The Swamp comes alive
Published: Saturday, October 20, 2012 at 7:39 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, October 21, 2012 at 10:03 a.m.
It got a little loud in The Swamp from the time there were three minutes left in the first half until there were two minutes remaining. First, Jeff Driskel hit Quinton Dunbar for what appeared to be a first down at the South Carolina 6. But Dunbar shook loose of his tackler and walked into the end zone. On the ensuing kickoff, South Carolina fumbled and UF’s Chris Johnson scooped it and returned the loose ball to the USC 1-yard line. Two plays later, Driskel found Jordan Reed alone in the end zone for another score.
With 1:22 left in the first half and South Carolina stopped on third down, Florida called a timeout to try to get the ball back and add to their 21-3 lead. But at that point, the Gators had 30 yards of offense and two first downs. Instead, they went nowhere and thanks to a penalty on Lerentee McCray, the Gamecocks moved close enough to get a 51-yard field goal as the half expired.
South Carolina gained a bit of momentum with that late score at the end of the half, but the Gators answered to start the second half. After a 39-yard kickoff return by Andre Debose, the Gators went on a 59-yard drive. They converted a pair of third downs — one of them on a tackle-breaking run by Trey Burton — and the drive was capped by a 6-yard touchdown run by Omarius Hines.
It was a nice pass and an even better catch. Jeff Driskel launched a pass to Hines in the end zone and he had to reach up with one hand to make the grab for the 29-yard score with six seconds remaining in the first quarter. Alas, as the Gators celebrated, a flag had been thrown in the backfield because of a chop block by Mike Gillislee on Jadeveon Clowney. When a player is engaged with a blocker, he can’t be blocked by another player below the waist. No touchdown for you.
Play of the game
It was the first play of the game. Florida surprisingly blitzed on South Carolina’s first play and Loucheiz Purifoy knocked the ball out of quarterback Connor Shaw’s hands. The ball bounced around until McCray recovered it on the Gamecocks’ 2-yard line as the home crowd went crazy. Florida needed three plays to score from the 2, but the tone for the game had been set.
Stat of the game
In the first half, Florida scored three touchdowns. The average length of a Gator scoring drive was 10.7 yards. They recovered three South Carolina fumbles and scored on drives of two yards, 29 yards and one yard. The Gators started the second half with a 59-yard touchdown drive that doubled their first-half production.
What’s up with that?
Well, that was a new one. Roughing the snapper? Florida fans were stunned after the Gators forced a punt on South Carolina’s second possession of the game only to have the officials call UF’s Antonio Morrison for roughing the snapper. NCAA rules state that on a punt or field-goal attempt, the center is allowed to regain his balance and assume a protective position before he is contacted by the defense. Morrison gave the center a moment to get his balance before popping him. It was close.