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South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Florida Gators: Game Observations & What Now?

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What does this mean for South Carolina and Shawn Elliot going forward?

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

The South Carolina-Florida game did not start off in the Gamecocks favor. It took until 8:59 left in the fourth quarter for South Carolina to put points on the board, when star receiver Pharoh Cooper hit quarterback Perry Orth on a pass for 17 yards. Prior to that first score, South Carolina was incompetent on offense and trailed 17-0. If Will Muschamp did anything for Florida during his time in Gainesville it was field a stout defense, and Jim McElwain inherited exactly that. South Carolina couldn't get anything going on offense and it looked like Carolina was on its was to being shutout. South Carolina just didn't play good football in the first three quarters on offense and credit goes to the South Carolina defense and Will Grier's suspension for keeping the Gamecocks in the game. Florida QB Treon Harris played like typical Treon Harris: short to medium passes hoping for a catch and run situation for their receivers, with a dose of Kelvin Taylor.

South Carolina definitely had its chances throughout the game. The lone passing touchdown from Treon Harris was a play that should have at least been incomplete or, even better, intercepted by Gamecock defensive back Chris Lammons, a former Gator commit almost two years ago as a high school prospect. Still, the Gamecock defense didn't let the game get too out of hand. So, give props to the defense for keeping the Gamecocks from being completely out of it, even though they couldn't make the key third down stop late in the game when Carolina was only down three.

Point blank, South Carolina is doing what they've been doing all season: losing games. That's not to discount the job interim head coach Shawn Elliot has done. The team is obviously playing better than it did under Steve Spurrier earlier in the year, but it's still not good enough to win ball games. The Gamecocks needed to win the remaining games left on their schedule to become bowl eligible, though there is still an outside shot they can go bowling with five wins. The loss to Florida may confirm the fact that the South Carolina football program will have a new head coach after the season, one not named Shawn Elliot. A win over the Gators, and assuming a victory over The Citadel, would have set up a Palmetto Bowl against currently #1 ranked Clemson, where a potential victory could not only make South Carolina bowl eligible but drastically increase the chances of Shawn Elliot being named full time head coach of the Gamecocks.

For South Carolina going forward, they cannot start of as slowly in their last two matchups as they have been. It should be good enough to beat The Citadel, but it won't allow them to be competitive against rival Clemson on November 28th. If I'm Shawn Elliot, I keep utilizing all my players in every aspect. The offense has been successful running wide receiver trick passes, reverses, etc. Adding a healthy Lorenzo Nunez to the fold could help the Gamecocks a lot on offense in their efforts to finish the season as strong as they possibly can.