No. 10 Gamecocks fight back to top Gators 19-14

By Adam Silverstein
November 16, 2013

The No. 10/11 South Carolina Gamecocks (8-2, 6-2 SEC) withstood a ground-and-pound attack by the Florida Gators (4-6, 3-5 SEC) on Saturday evening at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, SC, shutting out and therefore outscoring the visitors 13-0 in the second half to pull out a 19-14 victory.

The outcome left the Gators having dropped five games in a row for the first time since 1979 and losing for the first time under the leadership of head coach Will Muschamp when rushing for 150 yards or more in a game (previously 15-0). Florida also lost for just the second time under Muschamp when leading at the half (previously 18-1).

Freshman running back Kelvin Taylor led the way for UF with 21 carries for 96 yards and two touchdowns. USC only scored one touchdown on the evening but connected on 5-of-6 field goals to put its SEC East rivals away.


South Carolina opened up with the ball and was the first to strike, using a 39-yard completion from quarterback Connor Shaw to wide receiver Damiere Byrd – one of two big third-down conversions on the drive – to get on the board. The Gamecocks stalled in the red zone after Gators redshirt junior linebacker Ronald Powell sacked Shaw for a five-yard loss on 3rd-and-Goal at the two, settling for a 25-yard field goal.

Florida was uncharacteristically quick to answer, running 10 times on an 11-play, 67-yard trek that saw the ball cross the goal line. Redshirt sophomore running back Valdez Showers gained 25 yards on a sweep during the drive, and Taylor took a direct snap sweep off the right tackle on 3rd-and-14 from the 20 into the end zone for a touchdown.

Taking 7:18 off the clock, the score marked UF’s first opening drive touchdown since the season-opener against Toledo. It was also the first time the Gators led in a game since holding a brief advantage over LSU on Oct. 12.

USC moved right down the field on its second possession but was once again stopped short and forced kicked a 45-yard field goal to move within one point of the visitors.

The Gators did not waste any time to take advantage of the situation. Facing 4th-and-4 at the Gamecocks’ 37, Florida shifted out of a punt formation and drew South Carolina offsides, gaining the first down. Two plays later, Taylor took another direct snap, cut back behind the line of scrimmage and broke free for a 29-yard score.

On its final drive of the first half, the Gamecocks utilized a short field to once again put themselves in scoring possession, but a missed 38-yard field goal left the Gators ahead 14-6 at the break. It was the first time UF led at the half since Oct. 5 against Arkansas and the most first-half points the team had scored dating back to that contest.

Florida looked like it had once again stopped South Carolina short of the goal line during its first drive of the second half. Facing 4th-and-3 at UF’s 32, Shaw rolled out right and was nearly taken down but threw across his body instead and found WR Bruce Ellington in the end zone for a 32-yard touchdown reception.

Leading by one, the Gators had a chance to increase their advantage but failed at the tail end of an 11-play, 61-yard drive. On 3rd-and-Goal from the Gamecocks’ eight-yard line, UF ran the ball and lost six yards before redshirt freshman kicker Austin Hardin badly shanked a 32-yard field goal wide left.

Backed up on its own five-yard line with 9:32 left in the game, South Carolina got its biggest play of the evening when RB Shon Carson broke free up the middle for a 58-yard run down to Florida’s 37. A 31-yard catch by tight end Rory Anderson – the game’s best play – brought USC inside the five, but the Gamecocks only put three points on the board with a 22-yard field goal to jump ahead 16-14 with 6:43 to play.

In a last-ditch effort to regain their lead, the Gators attempted a pass play out of a punt formation on 4th-and-13 at their own 32-yard line. Senior RB Trey Burton took the snap and looked for redshirt junior defensive tackle Leon Orr, who was unable to adjust to the throw and saw it bounce off his fingers incomplete.

Following a 43-yard field goal that put South Carolina ahead 19-14, Florida had one final chance to win the game. Mornhinweg passed five times on the ensuing series, which started with 2:16 remaining, and got the Gators out to the home 48-yard line, but his final toss was picked off to effectively end the game.

A victory Saturday would have meant a legitimate chance at finishing the season 6-6 and reaching a bowl game for the 23rd-straight season. Instead, Florida’s only chance is to beat its final two opponents – Georgia Southern and undefeated Florida State.

UF hosts GSU on Saturday, Nov. 23 in a 2 p.m. game that airs live on pay-per-view.

