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Gators in control of SEC East after rout of Gamecocks

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Officially, The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party next weekend will hold the highest stakes the annual rivalry game has seen in years.  Provided Georgia can hold off hapless Kentucky, of course.

And, if there was any lingering doubt, Will Muschamp‘s Florida Gators are the real deal.

The latest evidence the No. 3 team in the country is in the national title race for the season-long haul came in The Swamp Saturday afternoon.  Facing a No.9 South Carolina Gamecocks squad still licking its collective wounds from the first lost of the season last weekend, the Gators deepened the open Gamecocks’ gash with a 44-11 thumping that was the dictionary-definition of a beatdown.

UF’s defense held USC to under 100 yards of total offense through the first three quarters, allowing just three field goals to go along with a blocked point after that wasn’t of its doing.

The offense “struggled” — UF scored 21 points on just 29 yards of first-half offense — but was deadly efficient where it counted — on the scoreboard.  And there was no more of a microcosm of that deadly efficiency than Jeff Driskel.  The Gators’ starting quarterback completed just 10 passes, but four of them went for touchdowns.

The Gators didn’t have 100-plus yards passing, didn’t rush for more than 1oo yards… and it didn’t matter thanks to a defense that caused the Gamecocks’ offense to melt play after play, series after series, holding USC to 1.4 yards per carry and forcing three turnovers.

With the loss, the Gamecocks essentially removed themselves from the SEC East, dropping to 4-2 in conference play with just two games remaining and all but eliminating any chance of an appearance in the SEC title game.  The Gators, on the other hand, improved to 6-0 and are firmly entrenched in the divisional driver’s seat.

With a win over Georgia next weekend, the Gators will clinch the SEC East regardless of what happens in their conference finale against Missouri the following weekend.  It would mark UF’s first divisional title since 2009.

However, if the Bulldogs were to pull off the neutral-site upset, UGA would control its own destiny, with games against SEC West cellar dwellers Auburn and Ole Miss serving as the lone remaining “obstacles” standing between the Bulldogs and their second early-December trip to Atlanta since 2005.

So, yeah, the stakes couldn’t be higher for the 90th edition — or 91st — of the WLOCP.

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24 Responses to “Gators in control of SEC East after rout of Gamecocks”
  1. Deb says: Oct 20, 2012 7:19 PM

    Let’s see if I can post on this one …

  2. igottz5onit says: Oct 20, 2012 7:24 PM

    I was expecting South Carolina to be at least be competitive today. If they keep playing like they did today they may finish with six wins this season. Clowney is a beast though.

  3. bobulated says: Oct 20, 2012 7:26 PM

    After watching the Dawgs offense wilt vs the Cocks and defense constantly struggle vs inferior opponents I’m not sure how much of a shot they have vs a quality team like the Gators. Georgia will have to put together it’s best showing of the season to beat a Florida team that looks like it’s getting better every week.

  4. thelastwordyaheard says: Oct 20, 2012 7:41 PM

    SC didn’t play in the SEC Championship last year, Georgia did, despite losing to SC.. morons

  5. planck16 says: Oct 20, 2012 7:41 PM

    Wait! How can USuCk have back-to-back SEC Championship Appearances when LSU played Georgia last year in the SEC Champ. Game? Really, do they give anyone a computer and a TV and say type something?

  6. gatorprof says: Oct 20, 2012 7:43 PM

    Gators need to continue to improve. The Dawgs would love nothing more than to spoil the season for the Gators. Tough D and great specials won the day. Looks like Boom’s plan is coming together.

    Love having a OC that can adjust at halftime.

    SC’s starting D is very tough, can play with anyone.

  7. blitz4848 says: Oct 20, 2012 7:46 PM

    Gators Defense = A

    Special Teams = A++

    Offense = C

    That’s enough to play with any one in the country.

    They also have won 3 road games in the SEC. They beat Texas A&M on the road, wore down LSU, destroyed USC and still have games with UGA, FSU and possibly Alabama and maybe even Oregon, SoCal, Notre Dame or K-State.

    At least if they go all the way noone will have a beef about a soft schedule!!!

    They sure a physical bunch and they run so many
    wide plays from side to side the opponents D-line is toast in the 2 nd half. They run Gillislee between the tackles 15 times, even though they didn’t gain anything they kept the defense in the lanes which opened up other things.
    Muschamp and his staff look like they really know how to take control of a game–especially after half time. Good luck Gators.

  8. thelastwordyaheard says: Oct 20, 2012 7:48 PM

    Bama will annihilate these no-offense pretenders in the SEC Championship game.. UF is playing for #3, at best

  9. blitz4848 says: Oct 20, 2012 8:03 PM

    Bama still has to beat Texas A&M, Miss St & LSU before they get there.

    The Gators are getting better every game which you can’t say about many teams.

    There are 3 parts to every game:
    Offense, defense, special teams.
    If you win 2 out of 3 you win almost every game. The Gators do just enough on offense and they don’t hurt themselves. Their special teams and defense are very good.
    How can you call them pretenders when they have played a lot tougher schedule than Bama and more than held their own!!!!!!

