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Gamecocks can't keep up, fall 38-27 to Gators

Close (ish), but no cigar.

NCAA Football: Florida at South Carolina Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

The South Carolina Gamecocks hung tough for a few quarters, but couldn't close the deal against the visiting No. 9 Florida Gators in a 38-27 loss on Saturday.

A lot of fans will likely mention the officiating, which was certainly a storyline in this loss, but the Gamecocks were also clearly affected by the absence of Rico Dowdle (who unfortunately departed with a knee injury) and the health of Ryan Hilinski, who played but didn't look quite like himself (similar to his performance against Missouri, when he was nursing a bum elbow).

South Carolina falls to 3-4 (2-3 SEC) and will face Tennessee next weekend as it continues to hunt for bowl eligibility.