Photo Credit: Richard Shrio/Associated Press

35 Comments

  1. Mr2Bits says:

    Really just speechless. You hold our 3rd string QB back to only having 5-6 attempts until we are finally down and need to throw like you never expected us to lose the lead and momentum with multiple 3 and outs? The players showed ridiculous heart and the coached showed that they have no idea what they are doing. We called the same sorry ass plays over and over after half time. If Champ and Pease thought we could win tonight with nothing but runs they are both fools and over their heads! Then, when your 5 play plan fails, you ask a Freshmen QB to lead a come-from-behind drive with only 5 passes all night! You wonder why Gator Nation is turning on this staff and Foely. I am saddened because tonight our players left their hearts on the field and we were held back by the administration.

    • Ziggy says:

      Well 1 INT per 6 attempts is probably the kind of stat the coaches are trying to avoid. Installing more than a handful of plays with a new QB with Zero experience is easier said than done. Reality is that the spread offense depleted our offense of the kind of talent that we need to win and it’s going to take a while to get right again. If you watched the Auburn game then you should know what I mean. Georgia figured out how to stop that wussy ass spread and then they couldn’t throw down field or run up the middle when they needed to, and it will only get worse for them. Ask yourself, who the hell wants to come play for a boring ass offense that only runs hand off left, hand off right with motion? It’s not that our coaches don’t want to open it up, they just don’t have the guys to do it.

  2. SJ210 says:

    Played not to lose, never to win. Muschamp is running this program into the ground.

  3. Champ supporter says:

    Complain, complain, complain. I have an idea: get in the profession, take over a program, get hired by Florida and go win some championships. Yes, we lost yet again, but so what? All of this griping and complaining isn’t doing one bit of good! You could be a USM fan! Let’s move this. The end to this nightmare of a season is almost over.

    • Frank says:

      Thank You CS! If all the boo-birds would use one tenth of the energy spent on tearing down and turn it toward lifting up our boys (and coaches) it might just help them get over this funk. I think once they get the taste of winning again this week, you might just see an inspired performance against fsu! (Remember 1997!!!)

    • TST says:

      look 4 same .Very same . Football IQ and mode of operandi next year . My Gators are a laughing stock . THEY played with heart . Hey , they’re suppose to play with heart and get up for a game . Boom is terrible and has JF hostage in his back-pocket cause of JF stupid BO !! Boom is way to stubborn for me and that with NO offensive IQ . An it shows !!

    • Croc says:

      So what?

      Maybe Herm Edwards needs to have a talk with you.
      You play to win the game!

      This is what Muschamp supporters have to cling on to.
      Don’t get so worked up, It’s only a game. Who cares about wins or losses?
      Fire the Chump

  4. Sam Andreu says:

    Spurrier is a winner. I thought some calls went our way tonight and the shamecocks still found a way to beat us. The only thing that kept us in the game is athletes on Defense. The kids played with heart tonight. We would go 10-2 if the offense could score >20 ppg. We won championships when offense and defense were excellent and special teams made a positive (if sometimes risky) contribution. Our longest plays from scrimmage were freaking running plays. Come on man, our longest pass of the night was for 28, then 15, then 14. I know he’s a redshirt freshman, so? Play down field and take shots at the endZone! Have we tried to throw to the endZone one freaking time this year? These guys don’t play to win. Quarterbacks coach, OL coach, OC… NEXT PLEASE!

  5. Croc says:

    Glad to see that 5-7 seasons are now acceptable at Florida.

    The bar has now been lowered. Get ready for a long period of dumb boring football

    • Champ supporter says:

      Losing isn’t acceptable. Complaining isn’t going to change it so what’s the point? That team played well today. Very well. Go gators and go Champ! Get us right!

  6. Geoff says:

    Everyone complaining about the coaching this game shut the *f up. Obviously Mornhinweg can’t run the offense. The coaches obviously chose this hand plan because it was our best chance. We played great for being on the road vs the #10 team. This complaining is just annoying. What did u expect? I’m actually surprised how well we played. Kelvin is a monster. Looming forward to next year.

    • TST says:

      Who R u to tell us that ?
      Second half Taylor did nothing cause of then running right into the Gamecocks D . Yea Boom made some great adjustments . NOT !! Stupid coach and staff . I’m seeing Doug Dicky all over again and i don’t like it ..

