South Carolina loses in heartbreaking fashion to Florida, game recap

After being off for a bye week, the University of South Carolina Gamecocks (2-3) are back in...
After being off for a bye week, the University of South Carolina Gamecocks (2-3) are back in action at home against their Southeastern Conference (SEC) rival the University of Florida Gators (4-2).(Gary McCullough | AP)
Published: Oct. 14, 2023 at 2:29 PM EDT
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Game Recap

4th quarter

Final score: South Carolina - 39 Florida - 41.

Florida caused a safety to punt the ball back to South Carolina to end the game.

Florida - 41 South Carolina - 37.

A Rattler down-the-field pass was intercepted by Florida, ending the game. South Carolina loses in heartbreaking fashion to Florida.

The key to the Gamecocks’ victory fell on the shoulders of Rattler, who had been fantastic today.

Florida - 41 South Carolina 37.

Florida scored with under a minute to go stunning the Gamecock faithful.

The Gators will start their little over two-minute drive on their own 24-yard line. and converted on fourth and 10 to continue the drive, this is their second straight fourth down conversation in the quarter.

The Florida defense did a fantastic job of containing the Gamecocks’ offense on the drive, not allowing South Carolina to gain positive yardage.

The Gamecocks continued to try to move the chains, but thanks to a Florida penalty, South Carolina made it to the midfield.

South Carolina - 37 Florida - 34.

The Gators eventually score on a pass connection between Gertz to Boardingham.

Florida converted on fourth down and got another gain bringing the Gators to South Carolina’s red zone. and went for it on fourth again to bring the team to the Gamecocks’ 4-yard line.

The Gators were trying to get anything started with Mertz throwing a dangerous deep ball into double coverage and nearly being picked off. Florid gained yards with two short passes for gains and was knocking on South Carolina’s territory.

South Carolina - 37 Florida - 27.

Rattler utilized his receivers during this drive, throwing to multiple different targets with the drive ending with a 33-yard pass from Rattler to Joshua Simon to extend the score.

Anderson continues to provide consistent positive yardage for the Gamecocks, providing gains when he is called upon.

With a four-point lead and the ball, South Carolina looks to capitalize on the great play by the defense.

Florida went up the field and attempted a field goal, however, the South Carolina defense came up big with a huge block to continue to secure the lead for the Gamecocks.

South Carolina has racked up eight penalties throughout the game which has truly hurt them on the defensive side of the ball.

The Gamecocks start off the quarter with a score to lead the Gators once again, Rattler connected with McDowell for the score.

3rd Quarter

The Gamecocks ended the quarter in the Florida red zone.

The Gamecocks failed to respond to the Florida field goal and punted after a three-and-out.

Smack once delivered for Florida by hitting a field goal adding three more for Florida and the lead.

Florida’s Wilson has been the Gators’ most reliable player today and he had a run that brought the Gators back into Gamecocks territory.

Tie game, South Carolina - 24 Florida - 24.

South Carolina wanted to try for the end zone but decided for a successful field goal attempt instead.

Although Legette hasn’t had his normal output, he came up big bringing in a 42-yard bomb placing South Carolina deep in Florida’s red zone.

Rattler has been doing everything on offense to keep South Carolina in the game. The addition of Anderson gave the Gamecocks a consistent threat on the ground.

2nd Quarter

Florida - 24 South Carolina 21.

The Gators got to the South Carolina 29-yard line after a great throw which later resulted in a Gators’ successful field goal attempt.

Rattler virtually went both quarters with an incompletion until the last two minutes of the second quarter. The Florida defense made South Carolina punt with a little over 1 minute left in the to try and convert for the Gators.

Both squad’s defenses have struggled to stop the ball. But South Carolina did force a three-and-out to give their team a chance to score before the end of the first half.

The battle between the Gamecocks and the Gators has been a good one throughout the first two quarters of the game with neither team giving the other much to work with.

A screen pass from Rattler to Anderson resulted in a touchdown and the Gamecocks tying the game.

The Gamecocks responded in a big way moving down the field thanks to a combination of gains by LeGette, Anderson, and Rattler scrambling at times during the drive.

Florida - 21 South Carolina 14.

Another pass to the end zone put Florida back on top. Florida has scored every time the offense was on the field and a two-point conversion gave the Gators a 7 point lead.