  10. Fantasy Football Legend says: Oct 20, 2012 8:03 PM

    Ranked 3rd? I thought BCS had Florida ranked 2nd because the O Duck fans where crying that they got ranked 3rd behind the great Gators.

  11. manchestermiracle says: Oct 20, 2012 8:17 PM

    Maybe if South Carolina (USC is on the other coast) doesn’t gift Florida 21 points to start the game it might have been a bit more competitive.

  12. southernpatriots says: Oct 20, 2012 8:41 PM

    Congrats to the Gators! I thought they would do very well against the Gamecocks. Florida has the 2nd ranked team in the nation ala BCS, and from what I have seen, they deserve it.

    Congratulations to all Gator fans, especially our friend, florida727!

    blitz4848: good commentary.

  13. taintedlombardis says: Oct 20, 2012 8:51 PM

    21-3 @ half and Florida had around 30 yards total offense. SEC overrated. Painful to watch.

  14. pb420 says: Oct 20, 2012 8:51 PM


    There was no gift there. Two talented teams met and one was far superior today. Go Gators!!

  15. dgbk says: Oct 20, 2012 9:03 PM

    great win for the gators another big game next week…

    why do fans come to threads to bash the SEC over and over and over… here is the thing a fan of (insert SEC team here)will never say hey ur right we suck… wat a waste of time and effort

  16. Deb says: Oct 20, 2012 10:05 PM

    I knew Muschamp would bring the Gators back, but didn’t expect them to come roaring back so fast. Congrats, Florida!

  17. mshassen2015 says: Oct 20, 2012 10:27 PM

    I had said but only repeted that lsu had the best defensive front line in the country, i take that back USC is as good as it gets. Ga is next up Go Gators, I sure hope Florida can keep Pease around for a while… pay him like a head coach….

  18. mshassen2015 says: Oct 20, 2012 10:35 PM

    blitz4848 tell me how many ranked teams has Bama played…. I think bama is the best team in the country just by the names on the back of their jerseys but please what a cupcake schedule

  19. WingT says: Oct 21, 2012 7:06 AM

    Early in the season I thought that Florida would win the East – they are physical, fast and each week show improvement.

    Bama has really surprised me in how they have improved each week. I don’t think I have ever seen a Bama team play as consistent as this team does week end and week out and especially how they show improvement. Their running game is solid but their passing game is where the improvement is really seen.

    Roll Tide

  20. denverdude7 says: Oct 21, 2012 8:25 AM

    The Lamecocks are back !!!!!!!

    Come on, you knew it was coming. Every year they puff up for a while then the air goes out of the balloon. It has become an annual trait for Steve Spurrier and South Carolina.

    Just to be fair, Clemson does the same thing.

  21. florida727 says: Oct 21, 2012 2:26 PM

    taintedlombardis says: Oct 20, 2012 8:51 PM
    21-3 @ half and Florida had around 30 yards total offense. SEC overrated. Painful to watch.
    I’m pretty sure it’s called “defense”, not sure though, better check with others more knowledgeable. Idiot. You want video game numbers, go to an arcade. The SEC is a man’s game.

    “blitz4848”, great commentary, but I’m not sure I’d give the offense a “C” grading. 29 yards at recess, and only 183 overall is… well… kind of pathetic. We need to do much more if we’re going to run the table. The good news is that both sides of the line of scrimmage are freaking scary good. Most critical: ZERO turnovers (we need to clean up the penalties). I still think we have our work cut out for us next week v. Georgia.

    “southernpatriots”, great win on the road at A&M. Congratulations! Still waiting on last week’s tailgating leftovers. Just go ahead and double-up on them this week. You have my address :)

  22. southernpatriots says: Oct 21, 2012 3:19 PM

    Leftovers! LEFTOVERS! To quote a famous American: “There ain’t no leftovers!” ha. I have not seen leftovers, even when I cooked extra just to get some. Like the Cajun potato salad I made to feed 30 but made enough to feed 50 just so I would have some the next day. Lunch time came, I am looking for the potato salad. Can’t find any. Start asking around, no one knows anything. I find out a couple of days later since I keep asking, that there weren’t any leftovers. I murmured, “Hogs!” and my wife said, “No we’re Tigers…hogs are farther north!” ha.

    Congrats again on the dismantling of the Gamecocks. That was not close. Spurrier cannot be happy. “Nuff said.

    You want offensive, and yes offense offensive problems? LSU. When we have one play like Mett did to Boone stretched out horizontally and came down with the ball for a touchdown, we think that is quite an extraordinary feat.

    Takeaways or turnovers won the game with A&M for us. Plus 5! Plus 5! No turnovers for us, that is really good for Mett and team, and we are up on the Aggies plus 5! You HAVE to win if you are up Plus 5 on turnovers!!!!! ha.

  23. pb420 says: Oct 21, 2012 6:32 PM

    Gee, where is overrated gators when you need some comedy?! Come on back man, we miss you!

  24. lakesidegator says: Oct 22, 2012 10:20 AM

    You know why Georgia will loose? In one word,

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