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Gamecocks dominate Gators 40-17

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WELL OKAY

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

The South Carolina Gamecocks came off their bye week in emphatic fashion, dominating and handling the Florida Gators 40-17 in their second SEC win of the season on Saturday night in Columbia.

The Gamecocks got off to a good start, as they forced Florida to punt on the Gators' first possession and then went up 3-0 on a 39-yard Parker White field goal thanks to a productive drive led by Jason Brown, Josh Vann, and Kevin Harris. Florida quickly struck back, however, converting a key third down en route to a 12-yard Xzavier Henderson receiving score that put the Gators up 7-3.

South Carolina had an answer, however, as ZaQuandre White carried the Gamecocks down the field to set up a short Juju McDowell rushing score that pushed USC to a 10-7 advantage. The lead was short-lived, though, as the Gators tied it up with a 30-yard field goal to open the second quarter.

However, Harris powered South Carolina to another field goal and lead, as the Gamecocks went up 13-10 in response. USC poured it on from there, forcing a Florida punt and then finding an insanely wide open Vann in the end zone to pad the lead to 20-10. White added to it after another productive Gamecock drive, posting USC to a 23-10 advantage. South Carolina enjoyed even more success, taking a 30-10 lead into halftime off the strength of a Jabari Ellis fumble recovery to the house.

The teams opened the third quarter with punts, but White extended the South Carolina lead with a career-tying fourth field goal to make it 33-10. Jaheim Bell made the Gators suffer further with an 8-yard scoring grab that swelled the South Carolina lead to 40-10.

The Gators finally mounted a response on their next drive, posting a touchdown to draw within 40-17 early in the fourth quarter. After another USC punt and promising Florida possession, Cam Smith snuffed out hope for the Gators, picking off Emory Jones to end the threat.

From there, South Carolina was able to run out the clock, improving to 5-4 (2-4 SEC). There's no denying this was an emphatic and incredible response from the Gamecocks after their bye week. Another home date with Auburn is up next.