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November 16, 2013

Post Game Odds & Ends



COLUMBIA, S.C. - It was another tough Saturday for a Florida team that now hasn't won a game in 42 days. Here are some extra tidbits and quotes from the fallout of a loss to South Carolina.

- South Carolina entered the day competing with Georgia and Missouri for an SEC East title. Knowing this, the Williams-Brice Stadium jumbotron was tuned to the Georgia-Auburn game that kicked off at 3:30 p.m. up until kickoff. The game returned to the jumbotron during a break in play but was quickly pulled to a chorus of boos from the crowd.

After a Gators touchdown, the game was put on the jumbotron in time for the final play. When Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray's pass fell incomplete, the stadium erupted. Steve Spurrier held his offense from taking the field until the cheers settled.

- Florida was in the ear of star South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney early. On the first play of the game, linemen Max Garcia and Ian Silberman pushed an unenthused Clowney 15 yards out of the play and wouldn't let him go immediately after the whistle. The tussle caused a brief scuffle between the two teams.

- Connor Shaw didn't hit his first touchdown pass until the 10:23 mark in the third quarter, but he had several previous chances. South Carolina had beat Florida coverage three times in two drives, but Shaw missed on three would-be touchdown passes.

- With Murphy out, Florida ran 11 wildcat plays Saturday night -- more than they had run in every previous game this season combined.

- South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw wasn't at his best, going 14 of 28 for 213 yards and one touchdown. But his victory had bigger historical context. Shaw became the winningest quarterback in South Carolina history, a fact he blew off after the game. "I've got plenty of time after I'm done here to look back on all of it."

- Shaw was never a part of the run game for the Gamecocks as he has been in other games. The usual dual-threat finished with eight carries for three yards, thanks in large part to strong contain work on the edges by Florida defenders and improved linebacker play.

"His legs didn't hurt us like they have before," Will Muschamp said. He's an outstanding player and scrambler, so I am pleased with that."

- With a smile, South Carolina running back Mike Davis shrugged off the idea that he was more motivated than normal for a game against Florida - the team he was once committed to for nearly 10 months. "I don't know where people get these reports from," Davis laughed.

It was a mediocre day for Davis, who finished with 54 yards on 13 carries. He was hampered by an ankle injury in the second half. It was his second-worst game of the season, alongside the Missouri game in which he first injured his ankle.

- Florida running back Kelvin Taylor had 13 carries for 86 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. That production dropped off substantially in the second half, as Taylor finished with 96 yards on 21 carries.

"He has ran very well. He really has," Muschamp said. "He's had opportunities and continues to mature in his position. He's got very good vision and very good initial quickness in the hole."

Florida ran a fake punt from its own 32-yard line on 4th and 13 late in the game. Muschamp's explanation:

"We just needed to get something going. I thought it was there. We've just got to make the play. But I felt like we would hit it. We had it open, should have hit it and couldn't get it done."

- South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier on winning an ugly game with four field goals and one touchdown: "It was an old-fashioned football game, I guess. A whole bunch of field goals by our team. We won one that way. Usually you lose that way, but tonight, we won it."


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