Gamecocks Hold Off Florida for a 17-12 Victory
Shaw rushes for 88 yards and two scores to lead Gamecocks
COLUMBIA, S.C. --
Sophomore quarterback Connor Shaw rushed for a career-high 88 yards and
two touchdowns and completed 6-of-12 passes for 81 yards to lead No. 15
South Carolina to a 17-12 victory over Florida on Saturday afternoon at
With the win, the Gamecocks improve to
8-2 on the season and 6-2 in the SEC, marking the first time in school
history South Carolina has won six SEC games in a season. Carolina also
finishes the season with a 5-0 record against SEC Eastern Division
opponents for the first time in program history.
"We won a ball
game and got six conference wins and beat everyone in the (SEC) East.
This was a special one," South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier said.
28-yard field goal by Jay Wooten at the 9:14 mark of the fourth quarter
gave South Carolina a 17-12 lead, and the Gamecocks turned to their
defense to seal the win. South Carolina stopped the final two Florida
drives at the Gator 45 and 42-yard lines, respectively, including a
Travian Robertson sack of John Brantley that brought the game to an end.
Gamecocks finished the day with 299 yards of offense while holding
Florida (5-5, 3-5) to 261 yards. Freshman running back Brandon Wilds
rushed for 120 yards on 29 carries for Carolina to go along with Shaw's
career-high effort on the ground.
Sophomore Ace Sanders had two
receptions for 50 yards, and junior wide receiver Alshon Jeffery caught
two passes for 17 yards, moving him past former Gamecock Kenny McKinley
(2,781) for first place on the school's all-time receiving yards list
with 2,784 yards.
Junior defensive back D.J. Swearinger had a
solid defensive effort for the Gamecocks with a team-high nine tackles.
Junior Stephon Gilmore added four tackles, a sack and a forced fumble,
while freshman Jadeveon Clowney tallied a sack and a forced fumble in
"I know our offense didn't look real pretty at times,"
Spurrier said. "We stayed on the field the whole first half. We did
make two or three first downs that last drive. It was a wonderful team
victory. Our defense was sensational holding them to 12 points. Our
players ought to be commended for this one."
The Gamecock defense made a statement in the first half, holding the Gators to 84 yards of offense and recovering two fumbles.
only success Florida had in the first 30 minutes came early in the
first quarter with an eight-play, 45-yard scoring drive that resulted
in a 21-yard field goal by Caleb Sturgis, giving the Gators a 3-0 lead
at the 6:01 mark.
The Carolina defense buckled down and allowed
just 39 yards the rest of the half, giving the offense the opportunity
to put together a pair of scoring drives.
South Carolina turned
to Wilds and Shaw to get the job done on the ground on its first
scoring drive. Wilds rushed four times for 29 yards on the drive, and
Shaw added 17 yards on two carries, including a 10-yard touchdown run
to cap the 11-play, 62-yard drive. Wooten drilled the extra point to
give the Gamecocks a 7-3 lead with 7:07 left in the half.
set up South Carolina's second touchdown of the half by forcing a
fumble at the Florida 46 that was recovered by Rodney Paulk. The
Gamecocks took advantage by going 46 yards in 11 plays, as Shaw punched
it in the end zone from a yard out to give Carolina a 14-3 lead heading
into the locker room.
Florida trimmed South Carolina's lead to 14-6 with a 24-yard field goal by Sturgis with 7:17 left in the third quarter.
Gators made things interesting early in the fourth quarter, as a
47-yard run by Chris Rainey set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Jacoby
Brissett to pull Florida to within 14-12. Florida elected to go for
two, but Marty Markett picked off Brissett's pass attempt to keep the
Gamecocks in front with 9:14 remaining.
South Carolina responded
after a 30-yard return by Bruce Ellington on the ensuing kickoff set up
the Gamecocks at their own 42. Shawconnected with Sanders for a 46-yard
pass to the Florida 17. Three plays later, Wooten nailed a 28-yard
field goal to push Carolina's lead to 17-12, and the Gamecock defense
shut the Gators down on the next two possessions to preserve the win.
Rainey rushed for a game-high 132 yards on 17 carries for Florida, while Brantley completed 13-of-21 passes for 119 yards.
Gamecocks return to action on Saturday, November 19 as they host the
Citadel. Kickoff is set for noon at Williams-Brice Stadium.