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
SOUTH CAROLINA 7
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
SC_Denson 1 run (P.White kick), 9:59
FLA_FG McPherson 48, 4:06
SC_FG P.White 49, 14:06
FLA_Copeland 37 pass from Trask (McPherson kick), 10:08
SC_Feaster 21 run (P.White kick), 13:57
FLA_Pierce 75 run (McPherson kick), 13:43
SC_FG P.White 31, 3:16
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
|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.
MISSED FIELD GOALS_None.