Florida 24 South Carolina 14, Instant Analysis: Gators survive late Gamecock rally to complete sweep of SEC East

Florida seemed to be rolling along for three quarters. Then things got scary in the fourth. But when it was all said and done, the Gators made the plays they had to on both sides of the ball to beat South Carolina in Columbia for the first time since 2009, thus completing its sweep of the SEC East… which can also be labeled as an accomplishment that’s been achieved for the first time since 2009.

Here’s how it happened.

It was over when… Kelvin Taylor banged into the end zone with two minutes remaining to put Florida back up by ten with two minutes to go.

Play of the game… Treon Harris threw a ball into traffic that probably shouldn’t have been thrown, but Jordan Cronkrite appeared like a rabbit out of a hat to snatch it away from two Gamecock defenders, spin away, and then trot into the end zone to make it 14-0 Florida late in the first half.

Game ball goes to… Treon Harris. The backup QB wasn’t fantastic, but he’s been through a hell of a lot of adversity and showed some real signs of promise in an overall decent outing.

Stat of the game… 43. The Gamecocks could only muster 43 yards of total offense for the first three quarters. They then picked it up in the fourth quarter, engineering back to back touchdown drives that ended on a double pass touchdown from Pharaoh Cooper to Perry Orth and then Orth paying him back by throwing him one, respectively. But they’d already dug themselves too deep of a hole. Florida’s defense was absolutely incredible for the first three quarters.

What to be proud of… Florida faced some adversity when they least expected it, and responded well. Up 17-0 and seemingly in complete command, the Gators then let SC back into the game with the aforementioned two touchdown drives. But after that second one, Treon Harris led a six play, 75 yard drive that featured a huge run by Taylor and then the game-sealing score by Taylor. On that drive, Harris fit a nice ball into a small window to DeMarcus Robinson. It would have been expected for Harris to panic and self destruct, or miss Robinson by a few feet- especially after missing several receivers throughout the last few weeks- but he didn’t. Hats off to him for making that critical throw.

What to work on… Florida’s offense took a step in the right direction today- fewer missed blocking assignments, Harris looked better, receivers’ route running was a bit improved- but that was all against a horrible South Carolina squad whose season was on life support. In fact, the Gators’ 404 yards of offense actually helped the Gamecocks’ yards per game average, which was 428 heading into today’s game. That’s not to say there weren’t positive signs, but there’s still a long way to go, as evidenced by failing to get any points out of a Jalen Tabor interception in the red zone thanks to an interception by Treon Harris.

Bottom line: Florida has swept the SEC East for the first time since 2009, meaning the first time since the SEC added Missouri and Texas A&M and giving them six teams to have to sweep instead of five. And they got their last one on the road by double digits. It wasn’t pretty by any means except for a couple of individual plays, but hey, that’s one way for Jim McElwain to bring Florida back to national relevance!

Scoring recap:

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
FLORIDA 7 7 3 7 24
SOUTH CAROLINA 0 0 0 14 14

Scoring plays:

Team Time Play FLA USC
FLORIDA 1st 1:50 J. Cronkrite 3 yd run (PAT GOOD) 7 0
FLORIDA 2nd 8:17 J. Cronkrite 41 yd pass from T. Harris (PAT GOOD) 14 0
FLORIDA 3rd 4:50 A. Hardin 39 yd FG GOOD 17 0
SOUTH CAROLINA 4th 8:59 P. Orth 17 yd pass from P. Cooper (PAT GOOD) 17 7
SOUTH CAROLINA 4th 4:49 P. Cooper 38 yd pass from P. Orth (PAT GOOD) 17 14
FLORIDA 4th 2:01 K. Taylor 1 yd run (PAT GOOD) 24 14

2 thoughts on “Florida 24 South Carolina 14, Instant Analysis: Gators survive late Gamecock rally to complete sweep of SEC East

  1. Treon took some bad sacks and turned it over twice. When he did make throws, most of them were downright awful. Treon for game ball? The game ball should go to our D line for stepping up while undermanned at the position.

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