    • Mr2Bits says:

      So what your telling me is our 3rd string quarterback who currently has his college being paid for to play QB cannot understand our offense or throw a football? We ran the same 5 plays over and over and over again. Then the creativity comes out on our own 30 and the longest pass of the night is from Burton to a freaking DT. To digress, Skylerlooked pretty sharp and accurate when it was all but too late, Saying we played well is BS. This is UF, not Kentucky or some other garbage team that gets excited about not losing by a ton of points. UF is not a moral victory school. As someone once said, don’t put sugar on crap and call it chocolate!

  7. Chris Hendrix says:

    I’ve been a gator fan since I was old enough to know what football was- I have finally figured out the only part I hate about UF Football- some if the idiot “fans” that say they root for Florida- some Of you make me sad to say I’m a fan!!!! 15 players out for today – 15!!!!! 3rd string qb in his 1st ever start- Proid if the boys today – Proid of the coaches today- and proud to be a Gator!!!!! As a high school asst coach- I know what losing 1 player can do to a team- amazed we performed as we did!

    • TST says:

      U don’t get it . Gators could have that game with some stand-up play calling in the second have . Boom wants to lose . He wants his BO ! sit on his butt in Texas and collect 8 mill ..He SUCKS. This from a fan who has watched since the 50’s ..I’ve seen it all . And Boom ain’t the guy ..enough said to you moral victory types

  8. Champ supporter says:

    Believe me, I have questioned some things, but they are the coaches and they are the ones putting in the grind day in and day out. I can’t be too critical because I am only sitting on the couch watching. I was a fan of the fake punt. What do you have to lose? It was there. People question using a DT to catch it, but is he that open if he’s a WR? Also, I have to believe he catches it in practice. He has to make that catch. Sorry, but he does. Someone has to make the big play even if it is a tough one! You know if Hardin makes the FG, the 4th quarter is called completely different and it isn’t like the defense didn’t just allow SC to drive about 95 yards to score.

    The one thing I really question is if we are going to continue to run Burton in the wildcat, then why can’t he throw a pass or two then?

    I do believe most people’s expectation was for Florida to be blown out, but that’s a pretty good effort for a team that started a QB who is probably projected as a career backup! I hated the result, but I was very pleased with the effort!

    • TST says:

      3 million is a lot of ‘Grind’ relief .’ He ain’t earning it !!

    • nugent1021 says:

      I was shocked and impressed that we were in that game. I think they almost gave it to us. Unfortunately, I also think we played too conservative to win – but like you said, they are the coaches…..

      Charles UF made a reference to Tommy Tuberville, and I think it’s pretty accurate. Tuberville plays similar awesome defense, and wins some games he shouldn’t, but also loses a fair number due to a lack of offense (also some he shouldn’t). That’s the style of football we are now committed to with Muschamp. Like it or not.

  9. fphingator says:

    While you guys whine im offf to meet the team at the airport,to show support. Never been as proud of my gators as tonight way to fight to the end against the tenth ranked D in ther house. Proud to be a gator.

  10. ptoddchesser says:

    F**k Muschamp! You have the audacity to let a young man, start greener than the day is long and tie his hands behind his back!? You failed, not Mornhinweg. You never gave him an opportunity to show you his abilities in a game until it was too late and your back was against a wall. You probably shouldn’t have been given your first head coaching opportunity at this program. Please find it in your psyche to kindly f**k off and let Florida be a great program

  11. Geoff says:

    Sorry for the misspelling Ect in my last post, I was out and auto correct is a jerk…. But my point hopefully got across. Everyone who complained about the coaching today needs to just stop watching because you obviously know nothing about football. Even Pease, who I want fired, impressed me tonight. We took a no win situation (with 15 players out including 2 qbs) and almost turned it into a win. The defense played admirably . So quit crying. I love Taylor’s vision , love Hargreaves , love the D .. We kept it close on the road vs a very good team. If recruits leave we don’t want them. We will have a very good team next year. Looking forward to 2014 – Grier and even Driskel with Taylor and all the young Wrs from last class a year under their belt. Plus all the guys (not seniors) that will be coming back off injury. Go Gators !

    • fphingator says:

      I agree with you on all except Coach and staff need two years. Even if Grier takes the starting job, can you rely on true freshman for a bcs, with Bama on schedule? What I believe is we wont go undefeated with Driskel and Murphy. And if 11-2 didnt make the fanbase buy in I highly doubt a one loss year would make them happy.

  12. SAD GATOR says:

    ITS GREAT TO BE A FLORIDA GATOR!!!!!!THATS ALL!!!!