A 45 pass caught by Jackson brought Florida within South Carolina’s 10-yard line. line

A big run from the Florida offense deep in Carolina territory gave the Gators momentum early in the second quarter.

The combination of Xavier LeGette and Anderson continued to give trouble to the Florida defense. However, after failing to convert on third down, the Gamecocks punted for the first time of the day.

South Carolina - 14 Florida 13.

The Gamecocks forced the Gator offense into another field goal position with Smack scoring again for Florida to add three to the scoreboard.

The Gamecocks started the second quarter aggressively forcing Florida to throw down the field with little success.

1st Quarter

South Carolina leads the Gators 14-10 after one quarter.

In a surprise that hasn’t been seen much this season, the Gamecocks pressure defense started to get to the Florida quarterback, however, South Carolina’s rush five was costly for the Gamecocks, resulting in multiple big Florida gains.

Wilson for Florida was truly a focal point for the Gators’ offense, he continued to deliver every time the team called upon him.

South Carolina - 14 Florida - 10.

A 15-yard run by complimentary running Juju McDowell to the endzone gave the Gamecocks the lead again.

Rattler launched a 45-yard pass that was caught by a true freshman Nyck Harbor that brought the Gamecocks under Florida’s 30-yard line.

A big tackle by the Gamecocks defense followed by a missed pass, resulted in Florida trying and successfully scoring a 54-yard field goal.

During the second drive of the game, Florida had help moving up the field thanks to costly penalties by the Gamecocks defense.

Florida tried to respond but the Gamecocks defense stepped up in a big way, but Florida still found a way to continue to move chains up the field for the offense.

Florida - 7 South Carolina - 7.

The Gamecocks continued to rely on Anderson with much success but it was a pass from Rattler to Trey Knox that put the Gamecocks on the scoreboard.

Another solid run by Anderson brought the Gamecocks to the 13-yard line of the Gators.

The penalty was followed by a 30-yard run by Mario Anderson to get the Gamecocks into Florida territory.

With the pocket collapsing around him, Rattler tried making a throw that resulted in a defensive pass interference call.

The Gamecocks switched up the offensive line to try and find their best five men to try and protect Rattler. However, the change of the front line resulted in the first rush of the game gaining no yards.

The Gamecocks started their first possession of the game on their own 20-yard line after a touchback.

Florida - 7 South Carolina - 0.

The sense of urgency paid off for the Gators with Trevor Etienne running four yards to the end zone.

A connection between quarterback Graham Mertz brought Florida into the Gamecocks 10-yard line.

The South Carolina defense has not gotten a chance to catch their breaths due to the continuous attacks of the Gators’ offense.

After three plays for 10 yards or more, the Gators were knocking on the door of the red zone, with the Gamecocks not being able to stop anything.

On the first play of the game, Gators running back Montrell Johnson exploded for a big gain of 10 yards and a first down.

Florida returner Sapp received the ball and got Florida into great field position for their first possession of the game.

After South Carolina won the coin toss, the Gamecocks elected for Flordia to receive the ball first so South Carolina will receive it at the start of the second half.

Game Preview

After being off for a bye week, the University of South Carolina Gamecocks (2-3) are back in action at home against their Southeastern Conference (SEC) rival the University of Florida Gators (4-2).

The Gators’ showdown against the Garnett & Black will be their third straight SEC East matchup this season, as Florida will be looking to snap a five-game losing streak away from home.

South Carolina desperately needs a win after losing 41-20 at Tennessee and being undefeated at William Brice Stadium this season, the Gamecocks look to continue their winning ways at home.

The key to victory for South Carolina will not fully rely on quarterback Spencer Rattler to create momentum for the offense and for the ground game to finally be successful.

Rattler is a fantastic quarterback, he’s already thrown for 1,411 yards and has 7 touchdowns compared to three interceptions on the year. But, if the Gamecocks cannot establish a ground game, the result will be a lot like the Tennessee game with Rattler running out of steam toward the end of the game.

The Gamecocks rank dead last in the SEC in total rushing yards with just 435 yards on the year. It will not help matters that South Carolina is up against a formidable Florida defense. It will be a tough matchup, but the Gamecocks should prevail with the win.

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