FINAL: No. 9 Florida 38, South Carolina 27

Florida receiver Jacob Copeland catches a pass for a touchdown as South Carolina's Jammie Robinson (7) defends in the first half Saturday in Columbia, SC. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)

Live updates from Columbia, S.C., for Saturday’s No. 9 Florida at South Carolina college football game.


Tight coverage by UF cornerback CJ Henderson, but receiver Bryan Edwards wins the 50-50 ball for a 43-yard reception on a flea-flicker from quarterback Ryan Hilinski.

Running back Mon Denson scores on a 1-yard run to put the Gamecocks up 7-0 off the game’s opening drive, an eight-play, 75-yard march at 9:59.

Couldn’t have scripted first drive of the game any worse for a defense that is missing its ends and its swagger. Had it stopped but offsides keeps it alive. Flea-flicker sets it up, but suddenly these guys can’t stop the run.

Gators’ offense goes three-and-out in its first possession.

UF QB Kyle Trask connects with receiver Jacob Copeland for 32 yards to the USC 38.

Evan McPherson boots a career-long 48-yard field goal at the 4:06 mark to cut the UF deficit to 7-3.

Gators get a field goal. Should have been a TD with Lamical Perine wide open on a double move but Trask was high and wide

 What went right: No much. Other than a 32-yard pass from Kyle Trask to Jacob Copeland, a 48-yard field goal by Evan McPherson and one three-and-out by the defense, the Gators had nothing else go right in the shaky quarter.

 What went wrong: The Gators vowed earlier in the week that there would be no lingering hangover from the LSU loss and they would get off to a fast start against the Gamecocks. They didn’t. It was an equally bad start on both sides of the ball. The defense gave up a 43-yard pass play on the game’s second offensive play that eventually led to a touchdown on a 1-yard run by Mo Denson. The Gators had what appeared to be a third-down stop inside the 10, but tackle Luke Ancrum was flagged for offsides, giving the Gamecocks another opportunity. He went offsides again two plays later. The offense had two lightning-quick three-and-outs, the first on UF’s opening possession.

 Play of the quarter: The 32-yard pass from Trask to Copeland.

 Trending: The steady rain.

Robbie Andreu

FLORIDA                    3


Note: Injured starting defensive ends Jon Greenard and Jabari Zuniga are not playing for the Gators. … USC’s leading rusher Rico Dowdle went to the locker room after suffering an injury on the first series. Dowdle later was seen standing on the sideline with a brace on his right knee.


A 36-yard gain by running back Tavien Feaster to UF’s 37 sets up South Carolina.

A 49-yard field goal by Parker White puts Carolina back up 10-3 at 14:06 mark.

Trask teams with Copeland for a 37-yard scoring pass play to complete an eight-play, 75-yard drive at the 10:08 mark.

Rain affecting passing game — Trask is 9-16 for 113 yards and a TD for UF, while Hilinski is just 4-12 for 72 yards.

 What went right: The Gators tied the game 10-10 on a 37-yard touchdown pass from Trask to Copeland with 10:08 to play in the quarter. Copeland was covered, but won the 50-50 ball then split two defenders at the 15-yard line and raced into the end zone. The offense did nothing after that, but the defense pitched a shutout in the quarter. One third-down stop came on a sack by rush defensive end Jeremiah Moon.

 What went wrong: Trask, who was struggling throwing a wet ball, and the offense failed to move the ball after the TD early in the quarter. Trask seemed to make a poor read on a run-pass option play and was sacked inside the 10, putting the Gators in a third-and-20 situation. On the kickoff following the UF TD, linebacker James Houston was penalized 15 yards for continuing to play after his helmet came off during the return. It was ruled a personal foul penalty.

 Play of the quarter: Copeland catch and run for the touchdown.

 Trending: The Florida defense.

— Robbie Andreu

FLORIDA                    3     7

SOUTH CAROLINA      7    3


First turnover of game when Trask was intercepted to set up Carolina at the UF 20.

Feaster scores on a 21-yard run at 13:57.

One play after CJ Henderson drops an interception, South Carolina scores on a third-and-11 draw play. Gators trail 17-10. Crossroads time for this football team.

Gators answer when running back Dameon Pierce breaks off a 75-yard scoring run to tie things 17-all.

White gives South Carolina a 20-17 lead with 3:16 remaining with a 31-yard field goal to complete a 12-play, 72-yard drive.

 What went right: On the first offensive play after the Gamecocks turned a Trask interception into seven quick points, the Gators answered with an even quicker seven — a 75-yard run by Dameon Pierce. It was a huge play — and a fortunate one. The Gators could have been called for a false start (OT Jean Delance) or for holding (Tyrie Cleveland), but neither were called, so the play tied the game 17-17.

 What went wrong: Other than Pierce’s TD dash, the Gators did nothing on offense for the rest of the quarter. While the offense was going three-and-out, the defense was getting consistently gashed on the ground. All that success with the running game led to a 31-yard field goal by Parker White that gave USC a 20-17 lead.

 Play of the quarter: Pierce’s quick answer with the long TD run.

 Trending: The Gamecocks’ ground game.