  13. Sharon M. says:

    The Gators actually were in this game. I thought they improv ed alot with a never tried freshman quarterback.

    I think we have to recognize the improvement.

    I still think the coaches should go, but give the players credit!

    Tearing them down is not very helpful!

    If a person needs to lose weight yelling at them “you’re fat, you’re fat,” is not going to help them lose weight when support just might.

    I agree players need to step up like the catch that was missed.

  14. jakalleb says:

    I hate that UF needs to fire a coach after just 3yrs. But after 3yrs there has been zero development on the offensive side of the ball. The play calling has been just as awful. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen them call a WR screen or run up the middle on a 3rd and 8. And the way the coaches talk about a back up QB, its like the guy is just getting off the couch and has only one week to learn how to play this game called football. Now on defense it seems like we can lose an NFL DT, starting CB, leading tackling LB, and still hold teams to under 20 points. Freshmen and second stringers seem to have little problem coming in and at the least be competitive. And in some cases good. I never thought muschamp’s philosophy was good for UF, but if he could be the next Saban great! And I think that’s what Jeremy Foley was hoping for. Those kind of teams do well in Alabama and Lsu cause they can always recruit big o-line and d-line and build around. UF needs a coach that is an offensive guru they’ll have their pick of QB, WR, RB and always be able to get enough athletes to have on D. Well that’s just what it seems to me anyway. When UF has an offensive identity it’s dangerous, when they don’t…… well I’m sure you’ve seen them play the last 3 yrs.

  15. Sroode21 says:

    I guess having a freshman at qb never works… Oops we got our ass kicked by 2 of them this year, i guess that falls on the players not the coaches ?????

  16. RoadDogRuss says:

    I’ve only been watching the Gators for 56 years, so I’m still trying to get the hang of it. Where I question the play calling is when Clowney went down with the ankle injury, why didn’t we run straight at him when he returned. Beat him into submission and get to him to quit on his team. He would have too. That would have taken the heart out of their defense and we would have stood a much better chance of winning. And anybody that says they want SOS, aka Benedict Arnold, back has got to be delusional. Did you see him on the sidelines when he threw his play sheets down and then almost fell over when he tried to pick them up. It’s almost time for him to start using a walker. Or at least a motorized scooter.

  17. fphingator says:

    Side note….I know a good portion of fans are going to boycott the next game,even read some calls for selling our tickets to noles so they fill up the swamp. Please dont if thats the case donate your tickets tthe boys and girls club and give an under privileged gator a chance to go watch a game live.

  18. nugent1021 says:

    Ya know, I just saw Muschamp saying “gator fans need to get a grip” on ESPN. That is probably the worst, most defiant attitude towards fans I can think of.

    Shouldn’t he be apologizing for losing, instead of defiantly attacking the fan base? We’re not just a bunch of NFL fans. We went to school there, we’ve put our hearts and souls into this school. Probably more than that UGA guy has. And, we haven’t been paid $3mil/yr to do our jobs. Well, half of our jobs.

    The players played their hearts out, almost pulled it out. Totally respect that. Acting like us fans are the enemy because we don’t support mediocrity and are passionate about our team – I guess I’ll just wait until this guy is gone.

    • TST says:

      now imo this is a Gator . We bleed for our team . They (team) want to win and so do we ! enough said . TY

  19. gatorboi352 says:

    It’s almost as if Mushcamp and Pease stopped just short of “Ok Skyler, we all know you’re not that great in the passing game so keep it simple out there guy!” before rolling him onto the field Sat night.

    Seriously where is the player development in this staff?

  20. Jim Carruthers says:

    Fire Muschump and bring in a proven offensive minded coach now. Don’t belittle those of us who went to UF, suffered through many mediocre seasons in the 70’s-mid 80’s and want a competitive team. Sadly, it will never work with the current staff. Does anyone else see Muschumps behavior on the sideline and not grimace at the anger and unsportman, like action he puts on? He’s a disgrace. New coach…NOW. Give him the ‘Zook” remedy and fire him in season. I don’t care if we have injuries, it’s expected and every team has them. Good teams overcome them. The boys sitting on the bench were star athletes and highly recruited and should be ready to step on the field and be successful. This is easily the worst coached team I have seen since I’ve been a Gator…1973. I’m not a fair weather fan I’ve been around long enough to know BS…before Spurrier. It’s time to bring Steve home now.

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