia. The game holds special significance for both teams.

A victory will give the Gators at least a share of the SEC Eastern Division title. They must win to have any hope of playing for the SEC championship. The Gamecocks have lost three of their last four games and need to beat Florida or in-state rival Clemson to become bowl eligible. Defensive coordinator Charlie Strong returns to Columbia where he spent the past four seasons running the Gamecock defense. Meanwhile, the Gators hope to keep their series winning streak alive.

Florida has won all 11 meetings with South Carolina since the Gamecocks joined the SEC in 1992. That includes five wins in Columbia. In 1993, the Gators trailed by 17 points before rallying for a 37-26 win. It stood as the largest road deficit overcome in Florida football history until the Gators came back from 18 down to win this season at Kentucky. Two years ago in Columbia, Florida scored 44 unanswered points in a 54-17 win. Last year at the Swamp, the Gators scored a 28-7 win behind four touchdown passes by Rex Grossman.

Head Coach Ron Zook says the Gators will remain focused on the task at hand. There will be no scoreboard watching. The Gators began their amazing turn-around on the road a month ago and need another road win to finish 6-2 in the SEC for the second straight season.

The Gators gained more yards on the ground (194) last week than through the air (179). It was only the second time this season and first in the SEC for that to happen. Florida has more rushing touchdowns (19) than passing TDs (15). In last week's 35-17 victory over Vanderbilt, the Gator offense ran for three scores and passed for one. The Gators enjoyed their best red zone performance in SEC games with four touchdown in five trips inside the 20-yard line. Over the last two games, the Gators have scored seven times (4 TD, 3 FG) in their last 8 trips inside the red zone.

We invite you to turn down your TV sound and join us for all the exciting action on the Gator Radio Network. The Tailgator pregame show starts at 10:30 am Eastern time. For those attending the game in Columbia, check your FM dial for the broadcast frequency of the Gator Radio Network inside Williams-Brice Stadium. The broadcast can also be heard worldwide at Gatorzone.com.

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