— Robbie Andreu

FLORIDA                    3     7      7

SOUTH CAROLINA     7    3    10


Trask hits a diving Freddie Swain with a 25-yard touchdown pass to give UF a 24-20 lead with 9:54 left. The score capped a seven-play, 52-yard drive that was kept alive when Trask hit Kyle Pitts with a first-down pass on a fourth-and-three play.

Hilinski was stripped-sacked by end Zachary Carter and fumble recovered by tackle Kyree Campbell at the South Carolina 28.

Pitts catches a five-yard TD pass from Trask with 7:53 remaining to put UF up 31-20.

Trask completes a 5-yard TD pass to Trevon Grimes with 4:02 remaining to put the game away. The score capped a six-play, 38-yard drive after holding Carolina on downs for the 38-20 lead.

South Carolina scores with 1:53 remaining when Hilinski finds Shi Smith for a 4-yard TD to complete the eight-play, 75-yard drive.

 What went right: Trask threw three touchdowns and the Gators outscored the Gamecocks 21-7 to pull away for the victory. Trask hooked up with Freddie Swain for a 25-yard scoring play where Swain made a diving catch in the end zone. After the defense produced a big turnover — a sack/fumble by end Zachary Carter that was recovered by tackle Kyree Campbell on the USC 28 — Trask threw a 5-yard TD pass to tight end Kyle Pitts. Then, after getting a stop on fourth-and-two from the USC 37, Trask found a wide-open Trevon Grimes for a 5-yard TD play on third-and-goal that gave UF a 38-20 lead.

 What went wrong: Once the Gators got the 18-point lead, they played soft on defense and it led to a quick touchdown drive that culminated with a 4-yard TD pass from Hilinski to OrTre Smith. UF gave up a 37-yard run to Tavien Feaster on a draw play.

 Play of the quarter: The sack/fumble that led to the TD that put the Gators up 31-20 with 7:53 to play.

— Robbie Andreu

Florida improves to 7-1 overall, 4-1 in the SEC, while South Carolina drops to 3-4, 2-3. Up next for the Gators is the Nov. 2 date against Georgia in Jacksonville.

No. 9 Florida 38, South Carolina 27

Florida 3 7 7 21—38
South Carolina 7 3 10 7—27
First Quarter

SC_Denson 1 run (P.White kick), 9:59

FLA_FG McPherson 48, 4:06

Second Quarter

SC_FG P.White 49, 14:06

FLA_Copeland 37 pass from Trask (McPherson kick), 10:08

Third Quarter

SC_Feaster 21 run (P.White kick), 13:57

FLA_Pierce 75 run (McPherson kick), 13:43

SC_FG P.White 31, 3:16

Fourth Quarter

FLA_Swain 25 pass from Trask (McPherson kick), 9:54

FLA_Pitts 5 pass from Trask (McPherson kick), 7:53

FLA_Grimes 5 pass from Trask (McPherson kick), 4:02

SC_O.Smith 4 pass from Hilinski (P.White kick), 1:53

First downs 18 16
Rushes-yards 30-154 43-217
Passing 200 170
Comp-Att-Int 21-33-1 17-35-0
Return Yards 22 86
Punts-Avg. 7-44.71 7-45.0
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 1-1
Penalties-Yards 4-25 5-60
Time of Possession 27:57 32:03

RUSHING_Florida, Pierce 7-87, Perine 14-68, Em.Jones 1-2, Swain 1-1, M.Davis 1-0, (Team) 1-(minus 1), Trask 5-(minus 3). South Carolina, Feaster 25-175, Denson 12-58, Dowdle 1-8, Hilinski 5-(minus 24).

PASSING_Florida, Trask 21-33-1-200. South Carolina, Hilinski 17-35-0-170.

RECEIVING_Florida, Pitts 5-29, Swain 5-20, Copeland 3-89, Hammond 2-18, Grimes 2-13, Perine 2-12, Cleveland 1-14, M.Davis 1-5. South Carolina, Edwards 7-78, Vann 3-33, S.Smith 2-18, O.Smith 2-7, Muse 1-21, Markway 1-8, Dawkins 1-5.



  1. The only thing a ‘PREVENT’ defense does is prevent you from winning.
    Gators got a very favorable ‘no call’ on the Pierce TD as
    Cleveland was holding on for dear life. Then again, bad or no calls are part of sports. They usually even out in the end. We’ve all seen calls both ways.

  2. I don’t agree with the supposed holding call. You’re allowed to hold the jersey (shoulders to chest if you an offensive player while he’s engaged with a defensive player they grab ahold of the jersey at the shoulder it’s when your arms are extended due to the D-player getting of the block, you hear that all the time during NFL games by the expert ex-refs explanation) as long as you don’t pull it. If he’s holding the guy’s arm (other than outside of the shoulder or arm or leg that’s a different story.

  3. The bad calls worked both ways, but you don’t hear much about the ones against Florida because they didn’t amount to much. Early in the game, there was a terrible spot that gave USC a first down when they were about a yard short. Then there was blatant pass interference that cost Florida a first down on third. The commenters noticed and commented on both. They could have had a greater impact on the game if USC was able to capitalize on them, but they couldn’t. I’m sure there were others on both sides that weren’t noticed on television. It was a poorly officiated game, but that isn’t why USC lost.